This is interesting because airline websites would have a price/cost advantage and could take share aware from the OTAs. Air travel has had sucky economics for OTAs. Where most of these guys are making money now is in hotels.
As reported last week by the travel research firm PhocusWright, United Airlines (UAUA) is forcing some travel agencies to absorb the 2%-3% credit-card fees for ticket bookings. The PhocusWright blog post asserts that if this approach were widely adopted by airlines and applied to the online travel agencies, “they would be forced to reinstate some sort of booking fee in order to cover the costs of paying credit-card merchant fees.” And that could give a pricing advantage to the airlines’ own web sites.