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{prem fare gone}: AF/KL/DL/VS: BUD-US from $750 R/T

Old Mar 15, 20, 11:29 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: Maestro Ramen
FARE RULES:
I pulled down the DL fare rules (these are BUD-SEA but they all appeared nearly identical). I posted them on a share. We can easily grab the AF and KL variants if others need those.

Q: This is a fully flexible fare with free changes. Does that mean I can change the flight dates as I want without paying anything extra?
A: No. The airline simply doesn't charge a change fee. But depending on the fare rules, you will still need to pay the difference to the new price.

Q: But I read that some people could change their flights for free...?
A: The rules for this fare (linked to above) specify that historical pricing shall be used if either at least one flight from the ticket has been taken or the outbound remains the same. In other words, in order to be able to change your flights for free, you must have flown at least one flight from your booking. Otherwise, you can only change the inbound. The outbound has to remain the same or you will be charged the fare difference.

Q: Can I change the rest of the itinerary after flying the first segment without any other charges or additional fare differences?
A: Yes this is possible according to the fare rules where after completing the first segment, you can change the rest of the flights for free (with the condition that the same fare class is available- I-class - in this case. According to the fare rules, after flying the FIRST segment (in the case here BUD-XXX) the historical fare is used. Possible to use the first stopover at AMS or CDG (see post #830).

Q: But some people could change their outbound flights for free!
A: They got lucky. It was probably a bug on the website/in the app. When no flight from the ticket has been flown, the fare rules do not allow changing the outbound without repricing.

Q: Ok, ok, so I can only change the inbound for free. How do I do that?
A: You search for availability for alternative flights on ITA Matrix using "F ..I2FFHU" in the extension codes. You must search for round trip flights as this is a round trip fare. Then you ignore the outbound result (as long as you haven't flown at least one flight from your ticket) and just try to rebook your inbound on the website/app.

Q: I have found availability on ITA Matrix, but the app/website doesn't show me those flights!
A: Keep trying. Sometimes you may have to serach in a different way (split up the searches, e.g. HNL-LAX and LAX-BUD), sometimes you just have to repeat the search several times. But that's no guarantee the desired results will turn up (and without repricing).

Q: It doesn't work. Can I just call the airline to make the changes?
A: Please don't unless you need to. Calling can increase the risk for all of us that they'll change their mind and disallow all further changes, or simply cancel everyone's tickets. However, as this fare has now been running for months and has seen many calls made about it, it is reasonable to expect that calling will not cause issues at this stage. As best practice, avoid attracting attention on the low price paid, and avoid making additional demands or tempting your luck. Remember you get to fly a J ticket for the cost of a Y fare.

Q: How many times can I make changes?
A: In theory, as often as you like, but you can't make more than two changes online/in the app. After that, you'd have to call, which we are trying to avoid.

Q: I've changed my mind. Can I get a refund?
A: Yes, the fare was fully refundable. Just contact the airline or fill out a refund form online.

Q: Due to Coronavirus, I need to extend my travel plan beyond the original expiry date. What can I do?
A: For Delta tickets (starting with 006) you can travel at any point until December 2022. Changes to flights within a 10 month window can be done at any point on the app, following the rules above. If you want to fly later than 10 months from now, you can call Delta and ask them to "park" your ticket. You will receive a ticket number that ties to an eCredit which can be used later to buy tickets. As long as you keep the original itinerary, or if you have flown at least a segment, you will not be charged a fare difference. Bear in mind that the eCredit may only be refundable if your original flight was cancelled (which is very likely in those day and times). Note that only Delta in the US are able to do this so do not call the EU numbers (use Skype to save money on international calls). According to user feedback: iMessage agents seem to also be able to do this, but twitter agents not.
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{prem fare gone}: AF/KL/DL/VS: BUD-US from $750 R/T

Old Dec 13, 20, 6:09 am
  #2221  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
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Changed my Delta stock ticket on iMessage again already for the 4th time (from June 20 to September 20 to February 21 and now to June 21). No issues at all, I gave my desired dates +- 2 days and agent found I availability pretty quickly. Delta is great during these times!
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Old Dec 14, 20, 3:15 am
  #2222  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
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Originally Posted by fridgy View Post
you have to dial czech number and do not hit a number for speaking english. You should get connected to the czech line with czech people who can of course speak english as well. good luck
Unfortunately, my experience with czech AF 'customer' service was awful. Not a single one of them has been helpful or even friendly. They thread you like a piece of .... and even called me names in one of their mails.
I was only successful with an US-agent from DL. I was super surprised how friendly they are. It was a good feeling to know that there is somebody who is listening to your issue.

My advice: Try to go via (US) Delta instead of this awful Czech AF service.
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Old Dec 14, 20, 5:07 pm
  #2223  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Programs: Flying Blue Plat, Eurobonus Silver
Posts: 844
Hello all,

I'm in a bit of a pickle here, and would appreciate advice after going round in circles with Delta. (I did not read through the entire 146p so I do apologize for things I have missed)

1) I have 006 stock tickets bought directly with Delta, BUD-LAX-BUD, booked 14th March, outbound date 26th Dec, AF/KL metal only.

2) What I really WANT to do is rebook them for next Christmas instead. From my memories of this thread this should have been possible to do by cancelling the flights, then reinstating them later on when the booking window opens. (Lufthansa were able to do this for me very easily for cancelled flights in November, so that I can take them in Nov next year, despite those actually being non flex...)

I also happen to want to do BUD-LAX-BHX if possible, which again I believe should be possible going by this thread.

If this is not possible I'm prepared to take the flights in September instead, which is bookable now. But I would like the fare to stay refundable because I have no confidence in the situation being fully safe yet then.

3) After a 70mns wait, I got through the UK delta number, which as you all know is AF/KL and they directed me to contact Delta instead.

4) I tried to skimp on international calls to the US by contacting Delta on Twitter, and I've had a nightmare chat that lasted 2 hours and talked to 6 different agents, none of which could answer my questions correctly or got everything wrong (best moment: Sorry we do not operate BUD-BHX flights); every single agent simply switched me to another agent (without saying sorry or goodbye) after I pointed out my questions were not being answered.

After mucho simplification of my questions and giving up on BHX completely for the sake of my own sanity, in the end Delta told me my options are this:
* Get a refund now
* Get a NON-REFUNDABLE eCredit that I can use before 2022, with NO GUARANTEE I can keep the historic pricing (all agents are adamant it will reprice).
* After I proposed doing a rebooking instead, they said I can change to a NON FLEX fare now, and if I do so I must travel before Nov 21. If I choose to keep a flex fare it will reprice.

6)I came back to this thread while waiting (should have done so beforehand ) and tried my luck with the 6th agent by posting the Bulletin 6 link from above (https://pro.delta.com/content/agency...etin-6---.html) and tellling them to have a read and that I believed this entitled me to waive repricing for rebooking me in Sept.

7) I've been now been told this: "Your original fare is refundable and changeable. The new fare will also be fully refundable. However, you will be responsible for the difference in fare. With a schedule change, we can re-book you for the next available date with no charges (or offer a refund) however, to change the date entirely, you would have to cover the difference in fare. Please continue to stand by, I am confirming the availability of the fare via KLM. "

So here I am now, still waiting after 2:15 hours... to get a reprice which I feel already will not be satisfactory

Please tell me folks, if there is a way I can move this to Dec 21 and not Sept 21, can you point me to the post in this thread that gives the correct steps?

Feels like should hang up Twitter and call the US number for gold medallion line (will they let me, I'm FB gold, but no DL status).
Maestro Ramen is offline  
Old Dec 14, 20, 6:11 pm
  #2224  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Programs: Flying Blue Plat, Eurobonus Silver
Posts: 844
And of course the answer was this:

Okay, the new fare is $5035.85 per passenger. To make this change, you would be responsible for $4213.45 per passenger. ​​​​​​​



So I've now forsaken Twitter and caught up with everything that has been written since August... Sounds like should ask to speak to a "rate agent" and see if they can "Park" my ticket...
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Old Dec 14, 20, 7:06 pm
  #2225  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Programs: Flying Blue Plat, Eurobonus Silver
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....and after calling the delta platinum line (yes, it's one level above my grade I'm sorry!), I got exactly what the twitter agents were incapable of understanding/explaining/doing!

Like most people have advised on this thread, I have "parked" the tickets as e-credit, and I will be able to use them until 2022 and shall I decide I want a refund I will also be able to obtain one (apparently because my flight was cancelled, in excellent timing this very day today )

If I use them on the same itinerary it will of course be free of charge, unlike the $4k p/p the incompetent tweeter tried to charge me.

Took her about 5 minutes! (After a 15mn wait to get the line). I recorded the call for good measure, but it looks legit.

Thank you very much to everyone for the multiple comments on the thread. It was very useful reading and doing so before the call would actually have saved me some time
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Old Dec 15, 20, 4:35 am
  #2226  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
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Originally Posted by Maestro Ramen View Post
....and after calling the delta platinum line (yes, it's one level above my grade I'm sorry!), I got exactly what the twitter agents were incapable of understanding/explaining/doing!

Like most people have advised on this thread, I have "parked" the tickets as e-credit, and I will be able to use them until 2022 and shall I decide I want a refund I will also be able to obtain one (apparently because my flight was cancelled, in excellent timing this very day today )

If I use them on the same itinerary it will of course be free of charge, unlike the $4k p/p the incompetent tweeter tried to charge me.

Took her about 5 minutes! (After a 15mn wait to get the line). I recorded the call for good measure, but it looks legit.

Thank you very much to everyone for the multiple comments on the thread. It was very useful reading and doing so before the call would actually have saved me some time
Good that you got sorted. To clear up a few things from your various posts:
  • I think any option involving BHX that you didn't already have ought to have been repriced, so don't think you missed out there.
  • Cancellations should allow you to invoke EU261 for the time of your choosing, but I'm not surprised the airlines are making you rebook at the time rather than parking the itinerary indefinitely. I did the same, as I am unsure when I will use one trip and I'm looking to use the other a year later - so neither could be rebooked at time of parking [don't think I had any cancellations on record when I did park]. I suspect EU261 and derived precedents are silent on delaying beyond the booking calendar - most people would just change routing on the same day and very few be uncertain if they can travel at all for 11/12 months ahead.
  • Strange that the UK Delta number wouldn't deal with it - they're AF/KL agents but they're there for DL customers...? Or did they just not want to use the bulletin?
  • Skype for US/International customer service numbers is the best way - you might need credit but not much.
  • Not sure if Twitter and iMessage are different teams - the worst issue I had with the latter was an agent who went away and found Bulletin 6 off their own back when I mentioned the process, all others seem to have known it comprehensively.
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Old Dec 15, 20, 5:24 am
  #2227  
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 22
Originally Posted by UVAhoo06 View Post
I didn't actually call the Philippines call center directly. When I called the US number for AF, I reached the Philippines center during the afternoon (around 3:00 or 4:00 PM EDT). During the evenings (after 9:00 PM EDT), I seemed to be directed to a call center in Chile. While not my experience (at least thus far), a previous poster mentioned having some challenges with the folks at the Philippines call center. You might want to change the time for when you call. I realize that 9:00 PM EDT is very, very early morning in the UK. if DL is willing to take over the ticket because you have a DL-operated segment that has been impacted by this cancellation/schedule change, another possibility is to contact the DL Singapore call center. In my personal experience, that call center is one of the most helpful and experienced call centers in the entire DL network -- and generally speaking, they go by the book, which is what it sounds like you're seeking (because the bulletin/waiver is in play).

Let us know how it goes!
Have being trying different options, including calling the AF US number around 8pm EDT and calling the Delta Czech number with the non-English option. None of them has worked so far. They all insist that it's only free to change within 30 days but anything beyond that will require fare difference. Think my only option is to reference EC 261/2004 at them in an email now.
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Old Dec 15, 20, 5:33 am
  #2228  
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
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Originally Posted by fridgy View Post
you have to dial czech number and do not hit a number for speaking english. You should get connected to the czech line with czech people who can of course speak english as well. good luck
Thanks for the suggestion - unfortunately, it didn't work for me
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Old Dec 16, 20, 3:02 am
  #2229  
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Had to cancel my ticket and the money was refunded in 2 working days on AF.
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Old Dec 16, 20, 8:23 am
  #2230  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Just rebooked my Delta ticket for a second time, called US number via Skype.

First time rebooking last August: Not restricted to booking class I and no need to have DL coded flights (nice!)
Second time rebooking: Booking needed to be in booking class I and agent strongly preferred me choosing DL-coded flights. Still very very nice and knowledgeable agent. Together we found DL-coded routing in I-class via London which I am very happy with!

Dealing with Delta in the US has been very very smooth!
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Old Dec 16, 20, 4:16 pm
  #2231  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
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I had the booking done with Delta originally (on 006 ticket stock) for dates in July 2020. Routing was BUD-AMS-LHR overnight-SEA-PDX PDX-SEA stopover-LHR stopover-CDG-BUD. Most of the flights were predictably cancelled, when I called in to rebook for December they took my dates and changed the booking accordingly (routing was exactly the same).

However, at the same time, they changed ticket stock to KLM (074). Now I waited until one of the flights was cancelled and called Delta to cancel the booking entirely. Delta agents said they passed ownership of this ticket to KLM and are no longer responsible for it. KLM predictably said that from their p.o.v. the ticket was booked via Delta, and only Delta may refund me. To make things more fun, KLM said the ticket is not valid, likely because it wasn't properly reissued in July.

I submitted a refund request to Delta using old ticket numbers - their system conveniently doesn't accept the "reissued" ones because they are on KL stock. Waiting for their response but I am seriously considering to do a chargeback.
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Old Dec 20, 20, 10:09 am
  #2232  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 144
it seems that KLM now has a new travel policy in place (updated 16 Dec) that no longer mentions "fare difference waived for the same fare class" in case of changing to a new departure date 30 days after your original departure date. The KLM website seems to now only say :
  • Is your new travel date 30 days before or after your original travel date? Then you can rebook for free within the same travel class (Economy Class or Business Class). However, outside of the period mentioned above, a fare difference might apply.
I tried calling the KLM US toll free number and the agent would absolutely not waive the fare difference for our ticket from BUD-AMS-ATL-STX even though we have found dates with availability in the same fare class - i.e. "I".

Do you guys have any tips on how to proceed? Our original departure date is scheduled for next week...
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Old Dec 20, 20, 10:13 am
  #2233  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
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Same here with delta. I called a lot of delta offices around the world and used iMessage to ask for a change for next year July. They all told me that class to class does not apply anymore as there is now bulletin 10 which they have to follow. This would result in a fare difference of around 3000. As my BUD-AMS flight was scheduled for today I decided to cancel this trip.
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Old Dec 20, 20, 10:15 am
  #2234  
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
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Originally Posted by hkgg View Post
it seems that KLM now has a new travel policy in place (updated 16 Dec) that no longer mentions "fare difference waived for the same fare class" in case of changing to a new departure date 30 days after your original departure date. The KLM website seems to now only say :
  • Is your new travel date 30 days before or after your original travel date? Then you can rebook for free within the same travel class (Economy Class or Business Class). However, outside of the period mentioned above, a fare difference might apply.
I tried calling the KLM US toll free number and the agent would absolutely not waive the fare difference for our ticket from BUD-AMS-ATL-STX even though we have found dates with availability in the same fare class - i.e. "I".

Do you guys have any tips on how to proceed? Our original departure date is scheduled for next week...
Have u got any cancelled Legs? I assume not, right?

I'd suggest to wait and skip the flight.
I wonder what happens then. Either they will rebook you without any problems without fare difference or you'll be able to get a 100% refund.

Unfortunately I'll have to try the same as I got no cancelled legs.

Is there probably any1 here who had exact that situation before?
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Old Dec 20, 20, 11:45 am
  #2235  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
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Originally Posted by Loualex1399 View Post
Same here with delta. I called a lot of delta offices around the world and used iMessage to ask for a change for next year July. They all told me that class to class does not apply anymore as there is now bulletin 10 which they have to follow. This would result in a fare difference of around 3000. As my BUD-AMS flight was scheduled for today I decided to cancel this trip.
Plug the right details in here and Bulletin 6 still applies - this chart suggests that 10 is for new bookings. It looks like it's similar to 9 - merely the formalisation of the "no change fees" stance - but it's unhelpfully backdated so that it appears to apply to bookings which fall under the more generous 6.

Unfortunately for you, agents got the wrong thing. I'll certainly be fighting to keep this one if needed. I've already parked my tickets so would be arguing that any changes after 5/6 which were current when I parked them are irrelevant, though as I've mentioned thus far my agents have known of the policy and been excellent.

For those dealing with AF/KL I think the website has always had essentially that on - nothing explicit about more generous rebookings. The best it ever said was "same fare available', which is ambiguous at best. Anything more explicit was hidden in trade docs and the like, which seem to be harder to get than the DL ones.
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