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Frequent Flyer Fees

Frequent Flyer Fees

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Old Sep 27, 09, 2:00 pm
  #1  
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Frequent Flyer Fees

Before I start calling every airline, I thought I would check on this board to see if anyone knows of any place where I could find all the possible fees listed for using miles. For instance, fees for booking by phone (which is usually necessary if using a partner airline), fees specifially because you are using a partner airline, fees for changing the date and/or time of the flight, for changing the flight, for redepositing miles, etc. (Many if not most of these fees probably also apply to paying for a ticket.) The reason that I ask is that I was stunned recently to learn that USAirways now charges $250 to change any part of a booking and if you have already taken the outbound flight and want to change your return, you can't! Not for any amount of money. You have to book a new ticket. So before I book my next ticket I want to find out this information about several airlines. Thank you.
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Old Sep 27, 09, 2:35 pm
  #2  
 
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Pretty much all of the airlines have tacked on fees, surcharges and other revenue enhancements to make your award travel no longer free. The only way to minimize these fees is to book far out in advance online and then don't make any changes and take the flights you booked, and don't check any bags.

Some airlines charge an additional fee if you don't book 21 or 14 days in advance, and as you mentioned charge to book the travel via the phone, plus they charge back any tax they can justify. Redepositing any unused travel also involves a charge. You might get a break if you hold elite status, but this varies. Oh, many airlines add fees as soon as they can come up with them, so I doubt you will find a comprehensive list anywhere.

The only alternative is to book Southwest award travel where the only charge is a security fee in the neighborhood of $10. No bag fees, no phone reservation fee, and no redeposit fee if you don't use either side of your reservation, but only domestic flights.
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Old Sep 27, 09, 7:46 pm
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Have you checked on airlines own websites?

Understandly the information is not in plain view... but if you go into the program rules section, pretty much you can find all the rules / fees listed, and under what circumstances, such fees are waived (for top tier elite for example, in AA's case.)

Virtually all legacy airlines have fees attached in claiming awards / changing awards. The only difference might be, some airlines are more reasonable than others.

Different types of awards with the SAME airline also have different rules, particularly related to allowable changes after ticketing, after travel started, etc. For example, United has different rules on award travel that is on United only, versus using partner airline. Ditto AA has drastically different rules on OneWorld award which many confuse it with the better-known All Partner award. (They are completely different award categories.)

If you really want to know, go to the websites of the airlines you are interested and look up the information from the airline itself - could be far more accurate and productive than calling...

Dont know what you try to accomplish by knowing ALL the rules of ALL airlines who offer awards... By the time you change programs, accumulate enough miles to claim award, the program could have changed on you a few times over!
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Old Sep 27, 09, 7:50 pm
  #4  
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It is worth noting that UAL has very recently dropped some of its redemption fees, notably, fees for close-in redemption of miles (less than 21 days before travel). Others still have these fees, AA Delta etc.

This makes United miles more valuable than they were before.
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Old Sep 27, 09, 8:21 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by biggestbopper View Post
It is worth noting that UAL has very recently dropped some of its redemption fees, notably, fees for close-in redemption of miles (less than 21 days before travel). Others still have these fees, AA Delta etc.

This makes United miles more valuable than they were before.
EXCEPT, it is still subject to Starnet blocking on partner airlines especially in premium cabins ...

Having better availability still would be the most important criteria, imo.
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Old Sep 27, 09, 9:18 pm
  #6  
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In my oppinion US Air is the Worst! $250 for TALT and if you cancel you will pay the fee and not be refunded various fees like using an agent.
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Old Sep 28, 09, 12:30 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by Happy View Post
Having better availability still would be the most important criteria, imo.
I don't disagree that better availabilty would be great ... but, I did save $200 using UAL instead of AA redemption for recent trip to Europe.

UAL had better availability and better connections.
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Old Sep 28, 09, 9:03 am
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Originally Posted by biggestbopper View Post
I don't disagree that better availabilty would be great ... but, I did save $200 using UAL instead of AA redemption for recent trip to Europe.

UAL had better availability and better connections.
Depends on where a person lives.

UAL completely abandon South Florida so to me UAL does not work. I have $1800 UAL credit at this moment that I dont know

The OP needs to look at his own situation and pick a program or programs based on factors more than just the fee structure.
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Old Oct 4, 09, 10:19 am
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i just booked an impromtu trip using Delta Skymiles for this coming weekend and was shocked and upset to see they are charging me a fee of $100 per ticket since I am booking only a week out. This costs them no additional money (ie labor) than if I booked it 3 weeks or more out. I am probably actually doing them a favor but they simply take advantage b/c they can. I used to love Delta (mosly b/c of Song when it existed) but have had some challenges with them over the past few years so I am ready to move on. Luckily, this has burned through the last of my Delta Skymiles so I will now try United & Continential to see if they are any better.
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Old Oct 4, 09, 11:39 am
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jrd8278, With regards to DL, I would have signed up for the DL Platinum Amex for $150 annual fee. You would have gotten 5,000 MQMs + whatever RDM bonuses are out there right now (at least 30,000 or so) and that $100 close-in award fee would have been waived. Pays for itself pretty quickly if you do close-in award booking.

If, after a year, you no longer want to pay the annual fee you can convert it into a no annual fee card (that earns fewer miles per $ spent, of course).
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