Be careful when choosing a website to book that upcoming trip to Munich... you may end up paying more than you have to. Germany's Lufthansa Group is introducing a €16 ($18) fee for flights booked through "global distribution systems," such as Expedia, from September 1st onward. According to the company, it's "several times" more expensive to sell tickets through these providers -- it'd much rather point you toward its own websites. The move will theoretically help slash spiraling costs for Lufthansa, which reportedly pays hundreds of millions of Euros every year to deal with these outside transactions.
Of course, Lufthansa stands to benefit beyond alleviating the terrible, terrible financial burden of processing your ticket purchases from third-party websites. The airline insists to the BBC that it's not "trying to discourage anyone" from comparing prices, but the move reduces the chances that you'll go hunting for bargains on lower-cost flights. Also, it's no secret that pushing direct sales would help Lufthansa sell special services that you might miss if you're only concerned with scoring the best possible deal. While the surcharge might help Lufthansa balance the books, it's going to be a pain if you regularly scour the internet for travel discounts.
[Image credit: AP Photo/dpa, Jan-Arwed Richter]