Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Excessive Booking Fees

This morning some friends and I went to book a campsite on one of the Boston Harbor Islands. It costs $6 for a campsite. However, when you try to book this campsite online, they charge a $9.25 booking fee! Now, $6 is mighty cheep for a campsite (in New Hampshire you can expect to pay $20-25 per night), so I'm not complaining that the total cost is expensive. What does irk me, however, is that the booking fee is 1.5x the value of the campsite! That just doesn't make sense! That would be akin to an airline saying, "Hey, this flight is only $50, but it's going to be a $150 booking fee." (I wouldn't be surprised if they try that, actually.) What I'm wondering now, is how complicated is this online booking process that you need to charge that amount of money? Why not just charge $15 for the campsite and a $1 booking fee? Is there another way to book these campsites so that I can avoid a $9 fee? I can't think of a cheaper way to book a campsite; I'm sure calling or visiting in person would require way more work. What a stupid system.

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