US Airways still gives you a choice of whether you want to buy a fully refundable ticket at a higher price or a non-refundable ticket at a lower price. As long as you cancel the reservation of the non-refundable ticket before the actual departure, the monies (less the $100.00 change fee)can be applied towards another flight.
I'm curious as to what percentage of passengers who don't show up for a flight were delayed by traffic, in a car wreck, had a death in the family, etc. and what percentage of passengers who don't show up for a flight know ahead of time and simply don't bother to cancel the existing reservation because they're too busy and they've never had to do it in the past.
Also, let's say you're flying jetBlue and are delayed due to traffic or don't make the flight because of a death in the family, etc. Well, if you don't call jetBlue and cancel ahead of time, guess what? You forfeit all your money, too.
If you go to jetBlue's website and click on "How to jetBlue" and then click on "Changes/Cancellations/Fares, it states:
All fares are one way and non-refundable/non-transferable. Changes can only be made by calling 1-800-JETBLUE prior to scheduled departure for $25 and applicable fare adjustment. Changes are not eligible for a $5 Internet savings. Cancellations may be made prior to scheduled departure time for a full credit (less a $25.00 processing fee per passenger) towards future JetBlue travel. Credit is valid for one year and can only be redeemed by calling 1-800-JETBLUE. All monies will be forfeited if reservation is not cancelled prior to departure.
JetBlue has a lower change fee. US has a higher change fee. But on both airlines, if you don't cancel/change before the flight leaves, you lose all your money. Yet I don't recall seeing anyone complaining about jetBlue's policy and I was just wondering why.