Airlines are seldom happy to sell inventories through third-party online travel agencies (OTAs). The reasons are twofold. Firstly, airlines need to pay a fee to advertise their products on the OTA platform, and secondly, airlines can charge extra or sell features such as seats with extra legroom, frequent flier miles, etc. through their own websites, which is not possible elsewhere. Many airlines, over the years, have tried luring customers to their own websites through features such as bonus miles, e.g., getting extra miles for direct bookings or discounts on promotional codes (used by airlines such as Frontier Airlines, Spirit, Qatar, Air New Zealand etc.). However, this eats into the margins for the airlines, and hence they are not too keen on these offers. There are yet other airlines who don’t list their fares with the third party travel agents, such as Southwest Airlines and Allegiant Air. Some airlines don’t go to that extent, but selectively remove fares from certain websites. However, the recent measures about to be undertaken by certain airlines are much more restrictive for the buyers and more prominently, for the online travel agencies (OTAs). Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa, Austrian, Brussels, and SWISS) has decided to add an $18 fee for any bookings made outside their own websites, starting from September 2015. Instead of completely removing their fares from these OTA websites, Lufthansa is adding a disincentive for users to book through OTAs. Users might search for the best fares through the OTAs and then book through Lufthansa, but will the OTAs be quiet towards this discriminatory treatment? That is the question we need to ask right now. Get the full story at Trefis