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enilria
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United Eliminates Ticket Change Fees “Permanently”

Sun Aug 30, 2020 8:29 pm

I suspect permanently means until they can get away with re-implementing them.

> CHICAGO — United Airlines said on Sunday it is permanently eliminating change fees on tickets for U.S. travel effective immediately, the latest effort by a U.S. airline to try to stimulate bookings hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

>Chicago-based United is among the major U.S. airlines that began implementing temporary waivers of change fees this year to give passengers more flexibility with their travel plans given the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.

>Now it is making the policy permanent for all standard Economy and Premium cabin tickets and also applying it to any ticket already booked.

https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/08 ... -fees.html
 
jayunited
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Re: United Eliminates Ticket Change Fees “Permanently”

Sun Aug 30, 2020 8:41 pm

You beat me to it....

Also beginning January 1, 2021 any United customers can standby for free on a flight departing earlier on the same day of travel regardless of ticket or class of travel.

All MileagePlus Premiere members can confirm a seat on a different flight, earlier or later than their ticketed flights as long as there is a seat available in the same fare class, also departure and arrival cities are the same and travel has to be on same day as their original ticket.

https://hub.united.com/2020-08-30-unite ... 06401.html
 
MIflyer12
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Re: United Eliminates Ticket Change Fees “Permanently”

Sun Aug 30, 2020 8:46 pm

The standby earlier benefit has some value while planes are empty. Passengers haven't had too many rule changes to celebrate in the last decade. (Can you say '25 hour change for a refund?')* I hope these really do stick.

* https://travelsort.com/united-25-hours- ... %20tickets.
 
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Re: United Eliminates Change Fees

Sun Aug 30, 2020 8:58 pm

This is wonderful news. It is just a pity that United had to be brought to its knees financially before it considered this change.
 
jayunited
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Re: United Eliminates Ticket Change Fees “Permanently”

Sun Aug 30, 2020 8:58 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
The standby earlier benefit has some value while planes are empty. Passengers haven't had too many rule changes to celebrate in the last decade. (Can you say '25 hour change for a refund?')* I hope these really do stick.

* https://travelsort.com/united-25-hours- ... %20tickets.



Nice try, trying to turn a positive change into a negative when you know UA already resumed issuing refunds for 2 hour schedule changes back on June 6th. And UA also made the change retroactive back to to March so all customers who were effected by the 25 hour change did received their refund.
https://thepointsguy.com/news/united-2-hour-refund/
 
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EA CO AS
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Re: United Eliminates Change Fees

Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:00 pm

This has been in the works for some time, and every carrier has been looking at it; looking at a post-COVID travel world, change fees don't make a whole lot of sense anymore since there are so many waivers and extensions out there at this point. It's easier and not just more customer-friendly but more employee-friendly to eliminate them entirely, or at least waive them if you're a member of the FF program and have the miles going to that account.

It's also one less differentiator for WN to tout vs. legacy carriers, so there's that...
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
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LAXintl
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Re: United Eliminates Ticket Change Fees “Permanently”

Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:08 pm

enilria wrote:
I suspect permanently means until they can get away with re-implementing them.


:checkmark: It's only permanent until its not anymore.

No doubt will be back one day. Fees not only generate good money, but they are also part of broader capacity and yield management tool.

Likely be nothing for than an interim change to make consumers feel better about taking risk of booking.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
IAHWorldflyer
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Re: United Eliminates Change Fees

Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:13 pm

It reflects the new reality, and does give people on the fence a push to book seats. I gotta say, it was nice being able to extend my July vacation by a day and United not charging me extra to come back a day later.
 
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Acey559
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UA Permanently Eliminates Change Fees

Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:45 pm

Just saw that United will permanently get rid of change fees along with enhancements to the Premier program and better benefits (maybe a stretch) for Basic Economy.

As one of the 2850 who just received my furlough notice last week, I’m heartened by these positive changes and hope that United has learned some lessons from the past. Positive enhancements instead of cutting to the bone will hopefully help us get out of this sooner than later. Time will tell, but I am encouraged by these actions vs what history has shown.

https://hub.united.com/2020-08-30-unite ... 06401.html
In Dixie Land I'll take my stand to live and die in Dixie.
 
joeblow10
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Re: UA Permanently Eliminates Change Fees

Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:58 pm

It's safe to say that's going to change the landscape of travel in the US for sure... it's only a matter of time (days, I'm guessing) for everybody to follow suit.

WN's biggest marketing ploy will be no more - not saying that will really hurt them that badly, but it certainly levels the playing field
 
mhockey31091
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Re: UA Permanently Eliminates Change Fees

Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:11 pm

cool for consumers but awful for people trying to commute to work or anywhere else for that matter.
 
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TheZ
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Re: UA Permanently Eliminates Change Fees

Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:30 pm

Good for UA. I had a really positive experience with them recently in the midst of everything going on and hope they continue to become a more customer-focused carrier.
If you have to say "pun intended," it's not a good enough pun.
 
TW870
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Re: UA Permanently Eliminates Change Fees

Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:39 pm

I think you will see a lot more of this. The airlines are going to have to take on more of the risk associated with the gradual ramp up. It is much easier for businesses to start looking at scheduling travel if they know they have maximum flexibility. Think about, for example, if the US is able to get the community spread more under control, and as a result some businesses begin to re-introduce travel. You always run the risk of localized outbreaks, and being able to always count on making changes is excellent.

My question involves how this new policy impacts premium status value. As a DL Platnum, I think of same-day standby/confirmed as a huge perk. But with this change at United, every Mileage Plus member will have same day confirmed, and every passenger will have same-day standby. I am not complaining about the change, because again I think it will enhance the COVID recovery. But I am just trying to figure out how they think about the changing value of elite status.
 
usflyer msp
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Re: UA Permanently Eliminates Change Fees

Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:42 pm

joeblow10 wrote:
It's safe to say that's going to change the landscape of travel in the US for sure... it's only a matter of time (days, I'm guessing) for everybody to follow suit.

WN's biggest marketing ploy will be no more - not saying that will really hurt them that badly, but it certainly levels the playing field


If you move to a cheaper flight UA is keeping the difference - no vouchers. WN still wins in that respect.
 
75driver
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Re: UA Permanently Eliminates Change Fees

Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:48 pm

Acey559 wrote:
Just saw that United will permanently get rid of change fees along with enhancements to the Premier program and better benefits (maybe a stretch) for Basic Economy.

As one of the 2850 who just received my furlough notice last week, I’m heartened by these positive changes and hope that United has learned some lessons from the past. Positive enhancements instead of cutting to the bone will hopefully help us get out of this sooner than later. Time will tell, but I am encouraged by these actions vs what history has shown.

https://hub.united.com/2020-08-30-unite ... 06401.html


This is a great move buy UA and should be promoted to no end. They will get a boost from news like this!

Sorry for your notice. I’ve heard from many friends who received similar bad news. While moves like this might help UA there needs to be other moves aimed to promote overall travel. There’s basically an entire airline of pilots/crew and supporting ops getting furloughed or accepting VEOP. Hope everyone finds a soft landing zone.
 
airlineaddict
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Re: United Eliminates Change Fees

Sun Aug 30, 2020 11:22 pm

This is big news! Why is this thread in travel, polls/preferences? It seems like this would fall under Civil Aviation.
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: United Eliminates Change Fees

Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:05 am

airlineaddict wrote:
This is big news! Why is this thread in travel, polls/preferences? It seems like this would fall under Civil Aviation.

This is a fee that relates to travel, ergo the Travel Forum. Threads on baggage fees have routinely been moved to this forum for years.

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DTWLAX
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Re: UA Permanently Eliminates Change Fees

Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:09 am

joeblow10 wrote:
WN's biggest marketing ploy will be no more - not saying that will really hurt them that badly, but it certainly levels the playing field

WN can still stick with "bags fly free" but I would like to see if any airline will drop baggage fees.
 
jayunited
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Re: UA Permanently Eliminates Change Fees

Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:57 am

TW870 wrote:
My question involves how this new policy impacts premium status value. As a DL Platnum, I think of same-day standby/confirmed as a huge perk. But with this change at United, every Mileage Plus member will have same day confirmed, and every passenger will have same-day standby. I am not complaining about the change, because again I think it will enhance the COVID recovery. But I am just trying to figure out how they think about the changing value of elite status.


The ability to do same day confirmed will only be available to MileagePlus members who have achieved premiere silver, gold, platinum,1K, and GS status (same as Delta). General members will only be able to list for same-day standby only.

"As a way to thank MileagePlus Premier members for their loyalty, beginning January 1, 2021, all Premier members will be able to confirm a seat for free on a different flight with the same departure and arrival cities as their original ticket. This expanded option will allow MileagePlus Silver members and above to confirm a new seat in the same ticket fare class if space is available."
https://hub.united.com/2020-08-30-unite ... 06401.html
 
jayunited
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Re: UA Permanently Eliminates Change Fees

Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:08 am

DTWLAX wrote:
joeblow10 wrote:
WN's biggest marketing ploy will be no more - not saying that will really hurt them that badly, but it certainly levels the playing field

WN can still stick with "bags fly free" but I would like to see if any airline will drop baggage fees.


Talk about sacred cows, airlines like the US3 rake in billions of dollars each year from bag fees. I don't see any of them getting rid of baggage fees any time soon or allowing all passengers to at least check in one bag for free at the counter regardless of destination.

I think we have a better chance of seeing buy onboard end, and the return of free food to all passengers in all classes before we see airlines do away with baggage fees.
 
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Re: United Eliminates Ticket Change Fees “Permanently”

Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:30 am

enilria wrote:
I suspect permanently means until they can get away with re-implementing them.


Remember when WN permanently left SFO?
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Jerseyguy
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Re: United Eliminates Change Fees

Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:16 am

"Late Sunday afternoon United said it is “permanently getting rid of change fees on all standard Economy and Premium cabin tickets for travel within the U.S., effective immediately.” The fees will remain on the airline's cheapest, most restricted "basic economy" fares, however."

https://www.sfgate.com/travel/article/U ... 526040.php

So since the basic economy fares will not be changeable for free like the other fares, the regular economy fares will go up because they will have to make up the money somewhere and they will still have the BE teaser fares. Not to mention the fees will be back in 2 years when the vaccine is accepted as safe by most people and the difference between BE and Reg Economy will still be the same as it was when there was no change fees.
 
AAIL86
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Re: United Eliminates Change Fees

Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:18 pm

I get why so many are saying why change fees will be back down the road, they have been an important piece of the revenue puzzle for the US airlines especially over the years.

But let’s face it, there has never been an event quite like covid-19 to hit the airline industry, and major upheavals can bring systemic changes... so for me at least fair to say none of us really know how many of these changes are permanent.
The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason - Benjamim Franklin
 
mcdu
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Re: UA Permanently Eliminates Change Fees

Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:19 pm

mhockey31091 wrote:
cool for consumers but awful for people trying to commute to work or anywhere else for that matter.


Except that the company doesn’t force you to live where you are based. Commuting is an option.

Glad to see this change.

I wonder if DL changes their policy will the topic get buried in this same group?
 
jayunited
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Re: United Eliminates Ticket Change Fees “Permanently”

Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:19 pm

LAXintl wrote:
:checkmark: It's only permanent until its not anymore.

No doubt will be back one day. Fees not only generate good money, but they are also part of broader capacity and yield management tool.

Likely be nothing for than an interim change to make consumers feel better about taking risk of booking.



If this is the case why not simply continue waiving change fees? United had already waived change fees until the end of the year. Why not simply extend the waiver through December 31, 2021?

From a PR standpoint it would have been the safer play(continue to waive the fee) instead of saying we are permanently getting rid of change fees.
 
AEROFAN
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Re: United Eliminates Ticket Change Fees “Permanently”

Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:21 pm

enilria wrote:
I suspect permanently means until they can get away with re-implementing them.

https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/08 ... -fees.html

:checkmark: :checkmark: :checkmark:

Color me amused. I suspect this will be the case as well. The $200 and $500 change fees were highway robbery.
“You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.” ~Harlan Ellison~
 
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einsteinboricua
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Re: UA Permanently Eliminates Change Fees

Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:28 pm

I really hope this change truly becomes permanent. I wonder how others will respond. In the meantime, if it means I have a second airline to choose from for flexibility, then all the power to them.

DTWLAX wrote:
WN can still stick with "bags fly free" but I would like to see if any airline will drop baggage fees.

I could get behind baggage fees when oil spiked and it placed airlines in a crunch. Oil is back to $40/bbl and airlines still raised baggage fees. This is one of the reason I would oppose a bailout unless they agree to drop the fees (partially or fully). What's worse is that airlines were placed in a begging stance, but when passengers beg the airline to ignore the 1-2 pounds extra, they were more than happy to extend their hand for additional cash.

At the very least, roll back the recent increases or eliminate the first bag fee.
"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
 
dalmit
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Re: UA Permanently Eliminates Change Fees

Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:12 pm

einsteinboricua wrote:
I really hope this change truly becomes permanent. I wonder how others will respond. In the meantime, if it means I have a second airline to choose from for flexibility, then all the power to them.

I could get behind baggage fees when oil spiked and it placed airlines in a crunch. Oil is back to $40/bbl and airlines still raised baggage fees. This is one of the reason I would oppose a bailout unless they agree to drop the fees (partially or fully). What's worse is that airlines were placed in a begging stance, but when passengers beg the airline to ignore the 1-2 pounds extra, they were more than happy to extend their hand for additional cash.

At the very least, roll back the recent increases or eliminate the first bag fee.


Completely agree with you. Removing this change fee is awesome. I actually think it has the potential to be revenue positive for the airline. I know I've had situations on WN where I could change my flight for an additional cost but no fee and I've done it whereas no way I would have done it for that extra cost PLUS A $200 FEE.

Of course United has all the data on the amount of fees collected and they'll be able to determine if my theory is correct or not but at least its a consumer friendly change and I like that.

And I second the elimination of the first bag fee. Man, that's annoying.
 
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jetblastdubai
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Re: UA Permanently Eliminates Change Fees

Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:46 pm

dalmit wrote:
And I second the elimination of the first bag fee. Man, that's annoying.


In addition, it would make TSA screening go faster, boarding/de-boarding would be faster. My guess is the legacies know how much revenue they receive from bag fees but there's no way of calculating how much ticket revenue they might be leaving on the table if some customers don't even consider them for travel because of the additional fees.

For the past couple of years, with almost every airline seat filled, it was a sellers market and most carriers could charge for things that gave them unprecedented profits. Now that it's a buyer's market, these same carriers need to be far more competitive for the travel dollars that are still out there. The no change fee gives UA "first mover" advantage over AA/DL The no change fee PLUS assigned seats puts them on par or maybe slightly ahead of WN for many travelers. Dropping the 1st bag fee would be even bigger news I bet.
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: United Eliminates Change Fees

Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:58 pm

Keep the thread on topic. Off topic posts will be deleted. If you want to comment on moderation, then do so in the Site Related Forum.

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gonnagetbumpy
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Re: United Eliminates Change Fees

Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:13 pm

I think Delta was planning something like this for their roadmap in 2020. United beat them to it. Super smart. Nice job, United. https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/a ... 425586002/
 
Chemist
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Re: United Eliminates Change Fees

Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:03 pm

1 - At least for now, flying WN means an empty middle seat and still no change fees.
2 - WN has free bags and also you can hold a credit for a cancelled trip for a year and apply it to another flight
3 - I applaud UA's efforts, but since we have Basic Economy, it seems that the reality is that the old "Economy" is now more expensive while they've super-cheapened their lowest end fares and those still can't be changed.

So a good change, but not a lot to get all that excited about.
 
amtravels
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Re: United Eliminates Change Fees

Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:12 pm

Chemist wrote:
1 - At least for now, flying WN means an empty middle seat and still no change fees.
2 - WN has free bags and also you can hold a credit for a cancelled trip for a year and apply it to another flight
3 - I applaud UA's efforts, but since we have Basic Economy, it seems that the reality is that the old "Economy" is now more expensive while they've super-cheapened their lowest end fares and those still can't be changed.

So a good change, but not a lot to get all that excited about.


I think the biggest thing that people should be excited about is United sparking an inevitable end to change fees across all of the Big 3.
 
Chemist
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Re: United Eliminates Change Fees

Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:23 pm

amtravels wrote:
Chemist wrote:
1 - At least for now, flying WN means an empty middle seat and still no change fees.
2 - WN has free bags and also you can hold a credit for a cancelled trip for a year and apply it to another flight
3 - I applaud UA's efforts, but since we have Basic Economy, it seems that the reality is that the old "Economy" is now more expensive while they've super-cheapened their lowest end fares and those still can't be changed.

So a good change, but not a lot to get all that excited about.


I think the biggest thing that people should be excited about is United sparking an inevitable end to change fees across all of the Big 3.


Good point, let's hope this industry gets a bit more consumer-friendly, given that their backs are against the wall.
 
airboss787
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Re: United Eliminates Change Fees

Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:30 pm

Jerseyguy wrote:
"Late Sunday afternoon United said it is “permanently getting rid of change fees on all standard Economy and Premium cabin tickets for travel within the U.S., effective immediately.” The fees will remain on the airline's cheapest, most restricted "basic economy" fares, however."

https://www.sfgate.com/travel/article/U ... 526040.php

So since the basic economy fares will not be changeable for free like the other fares, the regular economy fares will go up because they will have to make up the money somewhere and they will still have the BE teaser fares. Not to mention the fees will be back in 2 years when the vaccine is accepted as safe by most people and the difference between BE and Reg Economy will still be the same as it was when there was no change fees.


Last year UA flew 162.4 million pax and took in only $625 million in fees. Which means an estimated $4/pax. So if they have to make up for lost revenue due to this, all they have to do is increase fares by $4 or $5 and they are good. Of course, numbers this year will be significantly lower, but you get the idea. The change fees weren't as high as people thought in the grand scheme of things.

https://www.nbcnews.com/business/travel ... s-n1238840
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mhockey31091
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Re: UA Permanently Eliminates Change Fees

Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:21 pm

mcdu wrote:
mhockey31091 wrote:
cool for consumers but awful for people trying to commute to work or anywhere else for that matter.


Except that the company doesn’t force you to live where you are based. Commuting is an option.

Glad to see this change.

I wonder if DL changes their policy will the topic get buried in this same group?

Nope they don't but it still sucks for people that do commute.
 
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Acey559
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Re: UA Permanently Eliminates Change Fees

Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:11 pm

mhockey31091 wrote:
mcdu wrote:
mhockey31091 wrote:
cool for consumers but awful for people trying to commute to work or anywhere else for that matter.


Except that the company doesn’t force you to live where you are based. Commuting is an option.

Glad to see this change.

I wonder if DL changes their policy will the topic get buried in this same group?

Nope they don't but it still sucks for people that do commute.


We do have a commuter clause. If it becomes an issue I’m sure the company and ALPA will come to some sort of solution.
In Dixie Land I'll take my stand to live and die in Dixie.
 
afcjets
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Re: UA Permanently Eliminates Change Fees

Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:24 pm

mcdu wrote:
mhockey31091 wrote:
cool for consumers but awful for people trying to commute to work or anywhere else for that matter.


Except that the company doesn’t force you to live where you are based. Commuting is an option.

Glad to see this change.

I wonder if DL changes their policy will the topic get buried in this same group?


The net effect would be approximately zero. Someone booked on the flight you plan to commute on for the most part is just as likely to cancel off of your flight as they are change to it. Wherever it's not, for example the last flight of the day, the inventory will be adjusted accordingly, which should already be a factor you consider in selecting a flight for standby.
 
braniff2hav
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Re: United Eliminates Change Fees

Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:36 pm

We do notice with United and Delta that if you change to a lower priced itinerary/ticket - the difference in fare is not refunded and nor are you given that difference in a voucher for future use. I cannot clarify American's position on that - yet.
 
Jerseyguy
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Re: United Eliminates Change Fees

Tue Sep 01, 2020 2:53 am

airboss787 wrote:
Last year UA flew 162.4 million pax and took in only $625 million in fees. Which means an estimated $4/pax. So if they have to make up for lost revenue due to this, all they have to do is increase fares by $4 or $5 and they are good. Of course, numbers this year will be significantly lower, but you get the idea. The change fees weren't as high as people thought in the grand scheme of things.
https://www.nbcnews.com/business/travel ... s-n1238840


I would have paid $5 more to have a $0 change fee. I probably already have using Southwest. My job is horrible in speed of approving time off so I just book Southwest, put the request in and if it doesnt get approved I reschedule.

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