I can’t be the only one who has ever wondered this… or maybe I am.
In this post:
Frankfurt Airport’s last minute ticket counters
As much as Frankfurt Airport is a hot mess (minus the Lufthansa First Class Terminal, of course), I can’t help but have a soft spot for the check-in hall, and especially the traditional flip board flight status monitors. There is one thing I’ve noticed in the check-in hall a countless number of times over the years, and I’ve always been curious about it.
Between the check-in desks that belong to airlines, there are all kinds of counters for different companies claiming to sell last minute tickets for travel on all airlines. Interestingly they all have different branding, suggesting they each belong to a different company. I’d say the desks are occupied more often than not during busy periods, though I rarely actually see anyone approach the counters.
What purpose do last minute ticket counters serve?
I’d be fascinated to know who these last minute ticket counters are targeting, and what they’re actually offering:
- Are these businesses targeting those who may have missed their flights, or just those looking for a last minute deal? I would think that most people looking for a last minute ticket would go online, rather than saying “let me go to that last minute ticket desk in the terminal”
- Do these last minute ticket desks actually have deals better than what you can find online, or are they basically just offering you what’s publicly available online? I know airfare consolidators exist, but advertising that you can offer last minute tickets on all airlines suggests that the deal aspect of this might be limited
- I could see the value in something like this in a market where in-person ticketing is still common, and where people pay for travel by cash, etc., but Germany isn’t really a market like that (especially in a bigger city like Frankfurt)
- Are these companies just working on commissions, or do they charge fees for ticketing?
- Why are there so many companies doing this, and how different are the offerings between them? Do people comparison shop between them?
I have to imagine that these businesses make some money, or else they wouldn’t be renting space at the airport and paying people to sit there. But I also feel like I must be missing something, because I can’t make sense of this.
OMAAT readers collectively know just about everything, so I’m hoping that’s the case here too. Please enlighten me.
Frankfurt Airport’s last minute ticket counters in the check-in hall have always piqued my curiosity. There seem to be several companies selling last minute tickets on all airlines. But in the age of electronic ticketing and online travel agencies, what point do these serve? Are these companies just travel agencies that can book you at the standard cost on any airline, and it’s meant for those who aren’t tech savvy, or is there more to it?
Anyone have any insights? Am I the only one who has been curious about these counters (please, even if you’re not a frequent commenter, I’d be so happy to hear that I’m not the only one who wonders about these kinds of things)?