FL fees

 

Old Jun 15, 13, 6:54 pm
  #1
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Increase in FL change fee

The change fee doubles from $75 up to $150, eff 08/20/2013.

All changes to coach fares that occur more than 4 hours after the original booking time incur a $75 fee per passenger. (Changes made on or after August 20, 2013 will be charged a $150 fee per passenger.) If you change your reservation within 4 hours of the time of your original booking at airtran.com, we will waive the change fee normally charged for all coach fares. Note that any increase in fares associated with itinerary changes will still be applied.
Is this just another way of encouraging customers to book on WN's site?

Last edited by mke9499; Jun 15, 13 at 8:17 pm
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Old Jun 15, 13, 8:57 pm
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FL fees

I guess that's what they are going for with the change. However, with the AirTran brand going away, I wonder if this is Southwest's way of testing high change fees for the whole airline.
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Old Jun 16, 13, 9:06 am
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I would agree here. That is quite a jump. I could foresee WN instituting something like $50 in the future and consider themselves to be a hero for only charging the lower amount.
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Old Jun 16, 13, 10:01 am
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FL fees

I can see the headline now, "Southwest lowers change fees on former AirTran routes." lol
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Old Jun 16, 13, 11:00 am
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With the legacies having moved from $150-$200 without incident and within 2 weeks of each other, WN can't not have noticed. WN is in the enviable position of being able to use FL as a guinea pig right now and, unless this change puts FL under, you can bet that it will go systemwide soon enough.
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Old Jun 16, 13, 8:06 pm
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Could write the BS press release now.

"In order to remain competitive in today's ever changing air travel environment and to continue to offer the famously low Southwest fares our loyal customers are accustom to, effective XX/XX/XXXX, a fee of $XXX will be charged to change tickets issued on WGA fares...
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Old Jun 17, 13, 11:17 am
  #7
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If plans might change, and booking thru FL, it might end up being more cost effective to book in BC or M, Y, or B fares, where there is no change or cancel fee...yet.
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Old Jun 17, 13, 2:41 pm
  #8
 
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Unhappy Not customer friendly

This is a sad move that is anti-customer, and not in keeping with everything I have read about the Southwest philosophy.

I can understand the case for reaonable change fees to optimize loads, but a $150 change fee has no relationship with cost.

Reasonable change policies and fees were a competitive advantage of Airtan, positioning them in a sweet spot between the Spirits of the world and the legacy carriers.

I don't get the model. Unless fares are substantially lower than the legacies and Southwest itself, why should business travellers book through airtran with no change of upgrade, reduced frequencies, and in August the same change fees as a legacy carrier?
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Old Jun 17, 13, 3:05 pm
  #9
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Originally Posted by EWR-6785 View Post
I don't get the model. Unless fares are substantially lower than the legacies and Southwest itself, why should business travellers book through airtran with no change of upgrade, reduced frequencies, and in August the same change fees as a legacy carrier?
Perhaps the rationale is to discourage booking with AirTran and incentivize booking with Southwest.

For the time being, anyway, book on WN for travel on FL metal and avoid change fees; customers can also avoid baggage fees (normally charged to FL's non-elites). The drawback, however, is the lack of advance seat selection.

To keep FL Elites feeling like Elites, what about allowing a 1x no-fee or reduced-fee change/cancellation, per reservation booked at lower Coach fares? Currently, there is no fee for changing/cancelling M, B, or Y fares on FL.
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Old Jun 17, 13, 4:14 pm
  #10
 
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Originally Posted by mke9499 View Post
Perhaps the rationale is to discourage booking with AirTran and incentivize booking with Southwest.

For the time being, anyway, book on WN for travel on FL metal and avoid change fees; customers can also avoid baggage fees (normally charged to FL's non-elites). ...
To keep FL Elites feeling like Elites, what about allowing a 1x no-fee or reduced-fee change/cancellation, per reservation booked at lower Coach fares? ...
It's a dilemna for those of us who have remained FL loyalists and are close to requalifying for A+ Elite. Booking on southwest.com means having to start over again to re-qualify as elite or whatever passes for it at WN.

Hope someone at FL is listening... They need to extend fee waivers for elites beyond Y/B/M classes..
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Old Jun 18, 13, 5:51 am
  #11
 
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I agree with the cynicism if the various posts. But seriously, it is hard to see this move as anything but another example that SWA has no clue how to execute this merger. No one is thinking about the customer experience they are blending together.

The announcement that was needed was to start moving the few customer-friendly offerings that SWA actually has INTO the AirTran service model, with a marketing message that said that.

But just layering on even more and new things the legacy airlines do that infuriate customers, all the while running SWA ads in the big AirTran markets saying how bad those things are ??

Raising change fees from their current levels isn't just following the majors, it is discarding a major advantage AirTran, as its own competitive advantage, has had in place for the last several years.
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Old Jun 18, 13, 6:24 pm
  #12
 
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Originally Posted by Justin026 View Post
But just layering on even more and new things the legacy airlines do that infuriate customers, all the while running SWA ads in the big AirTran markets saying how bad those things are ??
This is such a good point. Totally schizophrenic.
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