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Old Jan 3, 17, 4:31 pm
  #33  
Mike Jacoubowsky
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Redwood City, CA USA (SFO/SJC)
Programs: Last 1K flight 1/21/11; fun while it lasted, 1P in 2011, Plat for 2012,13,14,15 & 2016. Gold in 17 &
Posts: 8,497
Originally Posted by JCrew7384 View Post
Wouldn't it make sense then to offer free fare class changes instead of a $200 change fee to stay on the same flight?

Why should I be penalized because I happened to purchase a ticket early to help them gauge the demand?
It's not about punishing you, any more than it's not about rewarding someone because they could take advantage of an inexpensive fare. It's simply a screwy revenue management system in which sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. The less-flexible your travel requirements are, the more likely you'll lose.... if losing means paying a higher fare than someone else.

The worst time to buy a fare is probably several days ahead of the flight. Walk-up fares are often considerably lower. Not always, but often.

You don't mention if you're elite on United, but as I mentioned previously, the best "protective" strategy might have been to book an award fare and then cancel it if you saw an attractive paid ticket. If non-elite, you'd be paying a close-in fee plus redeposit, which would come to $200 total ($150 if silver, $100 if gold, $50 if plat, free if 1K).

United doesn't discriminate in their desire to extract more revenue from customers. It's not personal. The chance that Y=2 was intentionally designed to fool anyone into paying a higher fare is very, very low.
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