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Old Jan 13, 12, 2:54 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
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My ticket price dropped - can I get a refund?

Hi there, Early this week, I purchased 4 tickets to fly USAir to Europe in the spring.
I used "yapta" and guess what -- the price dropped over $100 per ticket.
What is the rule of thumb with USAir...is it possible to get a refund?
Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old Jan 13, 12, 4:06 pm   #2
 
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No luck. The drop has to be more than the change fee ($250 Int'l). You'd receive a voucher for future travel for the difference, not a refund.

http://flights.usairways.com/en-US/t...s/default.html


Lower fare guarantee

When a new lower fare becomes available after a ticket has been purchased, customers are entitled to a lower fare guarantee refund within the following guidelines. We will deduct a $150 change fee ($250 for international travel) and apply residual funds in the form of a US voucher. Additional rules and restrictions may apply. Call reservations for a lower fare guarantee.

The lower fare is available for the exact itinerary previously purchased.
No portion of the reservation has been flown.
Lower fare guarantee refunds are not available for online ticket exchanges. Certain promotional fares may be excluded.
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Old Jan 13, 12, 4:33 pm   #3
 
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Thanks so much for your reply. This is depressing. Actually, it dropped about $300 per ticket!!! It's really bad luck -- I just purchased these tix 3 days ago at a much higher price. It's part of an anniversary cruise trip for my parents, so the cruise travel agency says they can't do anything -- and USair says they can't do anything & they keep referring me back to each other. I'll keep trying...if you have any other suggestions, I'm all ears.
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Old Jan 13, 12, 6:34 pm   #4
 
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I'd say simply try to forget about it - tickets were bought for a special occasion and keep that in mind. Don't let a few hundred bucks ruin it
2 points I tend to keep in mind when I buy tickets. 1. I was happy enough with the price before I clicked buy. 2. The airline doesn't come back to me asking me for more if the price goes up.
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Old Jan 13, 12, 6:49 pm   #5
 
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Thanks for the kind words, NoMiddleSeat. Much appreciated!
I agree with you and I'm trying to do just that -- forget about it.
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Old Jan 13, 12, 8:37 pm   #6
 
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"Lower fare guarantee" = the single biggest lie that US perpetuates. How can you charge $150-$250 and call it a "guarantee"? Mind boggling.
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Old Jan 14, 12, 10:08 am   #7
 
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Agree...truly a creepy policy. As you know, many businesses across the board honor new prices when they drop...especially so close to the purchase date. I often wonder who came up with these unreasonable (and mean) pricing models.... (That's why domestically, I always try to fly Southwest. At least they are flexible and offer good customer support.)
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Old Jan 14, 12, 12:33 pm   #8
 
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Far be it from me to defend (or explain) the US pricing model ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeefrappe View Post
Agree...truly a creepy policy. As you know, many businesses across the board honor new prices when they drop...especially so close to the purchase date. I often wonder who came up with these unreasonable (and mean) pricing models....
... but would it really be in our interest were US to adjust prices after a price drop on non-refundable ... ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMiddleSeat View Post
2. The airline doesn't come back to me asking me for more if the price goes up.
A lot of us here are capitalizing on the occasional "dips," which I assume would disappear were US then in the position of having to refund money on previously purchased tickets.

I admit I would feel differently if I were unable to time my purchases. And, yes,

Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyleo View Post
"Lower fare guarantee" = the single biggest lie that US perpetuates. How can you charge $150-$250 and call it a "guarantee"? Mind boggling.
the advertising is misleading. In effect, they are saying that if you happened to buy what turns out to have been an incredibly over-priced ticket, they will give a little of it back to you.
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Old Jan 14, 12, 12:41 pm   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggie Fries View Post
... but would it really be in our interest were US to adjust prices after a price drop on non-refundable ... ?
Clearly, yes! And until a few years ago, US would send a voucher for the difference, upon request, when the price did drop! I did it many times.
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Old Jan 14, 12, 12:46 pm   #10
 
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I agree ... if you buy, and the price drops, sure, who wouldn't want the refund? I certainly would.

I was simply speculating that there might be less availability of those occasional "flash" drops that many of us have seen were they to trigger refunds.
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Old Jan 14, 12, 12:50 pm   #11
 
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Forget it. I know people who will buy stuff, and then scour the internet to see if they could have got it cheaper, and then moan. Once you have bought something, switch off, forget it, it's done.
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Old Jan 15, 12, 10:34 am   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyleo View Post
Clearly, yes! And until a few years ago, US would send a voucher for the difference, upon request, when the price did drop! I did it many times.
And how exactly did that business model pan out for the legacy US carriers? I seem to recall a Chapter 11 in their past.

To enact this policy again would mean a tremendous reduction in fare sales and price reductions, as the airline would be liable for refunds on every previously sold ticket. And you can be sure, in today's world, there would be web sites that tracked your tickets and alerted you to a fare drop/refund due.
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Old Jan 16, 12, 11:40 am   #13
 
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competitor's policies...(LCC)

Quote:
Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
And how exactly did that business model pan out for the legacy US carriers? I seem to recall a Chapter 11 in their past.

To enact this policy again would mean a tremendous reduction in fare sales and price reductions, as the airline would be liable for refunds on every previously sold ticket. And you can be sure, in today's world, there would be web sites that tracked your tickets and alerted you to a fare drop/refund due.
Among the Low Cost Carriers that US markets against, the US policy is the least consumer-oriented. B6 gives credit for the difference in vouchers, especially if you call during their one day sales (US matches new ticket prices on these sales in competitive markets), and WN lets you re-ticket without penalty on their website at the lower price, with price differences available for future purchase for same flyer.

There are always Spirit and RyanAir to cite as worst...
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Old Jan 16, 12, 12:23 pm   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
And how exactly did that business model pan out for the legacy US carriers? I seem to recall a Chapter 11 in their past.

To enact this policy again would mean a tremendous reduction in fare sales and price reductions, as the airline would be liable for refunds on every previously sold ticket. And you can be sure, in today's world, there would be web sites that tracked your tickets and alerted you to a fare drop/refund due.
It panned out quite well. US's stock price was flat in the two years after its 2005 reorganization when we could request a non-fee credit voucher (it was never a "refund"; the money had to be spent on a future US flight anyway). Since US began charging a fee for a lower-fare credit, US's stock is off 80%.
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Old Jan 16, 12, 12:55 pm   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afsinfo View Post
Among the Low Cost Carriers that US markets against, the US policy is the least consumer-oriented. B6 gives credit for the difference in vouchers, especially if you call during their one day sales (US matches new ticket prices on these sales in competitive markets), and WN lets you re-ticket without penalty on their website at the lower price, with price differences available for future purchase for same flyer.

There are always Spirit and RyanAir to cite as worst...
DL, UA and AA have "best fare guarantee" policies that are more closely aligned with US than with B6 and WN, and I tend to compare US to those other legacies than to B6 and WN (and VX, etc) because of a couple things: hub-and-spoke route system, International travel (B6 does have a few flights to Latin America but you won't get to Europe on either one), global partners, and lounges. That said, I do think all of the legacies could/should be more transparent and more customer-friendly with their array of fees, but given that none of these legacy carriers will refund or credit you your fare difference without charging a change fee if it's past midnight on the day of purchase, I think it's not anything we will see anytime soon.

So as a consumer, I can choose to spend my $ with an airline that has easy-to-understand fee structures and doesn't charge fees for many things but can't help me get to Europe, or I can learn the fee structures, do my best to avoid fees when I can, and fly on the A380 with my miles. I choose the latter, but I can absolutely understand how the inexperienced traveler can end up feeling cheated and burned. I think a well-crafted consumer education campaign would be a huge advantage to the airline that chose to run it, so that people can make informed choices. I think there's also creative ways for an airline to fit in that niche between properly protecting revenue and charging too many fees; for example, a "price insurance" service where customers paid an extra fee to get 110% of the airfare difference in a credit, if the price goes down. But then again, I'm not an airline analyst so I might be just talking out of my ear (to steal my mom's phrase). CO tried with their fee to lock in a ticket price before purchase but I believe that program has since been withdrawn so I might be completely clueless on the demand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyleo View Post
It panned out quite well. US's stock price was flat in the two years after its 2005 reorganization when we could request a non-fee credit voucher (it was never a "refund"; the money had to be spent on a future US flight anyway). Since US began charging a fee for a lower-fare credit, US's stock is off 80%.
I think the implosion of the global financial market and the cost of fuel has a bit more to do with US' current stock prices than the presence or absence of a fee. One could argue that it's the change fees, baggage fees and various other fees that have kept the stock at just losing 80% and not 90% or more.
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Last edited by dcpatti; Jan 16, 12 at 1:01 pm..
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