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Any Way To Avoid A Change Fee?  
User currently offlineLowfareair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (13 years 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3402 times:

My family and I are supposed to be flying back to BWI from COS Friday on Continental. We want to stay until Sunday or Monday but there would be a $300 change fee total that we wouldn't want to pay. Is there anyway that we could avoid this fee? Any agents/FFs out there that could help me with this dilemna? Any help would be vastly appreciated. Thank you.

12 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineSouthRebels From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (13 years 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3374 times:

There can be. Flying standby will no cost you the fee. However, standby cannot be guarenteed. Call Continental and see what the availabilty for flights COS to BWI on Sunday and/or Monday would be. If there is availability get to the airport early and put your name on the standby list. When all the ticketed passengers are onboard they will begin to call standbys The problem you will encounter is that CO doens't flight non-stop COS to BWI. They have two flight options. One flight at 6:40AM and another at 11:30AM, both connecting through IAH. I don't see the COS-IAH flight an issue, however IAH-BWI may be a problem. The days you want to fly, Sunday or Monday, don't help your situation. Like I said, best bet is to call and see what the availabilty is and fly standby. If you don't want the risk or they tell you its overbooked by 20 and don't want the risk, then pay the fee. In any case, good luck!

User currently offlineLowfareair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (13 years 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3365 times:

So I can fly standby after the original flight and not have my reservation cancelled? Or would I have to call up CO and tell them ahead of time?

User currently offlineCB777 From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 1216 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (13 years 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3361 times:

If you fly standby, there still is a change fee. There is no way out of the change fee.


User currently offlineHeavymetal From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (13 years 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3360 times:

Call 1-800-WE-CARE and plead your case, though you're asking for alot on a super busy travel weekend. Still..........

I called two weeks ago after I had some confusion on using the credit on a year old ticket that I ended up having to cancel on. At the time I was told by a travel agent that I had a year to use it. But a friend told me it was usually the year from purchase date (which had passed) not the travel date (which was still a week away).

I called and was stunningly gratified. Yes the policy was a year from purchase date but since I got bad info, they very happily still honored the ticket. No whining, begging, or threatening on my part. In fact the young lady punched into the computer that it would be good through January 1st!

That having said, I did have to pay the change fee (which was only $75 last year) but I expected that.

User currently offlineHeavymetal From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (13 years 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3360 times:

Forgive me, that number is 1-800-WE-CARE-2.

I forgot the "2"  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

User currently offlineSouthRebels From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (13 years 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3351 times:

After I started thinking about my post I realized I screwed up. Flying standby is only good on the same day you are ticketed. If you fly a different day CO, and most, if not all, major airlines will charge you $100. Sorry about my boo-boo. I'm gonna go hide now :-(.

User currently offlineAkelley728 From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 2191 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (13 years 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3338 times:

I've was able to avoid the change fee a few months ago when I had a business trip that had to be rescheduled. I didn't care about the change fee for my ticket, but I had also bought tickets for my wife and child to go.

I called CO reservations and they changed the ticket, I told them the reason for the change was my Dad was in the hospital (which he was, he was having bypass surgery), and I had to reschedule.

The lady cheerily changed my ticket. It took awhile for them to process it, but it happened.

I'm also elite on CO, so they might've changed it for that reason alone, she never said.

Since you're trying ot do this on a holiday weekend, I would say your chance is virtually nil.

One tip: Since you're dealing with CO, I've heard that the CO agents in the Tampa office are more 'willing' to help a customer out. The agent I got was from Tampa, maybe that was part of the reason also.

One more tip: If you decide to call, check out the available seat map for the flight you want to get on either on www.continental.com or www.itn.com (on itn choose the 'advanced' user after you create a login).

If the seat you want to get on has a number of open seats, they might be more willing to do the change without the fee.

Good luck!

User currently offlineIMissPiedmont From United States of America, joined May 2001, 6287 posts, RR: 33
Reply 8, posted (13 years 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3330 times:

You can come out now. We all make mistakes. No problem.
The only way out of the fee is, as Akelley728 mentioned, a major family emergency. If it's worth $300.00 to stay in COS two extra days, pay it. Relaxation is priceless.

Damn, this website is getting worse daily.
User currently offlineSegmentKing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (13 years 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3327 times:

I've never paid the change fee...

first off, never call the airline to change it. Go to the airport. The agent doesn't have to charge you the fee... the agents at the airport also have more power over your records and more freedom to play with your records than res.... res *HAS* to follow the rules according to your fare. Airport or City Ticket offices it varies....

At United, AASRS asks the agent "Add Collect fee?" or something to that sort, and they can say YES or NO and proceed. Most of the time, it never asks for a reason why there is no add-collect.

I can think of about 8 occasions, including one today, where United did not charge me.... they never even asked. I just said "Can i come back monday versus Tuesday?". It also works to find out if your flights are overbooked.. that normally gives you some points if it is and you bring it up...

Anyway... good luck..


User currently offlineHpa318 From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (13 years 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3320 times:

I'am a gate agent for AA, I'll let you in a little secret
sometimes at the gate when we release standybys its last minute and we dont have time to collect change fees..I've must have done it a million times i call the name on the list they give me a ticket or tell me it was electronic and sometimes we dont even look at the date on it only city pairs.....I dont suggest you do it SUN anyway flt loads are bad and you'll probably standby all day.....the only other way is to get a medical note stating that you couldnt travel that day, we usually waive it.....maybe you might have a doctor friend..hint hint!!!!!!!good luck anyway!!!!!!!!!

User currently offlineRooinc From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 123 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (13 years 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3312 times:

Another question--I was scheduled to fly AA lax-reno last year. Decided not to go. Was told, when asking about changing the ticket, there was no fee. Just booked AA lax-sfo and the ticket states there is no fee for change. Also, have not had a prob changing lax-las on united. Is this because of swa? I know that the AA flights are mainline. UAL may be shuttle. Just wondering if anyone knows exactly why this is.


User currently offlineLowfareair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (13 years 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 3300 times:

Thanks for the suggestions everyone! Some notes:

SegmentKing: I am actually in Telluride, but we had to do some stuff in COS first so we flew in there. The problem is that Telluride is 4-5 hours from COS, so it would mean an all-day drive that I know neither of my parents want to take.

SouthRebels: Who cares if you made a mistake? Our current and former president have made several of them.

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