Costly D fare int'l business class rule changes

 
Old Jan 6, 10, 6:43 pm
  #1  
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Costly D fare int'l business class rule changes

My company is based in Hungary so I buy many AA tickets there. I purchase the normally changeable D fare business class which runs $5,000-$6,000 to the USA and back. Recently, though nobody at the EXP desk knows when, AA slipped in 300 EURO ($440) change fee.

Has anybody else encountered this type of fly by night change to a historically unrestricted fare type. I checked AA D fare rules in many other countries across Europe and AA has only added changes fees in Hungary. I wrote customer service with my findings but was compelled to buy my next ticket on Lufthansa which charged less and had no change fees. I'd pay more to fly AA but simply cannot with this insane fee.

Anyone else runs into anything like this, excluding the I fare?
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Old Jan 6, 10, 6:45 pm
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Originally Posted by jm0754 View Post
My company is based in Hungary so I buy many AA tickets there. I purchase the normally changeable D fare business class which runs $5,000-$6,000 to the USA and back. Recently, though nobody at the EXP desk knows when, AA slipped in 300 EURO ($440) change fee.

Has anybody else encountered this type of fly by night change to a historically unrestricted fare type. I checked AA D fare rules in many other countries across Europe and AA has only added changes fees in Hungary. I wrote customer service with my findings but was compelled to buy my next ticket on Lufthansa which charged less and had no change fees. I'd pay more to fly AA but simply cannot with this insane fee.

Anyone else runs into anything like this, excluding the I fare?
Of course it's possible, but I have never heard of a change fee being imposed upon a single country. What is the exact fare code?
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Old Jan 6, 10, 6:50 pm
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Exact fare DFFEUR
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Old Jan 6, 10, 7:02 pm
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Originally Posted by jm0754 View Post
Exact fare DFFEUR
Well, the same fare applies from PRG also, so clearly Hungary is not being singled out. Also, the fare is substantially lower than the $5,000 to $6,000 you have been paying for unrestricted D, which is probably why there is a change fee.
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Old Jan 6, 10, 7:27 pm
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Every fare has its own set of rules and restrictions, irrespective of the fare class it is booked into. For example I have booked completely refundable I class fares.
It is your responsibility when purchasing a ticket to verify the conditions/ restrictions of that fare. You are always free to accept them or reject them and book elsewhere.
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Old Jan 6, 10, 7:40 pm
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
Every fare has its own set of rules and restrictions, irrespective of the fare class it is booked into. For example I have booked completely refundable I class fares.
It is your responsibility when purchasing a ticket to verify the conditions/ restrictions of that fare. You are always free to accept them or reject them and book elsewhere.
It seems the OP has already begun to exercise this option.
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Old Jan 6, 10, 7:45 pm
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If the OP wants to get AA to change the policy they would do better to send a copy of the receipt from LH along with a letter explaining why they purchased from LH and not AA.
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Old Jan 6, 10, 7:52 pm
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I don't think that Hungary is being singled out specifically. As someone said, the change fee on that fare exists out of (at least) the Czech Republic too. What route do you typically fly that you are seeing this fare on? I'd be curious to look it up.

Just for fun, I looked up a R/T fare from BUD to LAX on 1/29 returning on 2/2. The cheapest business class fare is INCEU7, which carries the 300 Euro change fee and prices out to a total of $3700, which is a pretty good price (appears to also have a 7 day advance purchase). For the same dates, the unrestricted business class fare is JR, which obviously has no change fee and prices out to a total of $8400.

So I don't think it's a matter of "the D fare all of a sudden has a change fee." It's more a mater of price versus restrictions. If the fare you are seeing is $8,000 and has the 300 Euro change fee, then I'd say that's pretty unreasonable. But if it's only around $4,000 R/T, then there's a good reason for the change fee, regardless of what inventory it books into. So again, it's more a matter of how much the fare is versus what the fare basis is.

I'd appreciate if you could tell us what dates and routes you're look at so that I could look this up.
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Old Jan 6, 10, 10:44 pm
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Originally Posted by i_fly_AA View Post

Just for fun, I looked up a R/T fare from BUD to LAX on 1/29 returning on 2/2. The cheapest business class fare is INCEU7, which carries the 300 Euro change fee and prices out to a total of $3700, which is a pretty good price (appears to also have a 7 day advance purchase). For the same dates, the unrestricted business class fare is JR, which obviously has no change fee and prices out to a total of $8400.

So I don't think it's a matter of "the D fare all of a sudden has a change fee."

I'd appreciate if you could tell us what dates and routes you're look at so that I could look this up.
It is all of a sudden because for many years this was not the case so I did not read and reread the rules. In fact many EXP agents were surprised.

I did send notice of all Star Alliance and BA/IB/AY rules for D fares to AA.

I looked up BRU, LHR, ZRH, CDG, MXP, FRA and VIE to SFO via a mix of expertflyer and AA.com and no prevailing AA D fare had this 300 euro fee. Same was true for any D fare from the US to Europe. Please check for yourself.
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Old Jan 6, 10, 11:16 pm
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Originally Posted by jm0754 View Post
It is all of a sudden because for many years this was not the case so I did not read and reread the rules. In fact many EXP agents were surprised.

I did send notice of all Star Alliance and BA/IB/AY rules for D fares to AA.

I looked up BRU, LHR, ZRH, CDG, MXP, FRA and VIE to SFO via a mix of expertflyer and AA.com and no prevailing AA D fare had this 300 euro fee. Same was true for any D fare from the US to Europe. Please check for yourself.
You will get more attention if you send AA a receipt from one of those *A carriers with fare rules of a comparative fare on AA. AA has access to and is fully aware of the fare rules of the competition. If you want change then help AA see the lost revenue. It may not bring about change, but showing lost revenue because of an AA rule will get the attention of people more so than just sending fare rules. There are probably a lot of other factors that are unknown to us that have caused AA to add this change fee to this fare. AA does not operate in a vacuum.

Last edited by HNL; Jan 6, 10 at 11:25 pm
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Old Jan 7, 10, 3:05 am
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Some D fares have had change fees for the past 10 years, so this isn't new nor is BUD being singled out. Maybe all the non-Euro fares have added the change fee? In any case the fare ex-BUD is much lower than from the other cities you list, even when adding in 2 change fees (presumably the most you would ever have to pay), so is your complaint that AA is charging too cheap a fare ex-BUD and offseting the lower price with different terms?
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Old Jan 7, 10, 3:54 am
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But do LH Give you 8 Intercon Upgrades a year to a Solo First Suite?...No they Give give you 1.
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Old Jan 7, 10, 7:39 am
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Originally Posted by UncleDude View Post
But do LH Give you 8 Intercon Upgrades a year to a Solo First Suite?...No they Give give you 1.
Yeah, one could argue that LH/LX gives you 100% certainty of getting a horizontal bed, which is a far superior feature than AA's upgrades that require you to fly through LHR (as it's only available on the 777).

And having just done two back-to-back longhauls, one in BA's horizontal flat bed in J followed by the AA slanted J on its 777, the seat difference is a pretty big deal.
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Old Jan 7, 10, 5:16 pm
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Originally Posted by UncleDude View Post
But do LH Give you 8 Intercon Upgrades a year to a Solo First Suite?...No they Give give you 1.
Well if you earn miles with UA or CO you can 6 and 4 intercon upgrades respectively.

AA also has the added negatives of lousy connections out of BUD especially to MIA, LAX, and SFO as well as a lesser business class seat. That said but for this dumb rule I'd fly AA.
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Old Jan 7, 10, 5:51 pm
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Originally Posted by jm0754 View Post
It is all of a sudden because for many years this was not the case so I did not read and reread the rules. In fact many EXP agents were surprised.

I did send notice of all Star Alliance and BA/IB/AY rules for D fares to AA.

I looked up BRU, LHR, ZRH, CDG, MXP, FRA and VIE to SFO via a mix of expertflyer and AA.com and no prevailing AA D fare had this 300 euro fee. Same was true for any D fare from the US to Europe. Please check for yourself.
That's not what I was saying. What I was saying is that for the date and route that I checked, I saw that the cheapest restrcited business class fare was in I, for $3700. So why would you book a restrcited fare in the more expensive D fare when I gives you the same product for less? Of course, this is just for the date and route that I checked ranmodly. That's why I was asking if you could provide your routing (and dates) so that I could check for myself.
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