Trying to get change fee negotiated down

Old Dec 2, 19, 12:54 pm
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Trying to get change fee negotiated down

I have a JFK-PDX flight coming up which I want to push back for some personal reasons, but the cheapest DL is offering is $400 for a non-ideal date. I've heard stories of people getting change fees waived (I know it's nothing to expect) and am wondering if there's something I should do (maybe just HUCA until success?). I've never been given a waiver for a change fee so there's no "black marks" against my record in this regard.

I know the policy, I know I'm not due any waiver, I'm just checking if it's worth it to keeping trying until something better is offered.

Thanks
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Old Dec 2, 19, 1:11 pm
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book the flight that you want to take before it gets even more expensive, and hope for a weather waiver or schedule change that will allow you to cancel your original flight for a full refund ... if no weather waiver is in the cards in the last ~12 hours before scheduled departure, cancel the reservation anyway; when you try to apply the e-credit to a future booking, the system will deduct the $200 fee

Last edited by jrl767; Dec 2, 19 at 1:40 pm Reason: clarify that "cancel" applies to OP's original JFK-PDX booking
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Old Dec 2, 19, 1:12 pm
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Delta is charging you both a change fee and the fare difference. This is why the dates matter. I have gotten them to waive the change fee when the fare difference is significant but in you case it looks like The total of the fare change and change fee comes to 400. I wouldn’t count on a waiver. If you don’t care when you go you can cancel pay the change fee and look for a cheaper flight which could be less than your original ticket. You might be able to get them to waive the change fee but the fare difference I have never gotten them to waive
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Old Dec 2, 19, 2:44 pm
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Sometimes upgrading to comfort or FC is a higher fare but the change fee is waived. YMMV. Be as sweet as pie on the phone to the agent, ask about their Thanksgiving and ask for a one-time courtesy.
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Old Dec 2, 19, 2:52 pm
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If you get out of the ASC (change fee) on this, you will be lucky. The very nature of "push back for some personal reasons" is why they charge change fees to begin with.

I have had change fees waived on pilots strike, IROPS, and wanted to change a return after they preformed miserable on the outbound (definitely a favor type of waiver).

As others said, wait for a change on their part to get the change you want....really even then it will be better to talk them into a refund a rebuy.
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Old Dec 2, 19, 3:05 pm
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Just call and ask. There is no magic answer and no way to predict what the outcome will be in your case.

Make it short, polite, and to the point. Phone agents don't want to hear anyone's life story and they are either going to waive the fee or not.

As others note, the standard domestic change fee is $200, so it sounds as though the fare difference is the other $200. You might also consider looking for dates and flights (and routings) where the fare is the same or lower than you paid and thus save yourself the $200.
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Old Dec 2, 19, 3:26 pm
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Originally Posted by sydneyracquelle View Post
Sometimes upgrading to comfort or FC is a higher fare but the change fee is waived.
This only works when you are upgrading the same flights that you are currently on. When upgrading to a different flight, the standard $200 change fee + difference in fare still apply.
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Old Dec 2, 19, 3:35 pm
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When are you scheduled to fly?

You can also wait to see if weather or a schedule change comes into play which opens up many more (free) possibilities.
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Old Dec 2, 19, 5:12 pm
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What is this "black marks" stuff? Having a change fee waived doesn't count against you does it?
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Old Dec 2, 19, 6:36 pm
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Originally Posted by jackvogt View Post
What is this "black marks" stuff? Having a change fee waived doesn't count against you does it?
If you get the change fee waived 10 times, each time because your grandma died, they might start to get suspicious about how many times the same person can die. An exaggeration, of course. But in general, if you have a history of asking for special exceptions due to extenuating circumstances, you might well get a note in your file.
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Old Dec 2, 19, 9:08 pm
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I successfully did this last summer, but only because my original flight was overbooked and they were willing to pay me to give up my seat -- they probably would have given me about 400 in compensation, but this cost them nothing.

Originally Posted by danielvdm View Post
I have a JFK-PDX flight coming up which I want to push back for some personal reasons, but the cheapest DL is offering is $400 for a non-ideal date. I've heard stories of people getting change fees waived (I know it's nothing to expect) and am wondering if there's something I should do (maybe just HUCA until success?). I've never been given a waiver for a change fee so there's no "black marks" against my record in this regard.

I know the policy, I know I'm not due any waiver, I'm just checking if it's worth it to keeping trying until something better is offered.

Thanks
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Old Dec 2, 19, 10:11 pm
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Originally Posted by kjnangre View Post
If you get the change fee waived 10 times, each time because your grandma died, they might start to get suspicious about how many times the same person can die. An exaggeration, of course. But in general, if you have a history of asking for special exceptions due to extenuating circumstances, you might well get a note in your file.
Funny thing is DL doesnt even ask for the name of the person who died. They ask for a hospital/funeral home and their phone number. However no name is asked to verify. (Just helped someone with this very thing)
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Old Dec 2, 19, 11:29 pm
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
Funny thing is DL doesnt even ask for the name of the person who died. They ask for a hospital/funeral home and their phone number. However no name is asked to verify. (Just helped someone with this very thing)
I've been asked for the name when I've had to make changes due to a hospitalization of a family member.

Once I got very lucky to even be able to make the change as 2/4 of us were on a Y companion cert.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 6:18 am
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United asked a death certificate.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 6:39 am
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Originally Posted by Ilove2fly View Post
United asked a death certificate.
Not to sidetrack this thread about Delta, but I was not asked for a death certificate in 2017. Only the deceased name, relationship to me, funeral home name and phone number. I was shocked it was that easy. My request was (unfortunately) legitimate and I was shocked with how nice United was about it.

I also had AA flights booked the same week. AA was very much the same way as UA; however, they sent a hand-written sympathy note and I will never forget it. I believe it was sent from AA Cares (or something like that).

Back to the topic, I have had Delta waive change fees twice (never a difference in fare though) by briefly explaining the situation and being blunt about asking for a waiver. Iím always incredibly friendly in good times and during bad (IRROPS, etc.) It goes a long way. Agents are people too and I find with most airlines that theyíll bend the rules when the request is succinct, clearly understandable, and reasonable. I think reasonable is the key word.

Good luck!
Chris
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Last edited by geckoflyer; Dec 3, 19 at 6:45 am
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