Continental Airlines Introduces New Fee to Hold Price of Ticket

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ContinentalContinental Airlines (UAL) introduced a new fee that lets customers lock in the price of a ticket.

The "FareLock" service, which starts at $5, means that passengers can hold a seat at a given price, ABC reported.

"I think it's a brilliant," said John DiScala, a blogger known as Johnny Jet. "You don't have to feel rushed about the purchase. It's a gamble, but I think it's a win-win for everybody."

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Customers can opt for a seven-day hold or a 72-hour hold. They can then come back and complete the transaction any time between purchasing the lock and its expiration.

Fees will vary based on factors including the number of days to departure and the length of the hold. The fee is non-refundable.

"This is the latest in a series of airline fees responsive -- at a price -- to customer needs," said Robert Mann, an airline consultant and president of R.W. Mann & Company. "The question is who will use this option, given fare shopping engines' unparalleled degree of availability and pricing transparency."

Continental merged with United Airlines earlier in the year, but still operates as a separate airline.

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