Anyway to get credit back when price dropped on airfare purchased on continental.com last month

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by zenNJ, May 12, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. zenNJ

    zenNJ Silver Member

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    First time posting here.
    I have a question on if Continental (or any airline in general) offer some kind of "price protection" or airline credits when they dropped their fare after I had purchased it.
    Specifically, i had bought a r/t ticket oncontinental.com from EWR->LHR way back in april (4/8) for traveling on 5/25/11 from EWR->LHR and returning on 5/30 LHR->EWR and the total price of that airfare was $1050. That was the going rate for like a week before then and so I finally just booked it. Today I was checking the price oncontinental.com and it has now dropped to $833 (so $200+ less). Is there any recourse to this, would complaining/asking CO about this help (maybe get a airline credit for the difference)? Or this is just the price you pay for trying to book in advance instead of waiting for later :(
    Does anyone have similar experience (buyer's remorse for early purchase) and ways to deal with Continental on how to possibly recoup the loss?
     
  2. KENNECTED
    Original Member

    KENNECTED Silver Member

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    No. Buying an airline ticket is a game of chance. Question, if the price went up, would you be willing to pay the increase?
     
  3. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Welcome to MP.

    If the price has gone down by more than the change fee on your ticket, you can totally cancel your current ticket (losing seat assignments, any time stamp of the purchase date for upgrades, etc.) and apply the residual (price minus the change fee) to a new ticket. This is rarely worthwhile. Check the fare rules and penalties on your ticket, but I suspect that the fee to change to a new ticket will be either $250 or $400.

    Recently some airline, it might have been AA, announced an interesting experiment in which passengers could pay to hold a reservation at the given price but switch to a lower price when the ticket is issued if the price drops. I don't remember more of the details.
     
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  4. zenNJ

    zenNJ Silver Member

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    *Sigh*, I realize that. But in general, you are suppose to get rewarded for booking early since the assumption is generally the longer you wait, the more likely the airfare would increase. So was just hoping they would be some kind of price protection or sympathy airline credits since it is from continental.com website each time (it's not as if I was booking it on their website one day and then found a lower rate on a different website).
     
  5. zenNJ

    zenNJ Silver Member

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    Thanks, that's a good idea. Continentaly does have an option to let you change your flight. So I checked to see if I changed my flight from a 7pm flight to a 9pm flight, the change fee would be $250 but they would refund me (in the form of a certificate) the $203 fare difference. Since I am a platinum elite, generally if the change is done on the day of travel (within 24 hours of departure), they would waive the change fee and the cost/difference would just be a matter of whether the airfare is same/lower/higher. So it may be worthwhile to try now. Thanks again.
     
  6. KENNECTED
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    KENNECTED Silver Member

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    In general or is it an assumption? :) Not trying to combative, but our exeriences/expectations may not be the same.

    The only exceptions I'm personally aware of, is when a price change occurs within a few hours of booking. Or when a person bought a full refundable fare and the price change dropped, they were able to take advantage of the change without any penalty.

    BTW - Welcome.
     
  7. zenNJ

    zenNJ Silver Member

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    thanks. Yeah it is an assumption but assumption because of previous experience and hence the in general statement :)
     
  8. Ygor
    Original Member

    Ygor Gold Member

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    For a Same Day Change (SDC) you do not get a refund or any kind of money back. You will also not pay any kind of fare increase, as you will be changing to a flight that has the same fare bucket available. A SDC is a change to another flight within 24hs of your original flight, BUT the new flights must have the same fare bucket you booked on.

    If you do a SDC to a flight that does not have your fare bucket, you will pay a change fee regardless.

    So if you bought economy tickets with a W code, for instance, the new flights you want to take must have W seats available. This is not always the case. I have had mixed success with this. Never count on it.

    Conversely, if your travel plans are flexible, a SDC can be great if your original flights are full in first class, and they have other flights that have open seats up front. I have secured a few upgrades this way where I would have sat in Y in I had stayed on my original flights.
     
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  9. zenNJ

    zenNJ Silver Member

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    ok thanks. I was hoping that for SDC if I can get on a "lower" fare base when I change my flight, I not only don't have to pay for the change fee, but could get airline currency back (i.e. travel certificate). I guess I'll have to just bite the bullet and decide in advance whether it's worthwhile to make the change earlier and see if the difference in airfare is more than the $250 change fee.
     
  10. Ygor
    Original Member

    Ygor Gold Member

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    Correct. Doing a free SDC will not yield any monetary return. I was once able to pay the change fee of $250 for a fare that was $330 ish less after I booked it. I got $80 ish back. This was for EWR-LAX stop LAX-HNL stop HNL-EWR.
     
  11. zenNJ

    zenNJ Silver Member

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    just an FYI on what happened, my original flight was to leave on wednesday night 7pm from EWR to LHR and I wanted to change it to a thursday night departure. So on Tuesday night 10pm, I was able to do a SDC (no charge and no credit back) so that I am flying out on Wed 10pm instead. Then on Wednesday around noon time, I was able to change my Wed 10pm flight to Thursday 9am flight. And finally on Wednesday 10pm, I changed my Thursday 9am to Thursday 7pm flight (all as SDC and did not incur any change fee since I have platinum elite status). So I guess this is one way to change your itenarary without incurring any fee - but I was only able to do this because
    a) I am platinum elite and change fees are waived for SDC
    b) my original fare was not the lowest fare so I was able to keep changing to a later flight without incurring a fare
    increase.
     
  12. gobluetwo
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    gobluetwo Silver Member

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    From a historical perspective, as recently as 2 years ago (give or take), united allowed you to refare your tickets for a flight credit with no penalty if the fare went down. For instance, in your case, you could have refared online (or, oftentimes, you had to do it by phone) and received a $217 voucher good for one year. The policy now (I think it's still in effect) is that they'll refare your ticket, but you'd incur the standard change fee, so it only makes sense if the fare difference is greater than the change fee.
     
  13. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    It was a sad day when UA removed that feature. I am much more hesitant now to book early at a price that I feel is a tad high.
     
  14. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    AFAIK only B6 and WN still offer this benefit, at least amongst USA-based carriers. The rest all permit "free" re-faring of purchased itineraries, so long as you pay the "administrative fee" which just so happens to match the change fee. :rolleyes:
     
  15. winecountryua

    winecountryua Silver Member

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    But in a yapta.com world it was not a surprising change.
     
  16. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Yup, that's right.

    A way to (a certain degree) work around this loss for me is to utilize mileage awards. If the fare is too high for my taste and I suspect it might fall, I sometimes book an award ticket. As a 1K I can cancel it and replace it with a revenue ticket without paying a fee.
     

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