The appeal of booking on an airline’s homepage isn’t the swank digs of the site itself. It’s typically the savings, and maybe a few bonus miles (though those bonuses are all but extinct). Now US Airways manages to eliminate its home field advantage by actually charging $5 more than some other agencies.
The Cranky Flier is all over this, and he has every reason to be cranky. Why buy from US Airways directly when you can book for $5 less from Priceline or Hotwire, which don’t charge booking fees? (I mean their “regular” bookings, not the “name your own price” opaque fares.)
The fee that US Airways is charging appears to be a fuel-related charge. It’s not a credit card fee or such, as is common outside the US. (Airlines seem to prefer debit transfers…) But don’t think that U.S. airlines aren’t thinking about renegotiating their merchant agreements with credit card networks, so they can introduce that sort of upcharge here. The first moves were made this summer. It’s coming, just wait. But I digress…
Bottom line: If US Airways is your choice, shop around before clicking “buy.” Don’t just buy your ticket directly from them. If you do, you’ll just reward bad behavior.