You may find it a bit annoying after you buy a ticket that once you figure in the various fees for checked bags, etc, your fare is actually far more than you thought. Well, Sabre, the travel agency technology company (known as a GDS, or Global Distribution System), has an answer with their new Attribute-Based Shopping tool. This will allow travel agencies (both online and offline) to allow a passenger to see a list of fees associated with a ticket, and choose which will apply to them. That will allow them to compare the real cost of each ticket.
What does this mean for you? Travelocity will have this tool implemented in 2009 (assuming all goes according to plan). This is actually a pretty tricky thing to handle on the back end, so they may actually have a competitive advantage while other sites catch up.
(Editor’s Note: Reader Mike points out correctly that this is likely a pre-cursor to American offering an Air Canada-like menu pricing structure, where the passenger picks out the services she wants. This new tool will allow for that…)