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Booking fees

Booking fees

17 September 2019

We have introduced booking fees on international journeys over a value of £15, $15 or €15

Transparency has always been key for us and so, consequently, we have shared many of our big business decisions throughout the years with our customers. This next one was a tough but necessary one to take. Since we were founded, we have been able to sell tickets with no additional booking fee added at point of sale. This was not a special offer, it was just pretty special, period. 

However, the time has come to review the business model and to announce that we will now be introducing booking fees on non-UK tickets. If we didn’t need to do, we wouldn’t, but our model is no longer sustainable. Some of you may be surprised to learn that we earn relatively little, and sometimes no commission from train operators on tickets that we sell. So, this introduction of booking fees is going to enable assured growth on our part. To ensure that we can stick around and deliver top-notch customer service and booking facilities, booking fees are being incorporated into the business model. 

We are now adding a flat fee of £4.95 (€5.95, $5.95) on non-UK train journeys over the value of £15, $15 or €15. This fee will be applied to the ‘total basket’ at point of purchase. So if you buy several journeys, only one fee will be applied. 

We know a lot of you will be upset and the timing is tough, given that we have also just announced our rebranding as Rail Europe. However, this business decision would most likely have been taken irrespective of the parent company, in order to ensure sustainability. All we can say to ease the blow is that this decision was not taken lightly. We have been through all other possible options, and also discussed them with a focus group of customers who were made aware of this plan a while back. 

However, we are also aware of the technological investments we can make as a result of running a sustainable and profitable business. We are proud of our user-friendly booking platform, and also our dynamic Travel Geeks customer support team, and our plan is to keep improving in these areas. In order to do this, we need to generate more income. 

Other booking fee situations are as follows:

- A booking fee will be applied if you are buying a ticket for a journey that starts or ends in continental Europe, even if you are travelling in the UK as part of that journey. 

- If you purchase a ticket for train travel in the UK which is a Pricehack split ticket fare, you will be charged the usual Pricehack saving commission of £1.50 for bookings under the value of £100 and £6 for bookings over £100. Other UK train tickets will have an added booking fee. 

- If you buy a Pricehack fare for a UK as well as a non-UK ticket, you will be charged both fees. Note that with Pricehack fares, the final price will still always be lower than the regular fare. 

In the meantime, we are confident that the introduction of this booking fee will still make us competitive, if a little less cool. 

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