Mrniji, yes, the "service fee"... I kind of like the way that LH
presents it as "the travel agents don't work for us but for the passenger, so the passenger should pay them"...
First of all, the EUR30 (domestic/intra-europe) and EUR45 (intercontinental) will actually be charged whichever way you make your reservations: if you call Lufthansa, you'll pay them - if you book through LH
's website, you'll pay them - if you book through a travel agency, you'll pay this amount (or whatever other amount the travel agency has set: they aren't legally bound to these amounts).
In principle, LH
is right when they say that travel agents work more for the passenger than for the airline - since travel agents here are bound by law to offer the lowest fares regardless of the airline they're on, they don't really have a choice - they can always point out LH
(or any other preferred airline) and the respective fare as well as any advantages they think this airline has, but essentially, the travel agency does work for the passenger.
The point is, with around 85-90% of German LH
bookings being made through travel agencies last year, I somehow doubt that the travel agencies aren't also doing something for LH
had gone the same way as other airlines have, that is eliminating the commission and lowering the fare by what the commissions used to be, I probably wouldn't have as many problems with it as I do - but LH
decided to keep the same fares AND
impose the service fees.
And finally, if the practice that AZA330 describes becomes a regularity, then I guess that at some point you'll end up paying half (or more) of what you save just for the "pleasure" of being able to make your booking by phone...
I certainly understand that airlines want bookings to be made through their website - they are businesses and they want to make money: I'm just not sure if they're going at it in the right way...