Continental Introduces FareLock Feature

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Continental Airlines has introduced a new and optional fee called "FareLock" that allows travelers to put a hold on an airfare without making a commitment to buy the ticket.

Travelers can lock in a fare for 72 hours for $5 or for seven days for $9, when booking on the carrier's website.

Continental says the option provides consumers with flexibility in travel planning while eliminating the risk of fare increases or sold-out flights.

Customers can complete the transaction -- actually purchase the tickets -- at any time before the hold period's expiration. They also can choose to have the tickets issued automatically at the end of the hold period.

The option is currently available on certain domestic and international flights

The carrier says as the FareLock feature is further rolled out, the fees will vary based on the itinerary, number of days to departure, the length of the hold and other factors.

Continental is not the first airline to offer a hold-for-a-fee feature. Vueling, a low-cost carrier in Spain, introduced the concept last spring.

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