Survey reveals fall in extra booking charges for West End theatre tickets

Let It Be, which will return to the West End in February. Photo: Tristram Kenton
Let It Be, which will return to the West End in February. Photo: Tristram Kenton
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The average extra booking fees being charged on West End theatre tickets have nearly halved in the last year.

Additional fees charged after the initial price quoted to customers has fallen from an average of £1.96 in 2012 to £1.12 in 2013. In the commercial sector, the drop is even more stark – with extra fees falling from £2.21 on average in 2012 to £1.06 in 2013.

The drop in extra fees is primarily the result of more ticket agents including booking fees in the initial price of the ticket quoted to customers. There is still, however, a wide range of extra fees being charged. These include transaction fees, per ticket fees and charges for printing out tickets. The largest additional fee charged was for Let It Be at the Savoy Theatre, which charged an extra £5 on a single ticket – a mix of a £2 per ticket charge and a £3 transaction charge when booked through ATG tickets.

Nimax, See Tickets and Delfont Mackintosh now all charge no extra fees after the initial price quoted, with booking fees wrapped up into an overall price presented to customers when they chose their seat. Ticketmaster, ATG Tickets and various independents (including some subsidised venues) are still charging extra fees, normally in the form of transaction charges. These can vary from show to show – for example, ATG Tickets charges no transaction fee for The Lion King at the Lyceum, but a £2.50 booking fee for Trelawny of the Wells at the Donmar Warehouse and £3 for most of its other shows.

The full results of The Stage's annual survey into West End ticket prices is available in this week's print edition of The Stage.


  1. The reduction may also be due in some respect to the new regulations on Credit card surcharges that came into force on 6th April. It is now illegal to charge more than it costs to process a transaction. And that other favourite scam pre-filling donations and pre-ticking insurance will be illegal from January next year. I would love to see The Restoration Levy go too. Apart from the Prince of Wales Theatre I have yet to see any Evidence of Restoration in the West End; the toilet facilities are still atrocious, seats bum numbingly uncomfortable and built for 19th century sized patrons, Rakes and viewing angles poor. Its supposed to be Actors that suffer for their art not audiences but I think all the money has gone into converting the CC surcharge into an admin fee and think up new ways to shaft the ticket buyer for it would be bad show if a ticket buyer actually got a good deal.

  2. Still a long way to go then.
    A modest fee from an agency is I guess OK. But criminal transaction fees PER TICKET? No way!

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