Late last month Continental Airlines made some changes to the policy allowing customers with restricted tickets to make changes to their departure. Customers can now change to another flight departing within 12 hours before or after their original departure time (even if it’s on another day as long as it’s within 12 hours of the original time) for a discounted change fee.
In the past, customers could sometimes change to flights departing within three hours of the original flight with no fee. But the new option is a good discount when compared to the regular change fee on restricted fares (the usual change fees for restricted tickets runs $150 plus any difference in the fare) and customers will be able to rebook their departure time from 24 hours before their original departure until the flight is closed for check-in. The new “same-day” fee will be $50 for most members and $25 for OnePass Platinum or Gold Elite members.
If there are no seats you can confirm, you can choose to go standby and will only be charged the fee if your standby is successful and you are able to board the plane. There will no longer be a free standby option on restricted ticket fares. Customers will be able to book same-day changes via online check-in with the capacity to do so for mobile check-in via pda.continental.com, coming later this year. The fee will apply on domestic flights operated by Continental, Continental Express, Continental Connection and Continental Micronesia and international flights including segments on these airlines. Those traveling on non-restricted fares will continue to be able to change their ticket free of charge if seats are available.