Changing the time of a flight

 
Old Jun 4, 13, 10:29 am
  #1  
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Changing the time of a flight

I booked a flight, round trip from PHL to BOS through expedia.com. I called them because I wanted to change the time on my return flight. They said it would be a $200 charge which is more than the flight, I'd be better off just buying the other return flight and not switching. If I call US air direct what should I say to plead with them to not charge me the fee, I'm willing to pay the upcharge for the later flight out. Is there a way around it or is it set in stone? I did purchase a non refundable ticket but I'm not really asking for my money back, neither flight is booked as far as I know.

JEff
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Old Jun 4, 13, 10:52 am
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Originally Posted by supraman215 View Post
I booked a flight, round trip from PHL to BOS through expedia.com. I called them because I wanted to change the time on my return flight. They said it would be a $200 charge which is more than the flight, I'd be better off just buying the other return flight and not switching. If I call US air direct what should I say to plead with them to not charge me the fee, I'm willing to pay the upcharge for the later flight out. Is there a way around it or is it set in stone? I did purchase a non refundable ticket but I'm not really asking for my money back, neither flight is booked as far as I know.

JEff
Unfortunately, as per the rules of your ticket, you're out of luck. You'll either need to pay the change fee or buy a new ticket. If you call US Airways (or e-mail them), you can ask them to waive the fee, but they are not required to do so and 99.9% of the time will not, especially if you aren't a preferred member.
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Old Jun 4, 13, 11:12 am
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Thanks Matt. I realize they are not obligated to help me it would have to be out of the kindness of their heart. I just joined dividend miles so I'm not a frequent flyer. I have some trips planned this year though. I just wondered if there was any advice someone could give me on HOW to plead with them to help influence my ability to find room in their heart for me. If the rep refuses to help me which I'm sure she will I'm going to raise it up. It's not like I'm asking for my money back, I'm still spending money with them, more money in fact. So they can take the money I've given them or they can take a little more for a different flight time.
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Old Jun 4, 13, 12:35 pm
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> I'm willing to pay the upcharge for the later flight out

If you were trying to come home earlier, you could "Move Up" on day of departure at the airport (with certain restrictions) - see the link for details.

The only other thing I'd mention is if you've booked the flight within the past 24 hours, I believe you have 24 hours to cancel through expedia.

Out of curiosity, how big a time difference in departures are you looking for?

I'd say it's pretty unlikely you will convince them to make the change for free - but you can always ask politely.
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Old Jun 4, 13, 12:41 pm
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Unhappy

Looking to go from an 8:30am flight out to a 11:30am flight out. A diff of +$70. I'm happy to pay the extra for the more expensive flight. Just not the $200. I'm not really asking for a refund here just a change in time. It's been more than 24 hours. I should have thought through this more.
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Old Jun 4, 13, 1:10 pm
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US (and the other legacies) just raised the change fee from $150 to $200. It's a toll-free call, so costs you $0 to call and ask. But, there's no "better" way to frame this request than any other.

Chances are slim and much, much slimmer since you booked through Expedia. US will also need to charge and then waive a $50 fee to pick up the Expedia booking. So, you're asking for two favors.
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Old Jun 4, 13, 2:30 pm
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3 hours is probably pushing it, but if you're a risk taker, you could try to invoke the flat tire rule. Just don't show up for the 8:30am flight. Usually, if you miss your flight, a nice agent at the airport will just put you on the next flight free of charge. So if you showed up at the airport at 10:30 and told them that you missed your original flight because of <fill in whatever excuse you want here>, there is a reasonable chance that they will be understanding and put you on the next flight out.

Of course, there is no guarantee that this would work and if it doesn't, then you're stuck paying for a one-way ticket on the day of the flight which will certainly be more than $200...
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Old Jun 4, 13, 3:09 pm
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How much would it be to just buy a new one way ticket for that flight you want? US and B6 are currently having a fare war so prices on that route are relatively low.

As far as getting the change fee waived, I would guess the chances are pretty close to none. You mention that you're not trying to cancel but if you look at the fare rules, it also states that in addition to be non-refundable, it also specifically covers changes and will say that changes are treated the same way.
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Old Jun 4, 13, 4:32 pm
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OP - Buy a new ticket. PHL-BOS is as low as $39 on US. Book it straight through the website. Forget the old one unless you paid more than $200 for it. If you paid more than $200, cancel and you will have a credit for the difference between the cost of the ticket and $200.
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Old Jun 4, 13, 7:51 pm
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Originally Posted by supraman215 View Post
I realize they are not obligated to help me it would have to be out of the kindness of their heart.
Airlines are businesses. They do not give away money out of the kindness of their heart.

Airlines make a substantial amount of money on change fees, for - as you keenly noticed - non-refundable/non-changeable fares. You want flexible? Buy a flexible fare.

The number of posters in this forum who continue to ask why airlines have change fee's is mind boggling.
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Old Jun 5, 13, 9:18 am
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@bkafrick Yes I realize I made a mistake in my purchasing and to spite what I signed up for it's not what I want. You sound like one of these BY THE BOOK guys like "see see you can't get your money back, it says so right HERE. What don't you understand can't you READ!"

This company isn't very concerned with customer satisfaction. Let me give you a couple of examples, I can go into a hardware store and buy something that costs as much as my ticket or even many times as much as my ticket come back and return it more than 30 days after I purchased it, even though their policy strictly states 30 day returns only. They will eat the cost on that item to gain the customer satisfaction. I recently called up my wireless carrier because I said I was having coverage problems near my house and they need to put a tower in I wasn't asking for money just that they should improve coverage. They explicitly state that they do not guarantee coverage everywhere and interruptions may occur so they are not obligated to do anything for me. Well they said we'll give you $200 credit on your account for your troubles.

So customer service is still important in some industries, maybe I'm just too used to that as a consumer. I realize I made a mistake and I'm just .....ing about my poor decision, but that doesn't help me feel any better about US Air, there was nothing they were willing to do.
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Old Jun 5, 13, 10:04 am
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Originally Posted by supraman215 View Post
I realize I made a mistake and I'm just .....ing about my poor decision, but that doesn't help me feel any better about US Air, there was nothing they were willing to do.
Glad to see you understand.

You enetered into a contract with another party. You would now like to change the terms of that contract. The other party has said they are not willing to change the terms of the agreed to contract.

It's happened to me more than once when "Set in Stone" plans become fluid. It never hurts to ask but I have never gotten fees waived as a US Silver.
I have had some success with the "I was late because...." trick, but this is never a guarantee and you can get burned very badly. Day of Departure fares are not cheap.

I would take the advice to buy a cheap one way ticket home at the later time and not have to worry about what will happen at the airport.
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Old Jun 5, 13, 10:14 am
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I'm not saying that I support this business model, but the majority of airlines out there are surviving based on their fees outside of the price of the tickets (e.g. change fees, baggage fees, etc). So if you buy the inexpensive, possibly below-cost plane ticket, and you need to change it, then you're stuck with the fees or the price of a new booking.

Calling them probably won't work. Flat tire rule may work. If the one-way you need to replace is inexpensive, go ahead and book it.

HTSC
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Old Jun 5, 13, 11:47 am
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Originally Posted by supraman215 View Post
@bkafrick Yes I realize I made a mistake in my purchasing and to spite what I signed up for it's not what I want. You sound like one of these BY THE BOOK guys like "see see you can't get your money back, it says so right HERE. What don't you understand can't you READ!"

This company isn't very concerned with customer satisfaction. Let me give you a couple of examples, I can go into a hardware store and buy something that costs as much as my ticket or even many times as much as my ticket come back and return it more than 30 days after I purchased it, even though their policy strictly states 30 day returns only. They will eat the cost on that item to gain the customer satisfaction. I recently called up my wireless carrier because I said I was having coverage problems near my house and they need to put a tower in I wasn't asking for money just that they should improve coverage. They explicitly state that they do not guarantee coverage everywhere and interruptions may occur so they are not obligated to do anything for me. Well they said we'll give you $200 credit on your account for your troubles.

So customer service is still important in some industries, maybe I'm just too used to that as a consumer. I realize I made a mistake and I'm just .....ing about my poor decision, but that doesn't help me feel any better about US Air, there was nothing they were willing to do.
I realize this may be of little consolation but the cost of the original ticket, plus the change fee, plus the fare difference (or alternatively the cost of the original ticket plus the cost of the new ticket) is likely less than the cost of buying a fully flexible ticket in the first place!
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Old Jun 5, 13, 12:03 pm
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Originally Posted by supraman215 View Post
This company isn't very concerned with customer satisfaction. Let me give you a couple of examples, I can go into a hardware store and buy something that costs as much as my ticket or even many times as much as my ticket come back and return it more than 30 days after I purchased it, even though their policy strictly states 30 day returns only. They will eat the cost on that item to gain the customer satisfaction. ....

So customer service is still important in some industries, maybe I'm just too used to that as a consumer. I realize I made a mistake and I'm just .....ing about my poor decision, but that doesn't help me feel any better about US Air, there was nothing they were willing to do.
The hardware store *might* eat the cost, or they might point out the 30 day policy and deny the return. How can you make that general statement?

I would venture to say that customer service is probably not the #1 mission with airlines. It's more likely safely transporting people from point A to point B. To be able to do this cost effectively, they need to be selective as to when they allow policies to be broken in the name of customer good will. These include things like irregular operations, misconnects, bad weather, etc. That's where their customer service is put to the test. It's not really put to the test when someone calls later to change a ticket that was purchased with full knowledge that it is non refundable and non changeable without incurring fees.
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