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Parker Threatens End of Changes/Change Fees to Non-Refundable Fares

Parker Threatens End of Changes/Change Fees to Non-Refundable Fares

Old Sep 18, 18, 9:16 pm
  #1  
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Parker Threatens End of Changes/Change Fees to Non-Refundable Fares

The latest and greatest from Dougie - now it's time to prevent you from making changes altogether. Apparently Congress is trying to limit the amount airlines can charge to change your ticket, and Parker is no fan.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...ss-limits-fees

I get that change fees are there to both make a profit and to deter frequent ticket changes from lower fares purchased way in advance, but $200 is robbery. Can't wait to hear how Doug can take this carrier any lower - glad I jumped ship years ago!
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Old Sep 18, 18, 9:25 pm
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So, $200 is "robbery" and you're angry that they might no longer allow people to pay $200 for changes?
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Old Sep 18, 18, 9:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Science Goy View Post
So, $200 is "robbery" and you're angry that they might no longer allow people to pay $200 for changes?
Where did you pick that up in my post? - seriously, not being condescending, do I need to make it more clear? Congress is trying to limit change fees, and Parker basically says if they do that, he's not going to allow changes on non-refundables.

I absolutely support a new law lowering the maximum they charge - it's outrageous, and $200 is highway robbery. The only thing more outrageous are the comments by Parker.

Last edited by jk88usa; Sep 18, 18 at 9:36 pm
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Old Sep 18, 18, 9:35 pm
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Faulty observation in article: "Doing away with changes to nonrefundable fares would make airline flights more like baseball games or concerts, where customers aren’t typically reimbursed if they buy tickets and can’t use them. Carriers currently consider the ability to change a nonrefundable ticket as a service that carries a cost. Such fees, which run up to $200, anger many passengers."

Stubhub allows you to do just that....
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Old Sep 18, 18, 9:41 pm
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I think this is mostly an empty threat. Not allowing any changes to non-refundable tickets would:

A) put AA at a big competitive disadvantage relative to UA and DL and especially WN
B) lead people to book later, screwing up revenue management and likely lowering yields
C) increase "no shows" dramatically and further reduce yields and load factors as people who want to change but can't will likely not bother cancelling depriving AA of the ability to collect a change fee and resell the seat

I guess if the Big 3 all did this maybe it would stick, but doesn't seem likely.

That said, I don't think Congress should be regulating change fees. The government has a pretty poor track record when it comes to any kind of price control, especially when it comes to the airline industry.

The market will ultimately correct them in a far more efficient manner, although as someone who just paid 2 $200 change fees I kinda hope that happens sooner rather than later and in a sense it is, at least in my case, as I seem to flying Southwest more because I love the flexibility they in terms of changes.
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Old Sep 18, 18, 9:44 pm
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Originally Posted by jk88usa View Post
I absolutely support a new law lowering the maximum they charge - it's outrageous, and $200 is highway robbery. The only thing more outrageous are the comments by Parker.
But why is it outrageous to do away with changes altogether (especially if you find the change fees unacceptable to begin with)? This would basically align AA with a number of international carriers.
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Old Sep 18, 18, 9:53 pm
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Originally Posted by BillBurn View Post
The market will ultimately correct them in a far more efficient manner, although as someone who just paid 2 $200 change fees I kinda hope that happens sooner rather than later and in a sense it is, at least in my case, as I seem to flying Southwest more because I love the flexibility they in terms of changes.
Just like the market corrected atm fees? And convenience fees for buying tickets online?

Time will tell, but Iím betting the market correction will look like those Southwest changes costing you more. Unless, you know, the government does its job and tries to protect consumers.
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Old Sep 18, 18, 9:55 pm
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Originally Posted by Dwai View Post
Just like the market corrected atm fees?
I haven't paid an ATM fee in 10 years, so... yes, exactly.
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Old Sep 18, 18, 9:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Science Goy View Post
But why is it outrageous to do away with changes altogether (especially if you find the change fees unacceptable to begin with)? This would basically align AA with a number of international carriers.
While it may put them "on par" with international carriers - it further sinks AA in terms of reputation amongst US carriers. I hate paying $200 to change my flight - but if I need to do it, I will. A LOT cheaper than buying the refundable-not-really-refundable fare that Dougie is pushing in this article.

I guess what I mean has more to do with the ridiculous comments made by Parker and other folks who advocate the necessity of change fees - I'm not the biggest Southwest fanboy, but it sure works for them. When Parker suggests "we'd no longer be able to sell that seat" - it's simply rubbish. Why do they oversell in the first place then - it's all to make up for people who they expect not to show up.

I think a fee in the $50-100 is perfectly acceptable to me - and at least B6/AS start to get into that price realm. Hell, F9 only charges $99 (granted, good change your ticket was less than that anyway).
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Old Sep 18, 18, 10:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Dwai View Post
Just like the market corrected atm fees? And convenience fees for buying tickets online?

Time will tell, but Iím betting the market correction will look like those Southwest changes costing you more. Unless, you know, the government does its job and tries to protect consumers.
I hear you and maybe you're right, but the market does make corrections. I haven't paid an ATM fee in years because my bank rebates them. The response of many people to the high fees was to A) limit the number of withdrawals by increasing the amount per withdrawal B) using debit/credit cards for more purchases. This has led to decreased ATM transaction volume and seriously hurt the valuation of the once high-flying independent ATM networks (which wouldn't exist without the high fees).. So I would argue that while the fees remain high, the market has responded.

I think much the same would play out in the airline space and in a sense already is.

The government told everyone it was trying to protect consumers when it heavily regulated almost all aspects of airfares and air service for decades and fares were far higher on an inflation adjusted basis and choices were much fewer (although airline profits were quite robust!). Be careful what kind of "government protection" you wish for!
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Old Sep 18, 18, 10:26 pm
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I will go on record now as saying that if Dougie were ever to do something so ridiculously stupid as this it would be just enough to push me over the edge to never fly AA ever again. If DL and UA followed suit, I would move as much of my business over to WN (an airline I fly only under duress) as possible. This is just a thinly veiled by AA to ensure they continue to have the flexibility to extort more money from passengers by bending us over and giving it to us with fees. Meanwhile, AA crams more and more seats into their aircraft, continues to degrade their in-flight service and can't even get their planes in the air on-time as reliably as the other carriers. AA doesn't care about its passengers. All it cares about is making a buck. That's well within their right...as is my right to purchase services from an airline that at least tries to demonstrate that they value my business.
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Old Sep 18, 18, 10:56 pm
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I suspect that it would simply lead to graduated fees - unlike , ime , most markets domestically in the USA, seems that there is refundable/no change fee or non-refundable/$200 change fee

It might end up with lower fares having no change capability , but higher ones allowing changes at the new lower fee - if it did this, it might not be a bad thing

Of course, it could also try offsetting loss of fee levels by only permitting confirmed changes - no holding a value for a later date

Originally Posted by SOBE ER DOC View Post
AA doesn't care about its passengers. All it cares about is making a buck. That's well within their right...as is my right to purchase services from an airline that at least tries to demonstrate that they value my business.
It does value your business - it may, however, not value it as highly as you would like to it - it is just a business - of course what it cares about is making as high a profit as possible

If it did become a regulation that change fees were restricted, it would hardly be surprising if the airline took action to recoup revenue in another way - and would be surprised if the other airlines didn't do the same

Last edited by Dave Noble; Sep 18, 18 at 11:03 pm
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Old Sep 18, 18, 11:15 pm
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This is already the case. If you bought tickets that are under $200, then it is already nonrefundable/changeable. The change fee is greater than the value of the ticket.

People already speculate with airline tickets. And Flyertalk knows this, as some fliers many book far out and deliberately tight connections hoping for a schedule change to give them the flexibility needed on a restrictive fare.
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Old Sep 18, 18, 11:20 pm
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Originally Posted by jk88usa View Post
Where did you pick that up in my post? - seriously, not being condescending, do I need to make it more clear? Congress is trying to limit change fees, and Parker basically says if they do that, he's not going to allow changes on non-refundables.

I absolutely support a new law lowering the maximum they charge - it's outrageous, and $200 is highway robbery. The only thing more outrageous are the comments by Parker.
oh great...more government regulation of private industry. Because we all know how well more of THAT usually turns out.
do you favor government passing laws on minimum space between seats, too?
let the free market decide.
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Old Sep 18, 18, 11:21 pm
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Originally Posted by keitherson View Post
This is already the case. If you bought tickets that are under $200, then it is already nonrefundable/changeable. The change fee is greater than the value of the ticket.
Or if you buy domestic Basic Economy.
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