I tend to feel that change fees for tickets are too high.
But, given that, I do feel that the change fee for the award flight should be no different from a revenue flight. If anything, it should be higher, because, without the fees, people will willy-nilly "lock up" award space without any specific penalty if they change their mind.
You could have simply not ticketed until the flight you wanted opened up. Instead, you may have forced someone else who would have been happy with that flight to have to totally alter THEIR plans.
Again, it's more an issue of discouraging "opportunistic ticketing" than raising revenue.
has perhaps THE best award availability of any airline. Just last week, for example, I got SFO
in business, for THIS October 1st, for the basic 90,000 miles, on the precise dates I wanted. Did the same thing last year as well. You can't complain about that!