Schumer asks airlines to reverse flight change fees

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by sobore, May 21, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

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    http://www.usatoday.com/story/today...ne-flight-change-fee-charles-schumer/2326243/

    Sen. Charles Schumer is asking airlines to reverse recent decisions to increase flight change fees.
    The New York Democrat said on Sunday that higher fees recently implemented by Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, American Airlines, and U.S. Airways make it difficult for families on budgets to travel, according to the Associated Press.

    The four carriers recently raised fees on ticket changes from $150 to $200.

    Schumer argues that families often buy non-refundable tickets well in advance to get the best prices but that unforeseen events can force them to make changes.

    Read More: http://www.usatoday.com/story/today...ne-flight-change-fee-charles-schumer/2326243/
     
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  2. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    The airlines aren't in business to ensure that families on budgets can travel. If the family can't afford the travel, they can't afford it. Overall, airfare is only one (albeit large) component of that cost.

    The airlines would argue that people reserving occupancy on one flight but changing to another last-minute affect their schedules and operations, and the change fees offset those costs. As a traveler I'd argue that the people needing that service (a change to a non-refundable fare) should pay that cost vs. spreading it out across everyone's fare. As an airline I'd point to other changeable fare options that are less than the cost of a non-refundable fare + the change fee, much like American Airlines' Choice Fare structure.
     
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  3. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    Schumer (like most politicians) is a windbag. Airlines aren't charities, and budget conscious travelers need to realize this. But they probably won't, since it's easier to whine to the government and the media that they can't get what they want for free.
     
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  4. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    This is exactly why the fares are lower. These families accept a lower fare with the risk that their plans may change. It's like self-insurance. I save $500 up front knowing that I might have to return $200 later plus a fare difference to change the ticket. I win if I don't change. I lose if I make changing a regular habit, in which case I should probably buy a more expensive refundable ticket that allows them for free.
     
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  5. kwai
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    kwai Gold Member

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    Turnabout is fair play: If they want to charge me fees to change, which I accept as their prerogative, then I should be the recipient of inconvenience monies when their changes throw my itinerary into disarray.
     
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  6. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Based on what principle? Business isn't designed to be fair, so you can't start there... :)

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
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  7. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    Are families unable to buy trip insurance? Are families being tricked into unknowingly buying nonrefundable fares?

    As long as the change fee is disclosed BEFORE the ticket sale so the customer knows exactly what he's buying, I don't see why this is a government concern.
     
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  8. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    I partly agree with that. Passengers don't get adequately compensated for costs they incur as a result of avoidable changes in airline schedules. So why isn't Senator Schumer bringing that issue up before the Senate? That's an area where some changes in the law might actually make some sense!
     
  9. coffeeaddict

    coffeeaddict Member

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    Exactly. It's amazing that this is so hard for people to comprehend. If you don't want to pay a change fee, then buy a refundable ticket. Problem solved.
     
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  10. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    What would be an "avoidable change in airline schedule?" Every airline I know of if they change the schedule prior to your trip, change fees are waived. When you buy your ticket, you agree/acknowledge that changes can happen prior to travel.
     
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  11. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    You're correct, though I will also argue that businesses which "play fair" (or at least make an effort!) will likely have more loyal customers and will be seen in a more positive light by the public.

    Then on the other side are the big three american carriers...
     
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