Opaque nature of change fees

Reply

Old Mar 20, 19, 1:56 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: UK London / Salisbury
Programs: BA GGL, CCR, LTG
Posts: 483
Opaque nature of change fees

This must be some kind of a record...

Flying tomorrow BOS-LHR on the early morning (08.40) departure with further LHR-DXB-LHR-BOS segments on the ticket. Booked in Club in a discounted fare bucket. Probably R but can't easily find the info. Change in schedule means I will now be spending tonight in NYC, hence, it would be much easier to take the JFK-LHR service just after 9am. Asked the GGL to quote for changing it: "The Club World fare you are currently on has a '7 day advanced purchase' so if you changed the first flight now it would be a huge additional collection of approximately USD12,522 plus the USD500 change fee"

That has to be some kind of a record! the JFK flight tomorrow has availability in all fare buckets apart from I class. The frustration is that when you book, you never have a clue what the cost of making a change will be. Sometimes it's not a lot. Sometimes, like this, it's astronomical! Frustratingly, based upon previous experience, I reckon there is an 80%+ chance the JFK staff would just put me on their flight at no cost, but I can't take the risk they won't so its the 6am LGA-BOS flight for me to make sure I make the BA Boston departure. Oh well....sets his alarm for 04.15hrs...
brentford77 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 20, 19, 2:00 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Leeds, UK
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, GfL, HH Diamond
Posts: 24,962
The availability for the 0905 departure from JFK on 21 March is

JFK 9:05a → LHR 7:50p
F2 A1 J9 C3 D0 R0 I0 W9 E0 T0 Y9 B9 H9 K9 M9 L7 V4 S1 N1 Q0 O0 G9

you can find out what your selling class is by going in to MMB, clicking on the flight, then clicking on “more flight details”. You should get a pop up which shows selling class towards the bottom.
KARFA is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 20, 19, 2:06 pm
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Leeds, UK
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, GfL, HH Diamond
Posts: 24,962
Just realised US POS may be more relevant in your case (above is UK POS). Here is the US POS for that flight

JFK 9:05a → LHR 7:50p
F2 A1 J9 C3 D3 R2 I0 W9 E1 T0 Y9 B9 H8 K6 M3 L0 V0 S0 N0 Q0 O0 G9
KARFA is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 20, 19, 2:12 pm
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: UK London / Salisbury
Programs: BA GGL, CCR, LTG
Posts: 483
Thanks Karfa, yes, understood. Not easy to achieve when away from a laptop and working off Iphone. But the issue remains that even once in possession of the booking class, one is still not much the wiser about what will be involved in changing the flight. I often change routings on European tickets: e.g. last week I changed a LGW-GOA into an LHR-ZRH for about £175 which seemed reasonable and proportionate. But you never have a clue until you ask the question which if done by phone invariably involves a length hold whilst they send the query down to fares! And $13k to fly a sililar route an hour later did seem a tad over the top!
brentford77 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 20, 19, 2:46 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: JAX
Programs: Former BA/AA/CP/LY employee, BA Executive Club Blue, IHG Platinum, Samsung Platinum
Posts: 2,697
By changing the first flight, you're effectively making a new booking, so pricing your new itinerary as if making a new booking online can give an idea of what the new fare will be. It's not foolproof, but it's a good place to start.
pennineuk, orbitmic and Anonba like this.
JAXBA is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 20, 19, 3:06 pm
  #6  
Moderator, Iberia Airlines, Airport Lounges, and Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
2019 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold; Flying Blue Life Platinum; LH Sen.; Hilton Diamond; Kemal Kebabs Prized Customer
Posts: 37,631
And a booking class is not the same as a fare basis. All a booking class availability does is open up a suite of fares, via one or more fare basis, and this where the rules and change conditions all sit. If it is R0 it just shuts off the suite, and what is in that suite is in any case date / availability dependent. So the fact that your ticket is in R says almost nothing about what you can expect in this situation. RLW8E7S2 on the other hand is far more informative.
corporate-wage-slave is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 20, 19, 4:09 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: London
Programs: Mucci. Nothing else matters.
Posts: 34,759
Originally Posted by brentford77 View Post
Flying tomorrow BOS-LHR on the early morning (08.40) departure with further LHR-DXB-LHR-BOS segments on the ticket. Booked in Club in a discounted fare bucket. Probably R but can't easily find the info. Change in schedule means I will now be spending tonight in NYC, hence, it would be much easier to take the JFK-LHR service just after 9am. Asked the GGL to quote for changing it: "The Club World fare you are currently on has a '7 day advanced purchase' so if you changed the first flight now it would be a huge additional collection of approximately USD12,522 plus the USD500 change fee"

That has to be some kind of a record! the JFK flight tomorrow has availability in all fare buckets apart from I class. The frustration is that when you book, you never have a clue what the cost of making a change will be.
If you'd asked here beforehand, you would have been told the principle in a few minutes: The kind of change that you wanted to make involves changing the first fare component before departure. Therefore you would have to be re-fared to the current fares for your new itinerary, as if bought for the first time now, with advance purchase measured from now until the departure of the first flight in the new itinerary. In other words, you'd be looking at paying what is basically a walk-up ticket at a fare with no (or almost no) advance purchase requirement. You don't have to be very experienced in this game to know that that is going to be hugely expensive.

All of this is clearly set out in the fare rules. Advice about this is given out here almost on a daily basis. There is nothing opaque about what is going on. With a few more minutes, some of us can work out the exact numbers, assuming that you are talking about published fares that can be accessed using public tools.
orbitmic and Bullswood like this.
Globaliser is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 20, 19, 5:47 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: In the air
Programs: BA Gold, Marriott Amb, Hilton Diamond, AMEX Plat
Posts: 5,596
Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
All of this is clearly set out in the fare rules. Advice about this is given out here almost on a daily basis. There is nothing opaque about what is going on. With a few more minutes, some of us can work out the exact numbers, assuming that you are talking about published fares that can be accessed using public tools.
I don't think that's quite fair. While you couldn't call fare changes "secretive", the fact you can't just look at your booking email and find out clear rules means it's entirely fair to call them opaque, I think.
Kgmm77, konagirl2, abligh and 1 others like this.
EuropeanPete is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 20, 19, 6:03 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: LCY/DUB
Posts: 2,788
Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
There is nothing opaque about what is going on. With a few more minutes, some of us can work out the exact numbers, assuming that you are talking about published fares that can be accessed using public tools.
I don’t know what your definition of opaque is, but I’m not sure that a process that is understood by a subset of members on an enthusiasts website who require access to a third party subscription based database to get the answer to a fairly simple ask (changing one flight) makes much of a case for the defence.

Actually, on reflection, I’m being too generous. Claiming that airline ticketing and particularly post-purchase changes is anything other than opaque is quite frankly preposterous (Ryanair, Easyjet and most LCCs excepted).
Kgmm77 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 20, 19, 6:18 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 109
Lol

On opaqueness: the OP wants to make a change to the first flight before travel. Almost like a new booking, is the answer.

But, take one leg and then want to change? A whole new system of nicer rules. Go figure.

Just make sure you get your changes ticketed. A ‘confirmed reservation’ is not a confirmed reservation.

Kgmm77 likes this.
Davidjonesk is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 20, 19, 8:59 pm
  #11  
Moderator: British Airways Executive Club
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Programs: Battleaxe Alliance
Posts: 20,812
I don't think it's that complicated actually.

A few simple "rules":

- If you book an I class with advance purchase requirements, and if you want to change the first sector close to date, it can be cheaper to throw it away and make a new booking.

- Watch out for that advance purchase requirement. Always pay attention to it before you proceed. Paid service not required - ITA Matrix would tell you for free. Even a dork like me can use it.

- Change fees mean change fees. It does not include the fare difference.

- Don't be surprised at the fare difference. It's often quite a phenomenal amount
orbitmic, JAXBA, geronimo and 1 others like this.

Last edited by LTN Phobia; Mar 21, 19 at 4:11 am
LTN Phobia is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 20, 19, 9:33 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Sydney, Nova Scotia
Posts: 367
"The frustration is that when you book, you never have a clue what the cost of making a change will be".

You do if you book on BA.com. If you use an agent, you'll have to take that up with them, I'd suggest.
Bullswood is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 20, 19, 10:15 pm
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Hong Kong
Programs: FB AF Silver, BA Gold
Posts: 10,974
I find the title of this thread misleading. The administrative change fee is always clearly stated (I guess $500 in your case).

What is always uncertain is what is the reprice that will be applied. And no one can know ahead of time on any airline.It also fully dependent on your exact fare basis as explained by c-w-s.
brunos is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 20, 19, 10:47 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Sydney, Nova Scotia
Posts: 367
"What is always uncertain is what is the reprice that will be applied. And no one can know ahead of time on any airline."

In BA's defence, that's not quite true, at least as far as knowing the procedure which will apply to establish the new fare. I usually find BA.com quite clear on the re-pricing conditions for changes & cancellations in the blurb at time of booking. Assuming we're talking about restricted fare categories which do allow changes, and if you look, it will either specify re-pricing at whatever equal or higher fare is available for the new flight and date, which is usually the case for changes made before the first sector is flown, or for mid-journey changes made after the first sector, re-pricing will often be to the historic fare at time of first booking (in other words possibly no fare difference if the same fare category is available). This is of course in addition to any admin fee to do the change, the "change fee".

Where I do find BA.com bit less user-friendly to the uninitiated is when it specifies a "change fee" in one paragraph and then a bit further down in the small print you find (at the end of a different condition & without sentence break) "changes at any time changes not permitted." Not well written but has been like that for years!

Last edited by Bullswood; Mar 21, 19 at 12:30 am Reason: typo
Bullswood is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 21, 19, 12:18 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Kiev, Ukraine
Programs: Mucci, BA Gold, PS, HHonors Lifetime Diamond
Posts: 5,870
Originally Posted by brentford77 View Post
The frustration is that when you book, you never have a clue what the cost of making a change will be. Sometimes it's not a lot. Sometimes, like this, it's astronomical!
You do know what it will cost to change or cancel (if possible for both) when you make a booking on ba.com or via a BA call centre. If you make a booking with a travel agent then they should have advised you about the fare rules. If your frustration is with the fact that you never know in advance what a specific new routing will cost in addition to any penalty then, I am afraid, it is simply impossible to list prices for all possible itineraries that you might change to. It all depends upon real time availability, fare rules etc. Ba.com can't simply display a notice that if you decide to change the first segment a day prior to departure it will cost you GBP12,000 for example. It is one of many possible changes that a passenger can request. The basic amount (the penalty) is always known but what the new itinerary following the requested changes will cost will always only be known when you request the change.
Andriyko is online now  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread