Triangle Trip

Tag: change fee

Flight cancellation with no fees – only on Southwest

by on May.11, 2009, under Airlines, Business Travel, Vacation

Like Captain G, I recently canceled a flight.  I had purchased a round trip ticket on Southwest and I already traveled on one segment (the outbound).  I wanted to cancel the return trip and thought this would be a painful process. The following points that made my Southwest experience a pleasant one.

1.  Southwest allows you to cancel any segment without a change fee. No $150 change fee like other airlines (See Captain G’s post on United).

2.  Southwest credits the entire segment you are canceling (this is when you buy non-refundable tickets).

3.  Southwest does not outsource customer service. I love how I can understand the customer service representative without an interpreter.

4.  Southwest customer service representative was very polite and considerate and even explained how to use the credit for my next ticket in the detail.

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Airline change fees make non-refundable tickets worthless

by on Mar.30, 2009, under Airlines

Most US airlines have raised ticket change fees which make non-refundable tickets worthless. I had a USAir discounted non-refundable ticket for $198 but had to cancel the flight for personal reasons. After being routed to two India call centers, I was told that a credit will be issued under my name and I had one year to use it. The credit is not transferable and it will be worthless after one year from the date of issuance. Finally, the USAir call center rep told me that there will be a $150 change fee if I want to re-use my $198 credit for another flight.

After hearing the call center reading all the rules from his screen aloud to me for close to 2 minutes, I asked myself the following question:  “What is the point of issuing me a $198 credit, then take $150 away on my next booking. Why doesn’t USAir just tell me that I have $48 of credit to use for another USAir flight?”

At first I thought the $150 change fee was steep, then I learned UAL has recently up their fees as well. Ghetto Delta has always charged $150 for their itinerary change fee but now they are charging $250 for international change fees (check their ticketing FAQ).

Here’s what I have learned from this experience:

1.  If you see a cheap airfare and clicked on the “SUBMIT” button on a website, you better travel on those dates and times or your ticket will be worthless.

2.  Buy a refundable ticket or wait until a week before you are planning to take off if your plans are still influx

Airlines are obviously using change fees as an alternative way to get more revenue and stick it to its customers.

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