Heir to the Italian company Alitalia which went bankrupt in 2021, ITA Airways has just announced the implementation of an option to block fares on the price of a flight for 72 hours. At first glance, this is a useful solution when you tend to check the price of a flight several times during a short period of time. With airlines harvesting the data, fares tend to go up (unless you use a VPN and search privately) when carriers spot that you're about to make a reservation.
Freezing a fare for a short period of time could relieve travelers anxious about no longer finding the great fare they had previously stumbled upon... The trick is all the more enticing as it is now offered by many airlines.
The cost of blocking a tariff of 3 to 12 euros
Unlike the SNCF merchant platform, which offers this option completely free of charge, this advantage is unfortunately not in the air sector. If the price maintenance period varies between 48 hours and 72 hours depending on the carrier, there is more of a consensus to charge for this option. A "detail" that is not always clearly explained and whose mention is not easy to spot on the companies' online portals.
At Singapore Airlines, the price block of a plane ticket is paid at least 5 dollars, or about 3 euros, just like at the Romanian low cost Blue Air (3 euros). The cost can go up to 12 euros per booking for the Russian airline Aeroflot. And we must not imagine that this cost is deductible from the cost of the ticket, as Air New Zealand clearly states.
An option... When you're almost sure to travel
It is better not to be completely undecided when choosing to activate this option at Lufthansa: if the identified fare is blocked for 48 hours, a cancellation fee of 30 euros applies if you do not confirm the reservation... You can't consider this opportunity as a way to save money when organizing your travel budget, unless you're pretty sure you're confirming the reservation. This is the paradox of this option that is never refundable!
It is important to know this because if not all airlines make information about the cost of it clearly available, they do not always say how much it will cost travelers not to confirm a flight, as at Qatar Airways.
However, it should be noted that compared to the costs of a cancellation or modification of a reservation, this option is economically more interesting.
Moreover, by examining the conditions of sale of the blocking of fares by the Qatari company, we discover that this opportunity is not open to all destinations. Moreover, its cost differs depending on whether the blockage concerns a long-haul or domestic flight.
Finally, it is important to check the type of fare that this concerns: at Singapore Airlines for example, you can only maintain the price in economy class and premium economy. Also, the option sometimes only concerns the fare of the flight - usually a round trip, and not additional costs such as the choice of a seat or a meal on board, as the policy applied by Blue Air.