$150 change fee not applied against residual funds

 
Old Jul 1, 11, 2:52 pm
  #1  
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$150 change fee not applied against residual funds

Hello! I am not a regular US Airways flier, instead focusing on DL (Diamond) and WN (A-List) with occasional AA segments thrown in for good measure.

Yesterday I went to exchange a ticket that had previously been cancelled in advance of flight. The ticket had a value of approximately $400 and my new reservation was approximately $275. I know that any residual value between the new and old is kept by the carrier, but apparently on US Airways (and not on any other carrier I fly) they will not apply the $150 change fee against the residual value (meaning that if they had applied residual value I would only owe $25 as an add-collect to ticket).

How are they able to get away with such a different policy as compared to every other carrier out there? I pushed their agents on the phone to explain and provide details, none could find the written policy that substantiated this rule.

Regular US fliers - help or point me to a three-step group !
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Old Jul 1, 11, 2:58 pm
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Originally Posted by bobcollie View Post
Hello! I am not a regular US Airways flier, instead focusing on DL (Diamond) and WN (A-List) with occasional AA segments thrown in for good measure.

Yesterday I went to exchange a ticket that had previously been cancelled in advance of flight. The ticket had a value of approximately $400 and my new reservation was approximately $275. I know that any residual value between the new and old is kept by the carrier, but apparently on US Airways (and not on any other carrier I fly) they will not apply the $150 change fee against the residual value (meaning that if they had applied residual value I would only owe $25 as an add-collect to ticket).

How are they able to get away with such a different policy as compared to every other carrier out there? I pushed their agents on the phone to explain and provide details, none could find the written policy that substantiated this rule.

Regular US fliers - help or point me to a three-step group !

Yes, that's yet another it-can't-be-true fee that US Airways imposes. I found that out myself last year. Yet another reason to fly Southwest/JetBlue whenever possible.

Southwest: no change fees
JetBlue: $100 change fee--from the reservation-- and if the price drops on your flight you can call and get credit for the difference

The only way the legacy airlines will learn is from lost revenue (and poor quarterly results to their stockholders). They long ago stopped caring about the customer and have all put in place short term money grabs vs. building a loyal customer.
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Old Jul 1, 11, 3:03 pm
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Unfortunately this is the way it is. I haven't canceled a nonrefundable ticket on another carrier in recent years so I can't speak to what anyone else does.

You understand this correctly - if you cancel a ticket, you get to use the full value of that ticket against a new itinerary after paying the additional $150. It's how US gets additional revenue out of you for canceling a nonrefundable ticket.

It may not be customer friendly, I don't really like it either, but I also don't blame for setting their own policies on nonrefundable tickets. It's a change fee, plain and simple. Even BA charged me $150 to change a return date as far back as 2001.
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Old Jul 1, 11, 3:23 pm
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Originally Posted by ArizonaGuy View Post
Unfortunately this is the way it is. I haven't canceled a nonrefundable ticket on another carrier in recent years so I can't speak to what anyone else does.

You understand this correctly - if you cancel a ticket, you get to use the full value of that ticket against a new itinerary after paying the additional $150. It's how US gets additional revenue out of you for canceling a nonrefundable ticket.

It may not be customer friendly, I don't really like it either, but I also don't blame for setting their own policies on nonrefundable tickets. It's a change fee, plain and simple. Even BA charged me $150 to change a return date as far back as 2001.
My complaint is really not against the $150 itself as that is life these days on network carriers, but rather the fact that it cannot be applied to the residual value of the ticket exchange which sets US apart from the other network carriers.
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Old Jul 1, 11, 3:34 pm
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The fee has been like this for some time. I remember getting into a huff 3-4 years ago, when the same thing happened to me.




Also--I think there's a few other threads on this topic. If anyone finds one, please PM me the link and I'll see about merging. Might be worth adding to the sticky.
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Old Jul 1, 11, 4:47 pm
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Originally Posted by bobcollie View Post
My complaint is really not against the $150 itself as that is life these days on network carriers, but rather the fact that it cannot be applied to the residual value of the ticket exchange which sets US apart from the other network carriers.
I understand that. But from their perspective, if you buy a $500 ticket and cancel it, you have $500 to use on another ticket if you pay $150. It's now been lumped together with change fees and a cancellation is considered another type of change.

I don't like it but it's revenue generating. If you buy a $500 ticket, cancel, $150 gets deducted and you use the remaining $350 on a new ticket they've generated no revenue by allowing you to change the ticket.

Could be worse too - there was a time when change / cancel & reticket fees to international tickets were $250 and domestic was $100 or something like that. They standardized on $150 after a while.
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Old Jul 1, 11, 5:51 pm
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CO does this as well. Much unhappiness and angst among UA fliers about the potential for it to exist with PMUA
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Old Jul 1, 11, 7:50 pm
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Originally Posted by ArizonaGuy View Post
I don't like it but it's revenue generating. If you buy a $500 ticket, cancel, $150 gets deducted and you use the remaining $350 on a new ticket they've generated no revenue by allowing you to change the ticket.
Maybe I'm over thinking this...but isn't it still revenue generating? You paid $500 for a $350 ticket...?
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Old Jul 1, 11, 8:30 pm
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It's been this way for at least 4 years. They also do not let you use the credit for more than 1 flight. If you have a $500 cancelled trip and the new ticket is $250, if you use the credit, you lose the other $250 plus have to pay the $150 fee. When I was traveling frequently and had a cancelled trip I saved the credit for a flight that was more than the credit.
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Old Jul 1, 11, 9:21 pm
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Originally Posted by sbbutler93 View Post
Maybe I'm over thinking this...but isn't it still revenue generating? You paid $500 for a $350 ticket...?
There's no added revenue that way. If you want to cancel and reticket your original $500 ticket, they're going to make a total of $650 revenue off of you - all for the privilege of being allowed to make the change.

The fact airlines still permit us to even change or cancel nonrefundable tickets is surprising enough. At least we have the option to do that for a fee.

Again, not really disagreeing with your view, there was definitely much discussion about this when it took effect and I don't agree with it. Not customer friendly, but then a corporation's only real responsibility isn't to the customers - only a fiduciary duty to the shareholders.
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Old Jul 2, 11, 7:34 am
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Originally Posted by ArizonaGuy View Post
Could be worse too - there was a time when change / cancel & reticket fees to international tickets were $250 and domestic was $100 or something like that. They standardized on $150 after a while.
I believe officially, for International tickets, it is still a $250 change/cancel fee
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Old Jul 2, 11, 8:36 am
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Originally Posted by GNRMatt View Post
I believe officially, for International tickets, it is still a $250 change/cancel fee

Well, not all network carriers do it. I was recently on an AA trip that required two changes. The $150 fee(each time) was applied towards the residual fare.
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Old Jul 3, 11, 10:02 am
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This is long-standing US practice, it's also practiced by CO and I'm told will become standardized for UACO and is being introduced by the other legacy carriers. The reason behind this is to better differentiate refundable/changeable from non-RF/CH. In order to push business travelers towards Y/B and to better market their corporate discounts, there has to be a reason and making people shell out extra hard cash, is that reason.

This also produces revenue on the side because, as it stands, if you have a $500 credit and buy a $350 ticket, you pay a $150 "new money" fee, get your $350 ticket and the remaining credit balance is wiped out. On the older system, you would get your ticket, pay the change fee against the ticket value and the credit balance would be $0.
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Old Jul 4, 11, 12:34 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
This is long-standing US practice, it's also practiced by CO and I'm told will become standardized for UACO and is being introduced by the other legacy carriers. The reason behind this is to better differentiate refundable/changeable from non-RF/CH. In order to push business travelers towards Y/B and to better market their corporate discounts, there has to be a reason and making people shell out extra hard cash, is that reason.

This also produces revenue on the side because, as it stands, if you have a $500 credit and buy a $350 ticket, you pay a $150 "new money" fee, get your $350 ticket and the remaining credit balance is wiped out. On the older system, you would get your ticket, pay the change fee against the ticket value and the credit balance would be $0.
All it did for me is to make sure I will never book another flight with US Air.
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Old Jul 4, 11, 2:46 pm
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Originally Posted by westau View Post
All it did for me is to make sure I will never book another flight with US Air.
Unfortunately for you, if US can substitute you for somebody paying Y/B changeable/refundable fares, they may be not overly sad to see you over at WN!
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