Fare went down -- no credit back?

 
Old Jan 6, 08, 10:45 pm
  #1  
ET
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Fare went down -- no credit back?

It's been awhile since I've flown NWA or had to deal with NWA. Recently I bought tickets on NWA for my parents to attend a wedding. Since the purchase, the fare has decreased by $20 per ticket. I thought I could request the difference back in the form of an NWA credit voucher or something like that without a cost -- but I was told there is a $50 administrative fee. Is this right, or do I need to talk to someone (I asked via email, and got a canned type of reply)? I could have sworn I did this in the past without a fee --- but maybe it was on a different airline or it was before all the recent airline "enhancements". Of course, with a $50 fee, who is going to request a fare decrease under $50?
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Old Jan 6, 08, 11:13 pm
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Our corporate travel policy document has a summary of each airline's non-refundable ticket policies. Found this for Northwest:

Any difference in fare when changing travel plans will be the responsibility of the traveler. If the new itinerary has a higher fare, the fare difference will be collected along with the change fees. If the new itinerary has a lower fare than the original ticket, the administration fee may be deducted from the difference in fares. If there is excess value left after deducting the fee, then a credit voucher will be issued for the residual amount less any fees, which may be applied toward the purchase of future travel on Northwest.

Have also read that NWA charges $25 administrative fee per ticket on the credit voucher (even if 2 tickets are puchased together - they try and charge $50). Like you, I have always been able to get a voucher free of charge for any fare differences after booking, but have only done so on AA and DL (and with ff status backing me up). That it says "may be deducted" tells me that if you get to the right person you can get it waived.
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Old Jan 6, 08, 11:14 pm
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You must be thinking of a different airline (or possibly of NW quite some time ago). NW's policy is, indeed as it was explained to you, and it's been that way for quite a few years now.

On the bright side, they don't make you pay extra if the fare goes up after you bought the tickets.
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Old Jan 6, 08, 11:45 pm
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Fares change every day. Price is a function of capacity, actual load, projected load, and a number of other factors that change multiple times a day. Based on this, the prices you see change. Seats on an airplane are just like any other futures market - sometimes you get a good deal, sometimes you don't, but whatever you locked in at is what you locked in at.

The only thing that I can think of that you might be thinking of that may have confused you is the NWA.com best fare guarantee, which says that if you find a better fare on the same flight and date they will give you a credit - used to be difference + $50, now it's difference + $100. http://www.nwa.com/features/bestfare2.html
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Old Jan 7, 08, 12:51 am
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Similar to ET, I have not had to do this in years. But since I just booked a couple spring flights where I think the fares will drop a little before I fly (but wanted to book now to lock in dates), the post got me interested in what the current policies are. Here is what I found for the cost to issue travel vouchers from Yapta:

AirTran $75
Alaska Free
American $100
ATA $60-$100
Continental $100
Delta $75
Frontier $100
JetBlue $40
Midwest Free - $100
United Airlines Free
US Airways / America West $100

Luckily the flights I booked are AS and UA.
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Old Jan 7, 08, 9:37 am
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I had a flight booked last Oct from Ric to Can and the price dropped 425...NW charged me 200 and issued a credit voucher for the remaining 225.
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Old Jan 7, 08, 11:27 am
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Originally Posted by ifette View Post
Fares change every day. Price is a function of capacity, actual load, projected load, and a number of other factors that change multiple times a day. Based on this, the prices you see change. Seats on an airplane are just like any other futures market - sometimes you get a good deal, sometimes you don't, but whatever you locked in at is what you locked in at.

The only thing that I can think of that you might be thinking of that may have confused you is the NWA.com best fare guarantee, which says that if you find a better fare on the same flight and date they will give you a credit - used to be difference + $50, now it's difference + $100. http://www.nwa.com/features/bestfare2.html
That's correct for a change fee (e.g. changing dates/times/cities), not for a reduction in airfare.

NWA is correct in what they told ET. When a decrease in fare occurs on a particular route that you have already booked, NW will refund you the difference in airfare MINUS a $50 admin fee as an MCO. However, several requirements have to be met to be able to claim this: 1) the original dates of the itinerary can't change; 2) the original cities of the itinerary can't change, including stopover points; 3) the advanced purchase restrictions of the new fare must be met.

So for the OP, a $20 reduction in airfare will not get you $20. You can only invoke this rule if the difference in airfare is greater than $50.

-RM
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Old Jan 7, 08, 4:26 pm
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4) The purchased fare class must be available.
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Old Jan 7, 08, 6:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Blank Sheet View Post
4) The purchased fare class must be available.
Nope. That's not true for invoking this rule.

The whole point is that a lower fare class could open up (e.g. you go from 'L' to 'K').

When you're using this rule, you are basically doing a ticket exchange and being booked into the new fare class. Technically, the fare class could be HIGHER than the one you originally purchased but the fare is lower.

The only purchased fare class that has to be available is the "new" one you're attempting to get in to...but then you wouldn't have found the lower fare in the new fare class if it weren't available for purchase anyway.

-RM
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Old Jan 7, 08, 8:30 pm
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Originally Posted by RobOnLI View Post
Nope. That's not true for invoking this rule.

The whole point is that a lower fare class could open up (e.g. you go from 'L' to 'K').

When you're using this rule, you are basically doing a ticket exchange and being booked into the new fare class. Technically, the fare class could be HIGHER than the one you originally purchased but the fare is lower.

The only purchased fare class that has to be available is the "new" one you're attempting to get in to...but then you wouldn't have found the lower fare in the new fare class if it weren't available for purchase anyway.

-RM
Are the rules different for International? A couple times I've had fares drop $80-100 and whenever I ask about it on the Elite line they mention the change fee (in these cases $200). I'm not about to raise a stink over $30-50, so I've let it slide. Exact same itinerary and probably the same fare class (but I can't 100% sure of that)
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