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Old Sep 13, 17, 11:39 am   #1
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Managing full F ticket purchased for family member?

Due to a family emergency I am looking to purchase a full F fare ticket for my Mom to travel tomorrow. I am a little bewildered by language I read on Delta's web-site that stated even for refundable flights there can be a fee to process a refund. Is that valid even on a full F fare?

How are changes dealt with? If she needs to change her return flight, but I booked and paid for the flight, is she able to do that without my involvement? Would it be safe to assume that the change for a full F should be without charge, save for perhaps a change in the ticket price owing to the date?

I want this experience to be as easy as possible for her especially considering all the parameters involved (family emergency, her age, mobility) and airline handling in the case of IRROPS, etc.
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Old Sep 13, 17, 12:01 pm   #2
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Fully flexible just means no change fee. Fully refundable means its refundable. Neither indicates if there is a fee to issue refund. BTW generally most carrier charge a fee to issue a refund. Some carriers up to as much as what it would cost for a change fee on a regular ticket.

Passenger can make any changes needed.

Finally, it's doubtful youre paying for full F. Those generally cost thousands of dollars.
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Old Sep 13, 17, 12:03 pm   #3
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You twice use the term 'full F fare.' Are you sure it's really a full F fare, and not some discounted/restricted First cabin fare? There's no fee to book by phone - call and ask for a completely non-restricted ticket.
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Old Sep 13, 17, 12:08 pm   #4
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
You twice use the term 'full F fare.' Are you sure it's really a full F fare, and not some discounted/restricted First cabin fare? There's no fee to book by phone - call and ask for a completely non-restricted ticket.
Yes, I want a full F fare. Looks like I will have to call them because each time I select a flight, the web page throws an error. Will try to clear my browser's cache and try one more time...

EDIT: Aaargh. In spite of clearing browser cache and even trying another browser altogether, Delta's web-site continues to throw the same error upon selecting a flight: "Oh no! We're sorry, there was a problem processing your request....If you continue to experience problems, please contact....". The site appears able and fine to do searches (and quickly), but choosing any flight results in the same error. Called Delta and received the expected "delayed waiting times" message owing to the recent storm.

Last edited by livebetter_travelmore; Sep 13, 17 at 12:28 pm
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Old Sep 13, 17, 1:51 pm   #5
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Fully flexible just means no change fee. Fully refundable means its refundable. Neither indicates if there is a fee to issue refund. BTW generally most carrier charge a fee to issue a refund. Some carriers up to as much as what it would cost for a change fee on a regular ticket.

Passenger can make any changes needed.

Finally, it's doubtful youre paying for full F. Those generally cost thousands of dollars.
Thankfully Delta has an automated system that enabled them to phone me back so I did not have to wait on hold to make my mother's flight arrangements. I did in fact purchase a full F fare as Mom's hurrying to spend time with her sister whose husband of 50+ years just passed away. She and her husband have always held a very special place in my heart too. Given that, and my mother's own age and health issues, I wanted her to have the maximum flexibility. I also felt that on a F fare, the airline will provide her the best care in the event of IRROPS which may be more likely on the heels of the recent hurricane.
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Old Sep 13, 17, 3:27 pm   #6
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Did you call Delta to ask about bereavement fares? These can offer flexibility at a lower price than flexible fares you may find through Delta.com.

https://www.delta.com/content/www/en...reavement.html

Full F doesn't get you any better treatment during IROPS than discounted First Class fares - they are treated identically per Delta policy.
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Old Sep 13, 17, 4:15 pm   #7
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Did you call Delta to ask about bereavement fares? These can offer flexibility at a lower price than flexible fares you may find through Delta.com.

https://www.delta.com/content/www/en...reavement.html
No, actually I didn't. I was in such a hurry to get Mom booked ASAP. Since you mention it, I have looked into bereavement fares in the past. I don't recall the airline(s), but I do remember being told some of them phased out bereavement fares presumably due to fraudulent use. I'll keep in mind to ask Delta specifically in the future if and when such a need arises. I did relay to the agent that it was for a death in the family, but she made no mention of the availability of bereavement fares whatsoever (though offered her condolences). Is there a special fare class designation to reflect a bereavement fare?

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Full F doesn't get you any better treatment during IROPS than discounted First Class fares - they are treated identically per Delta policy.
Thanks for sharing that. Is that only true if one is rebooked on Delta? Granted, that would be the more likely scenario, but I'm curious how Delta would operate if one is really pressed for time and needs to jump onto another carrier. On a recent flight where a MX resulted in the cancellation of a (non-Delta) flight, the assisting agent for that scenario mumbled some comment about checking availability to rebook me on another airline and specifically stated he was looking in the same fare bucket of the other airline. For that particular scenario, I was in a discounted (first) fare bucket and the OAL did appear, at least initially, to have space. However, it implied that if there was no space in that fare bucket, he wouldn't be able to book me though it wasn't clear to me if that meant he merely couldn't get me into the same cabin but might could have in a lesser fare class and, in that case, cabin. Borrowing on that assumption, if one is in a true F fare class, then it improves the odds of full re-accommodation, yes?
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Old Sep 13, 17, 4:17 pm   #8
  
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Don't buy full fare F unless you have to. If flying from/to applicable airports, you could see about adding a special ground service option similar to AAs "five star" service. And as appropriate, you could make sure that the ticket is notated as a bereavement ticket (and discounted fares may be available as mentioned above).
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Old Sep 13, 17, 5:13 pm   #9
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I did in fact purchase a full F fare...
You are very generous.

Delta won't rebook her on American - Delta and American have no interline agreement. United and Alaska are options if they have published fares on the relevant city pair.

In IROPS Delta won't demand same fare bucket availability to rebook on their own flights. Any available F-cabin inventory would do. She could also voluntarily downgrade to coach if she doesn't want to wait for an F cabin seat.
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Old Sep 13, 17, 7:25 pm   #10
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Maybe the biggest advantage of FULL F or FULL Y would be that during IROPs, one could just purchase a new ticket on AA or any other airline and get the refund for the DL ticket. You're not at the mercy of DL, don't have to wait in line or on hold, etc.
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Old Sep 13, 17, 8:37 pm   #11
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Originally Posted by livebetter_travelmore View Post
No, actually I didn't. I was in such a hurry to get Mom booked ASAP. Since you mention it, I have looked into bereavement fares in the past. I don't recall the airline(s), but I do remember being told some of them phased out bereavement fares presumably due to fraudulent use. I'll keep in mind to ask Delta specifically in the future if and when such a need arises. I did relay to the agent that it was for a death in the family, but she made no mention of the availability of bereavement fares whatsoever (though offered her condolences). Is there a special fare class designation to reflect a bereavement fare?
No, there is no special fare class for bereavement fares. They book into the same classes as normal fares, but are simply discounted. (Airlines always point out that if you don't need the flexibility, there may be non-flexible fares that are cheaper than the bereavement fares.) Delta still offers them, while United and AA stopped.

Delta also is fairly generous with waiving change fees in circumstances involving death of a family member, even if you bought a non-flexible fare. No guarantees, because this is an exception made at an agent's discretion, but Delta is widely known to do this.

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Originally Posted by livebetter_travelmore View Post
Thanks for sharing that. Is that only true if one is rebooked on Delta? Granted, that would be the more likely scenario, but I'm curious how Delta would operate if one is really pressed for time and needs to jump onto another carrier. On a recent flight where a MX resulted in the cancellation of a (non-Delta) flight, the assisting agent for that scenario mumbled some comment about checking availability to rebook me on another airline and specifically stated he was looking in the same fare bucket of the other airline. For that particular scenario, I was in a discounted (first) fare bucket and the OAL did appear, at least initially, to have space. However, it implied that if there was no space in that fare bucket, he wouldn't be able to book me though it wasn't clear to me if that meant he merely couldn't get me into the same cabin but might could have in a lesser fare class and, in that case, cabin. Borrowing on that assumption, if one is in a true F fare class, then it improves the odds of full re-accommodation, yes?
Airlines arbitrarily define their own fare classes; the letters are meaningless to compare across airlines. It doesn't matter whether you had an A fare or an F fare from Delta - they treat it as a First Class ticket. (Or are supposed to, per Delta policy. If you find someone who tries to tell you otherwise, they are wrong.) It doesn't matter what the fare classes on the other airline are - if there's any inventory available in the front cabin, they can make that happen. Though keep in mind Delta is never required to rebook you on another airline, even in the event of a delay or cancellation that is their fault... it is within their "sole discretion" per the contract of carriage.
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Old Sep 13, 17, 8:39 pm   #12
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Maybe the biggest advantage of FULL F or FULL Y would be that during IROPs, one could just purchase a new ticket on AA or any other airline and get the refund for the DL ticket. You're not at the mercy of DL, don't have to wait in line or on hold, etc.
How is that an advantage of full F or Y? If your flight is cancelled or is significantly delayed to the point that you would consider jumping ship to another airline, you can refund the ticket regardless of whether the ticket is flexible or refundable.
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Old Sep 13, 17, 8:43 pm   #13
  
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Originally Posted by livebetter_travelmore View Post
No, actually I didn't. I was in such a hurry to get Mom booked ASAP. Since you mention it, I have looked into bereavement fares in the past. I don't recall the airline(s), but I do remember being told some of them phased out bereavement fares presumably due to fraudulent use. I'll keep in mind to ask Delta specifically in the future if and when such a need arises
if you're within 24hrs call them back and ask for it now. They should be able to refund the difference or re-book for less without any fees. Anyone can change any bookings for free within 24 hrs. Unless there is an exception for being within 24 hrs of departure as well.
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Old Sep 13, 17, 9:19 pm   #14
  
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if you're within 24hrs call them back and ask for it now. They should be able to refund the difference or re-book for less without any fees. Anyone can change any bookings for free within 24 hrs. Unless there is an exception for being within 24 hrs of departure as well.
There is an exception, usually 7 days from departure (which I think is a DOT requirement) though AA recently made it 2 days I believe. That said if the OP bought a full F ticket they can call and cancel anytime - its kind of the benefit of a full F ticket .
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Old Sep 13, 17, 9:39 pm   #15
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AFAIK DL still allows the 24 hour free cancel even if the ticket is purchased very close to departure; this goes above and beyond the DOT regulation. You might be required to cancel before the scheduled departure time.
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