Continental Airlines Introduces FareLock
Purchase FareLock to hold your itinerary and fare for 72 hours or 7 days on Continental Airlines for a fee, but it is only available on flights operated by Continental Airlines. FareLock will guarantee an available seat when one books a flight while completing and confirming one’s travel plans at the fare quoted at the time the reservations were booked. The FareLock may be allowed to expire or automatically complete the purchase of the airfare at the end of the FareLock period. Either way, the FareLock fees, beginning at $5 for a 72-hour hold and $9 for a seven-day hold, are not refundable.
While additional fees are usually not welcome, this may actually be a beneficial fee, if booked properly. For example, if one finds a low airfare but is still not sure about booking it definitively, one can use FareLock to reserve that airfare for as low as $5.00 for a 72-hour hold. If the fare is not booked after all, the FareLock fee is lost. Compared to a $150.00 cancellation fee, this new fee can be a bargain.
It can also be a gamble: let us say that FareLock guarantees an airfare, but the airfare drops in price afterwards. One can book another reservation with or without using FareLock, but then must forfeit the FareLock fee on the original reservation. However, if the airfare decreases enough, one can still save money on the true price of the airfare while Continental Airlines profits on the FareLock fee it would otherwise not have obtained.
The bottom line is that although additional airline fees are usually not welcomed, FareLock could be advantageous to passengers if used wisely by saving passengers money and allowing more flexibility when booking a reservation.