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6 Ways to Avoid Paying an Airline's Ticket Change Fee

MULTIZ321

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6 Ways to Avoid Paying an Airline's Ticket Change Fee - by Karina Martinez-Carter/ Travel/ Advice/ Road Warrior Voices/ roadwarriorvoices.com

"Change might be inevitable, but try telling that to the airlines.

Switching up an itinerary can be a costly affair, with all major U.S. carriers charging at least a $75 fee for domestic flight changes. For the three biggies — Delta, American and United — it’s a flat-out $200 penalty. Add that on top of an increase in fare, and you’re going to end up really shelling out.

But there are ways around paying a change fee, and you don’t have to do anything extreme that will curse you with bad karma, like faking a death in the family. Here are six ways you can sidestep paying a hefty plane ticket change fee, or at least lessen the blow: ...

...Another option if you’re really a non-committal flier and don’t want to be penalized for it: Book with Southwest from the get-go. Sweet, considerate Southwest has no checked bag fees and no ticket change fees."


Richard
 

Marathoner

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Small victory due to an airline schedule change!

I booked a flight several months ago for my family. Unfortunately the non-stop flight was $300 ticket more expensive per person. And although a layover adds more than 2hrs onto the 4.5hr flight time, the cost savings was worth it even though all my kids and wife would be complaining to me during the layover. Well, last night the airline changed their flight schedule so that it took off an hour earlier than my booked itinerary. Using this change, I was able to have the airline rebook my family onto a different non-stop flight that I originally wanted. So, a small victory for me and quite a savings that I was able to achieve as a result of a change in airline schedule.
 

am1

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This is the airline fee I disagree with the most. I would have no problem paying the cost of the airline changing the reservation but fees in the hundreds of dollars is outrageous.

Or I would be happy if the change fees went in to a fund and was paid out to travelers who have their flights delayed or are bumped.
 

geekette

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This is the airline fee I disagree with the most. I would have no problem paying the cost of the airline changing the reservation but fees in the hundreds of dollars is outrageous.

Or I would be happy if the change fees went in to a fund and was paid out to travelers who have their flights delayed or are bumped.

I'm gonna have to vote no on adding change fee to reservation. I have never changed a flight nor timeshare ressie and do not plan to. I don't want to pay for changes others make. I do think that adding an OPTIONAL 'change insurance fee' of nominal value would allow "free" changes should they be necessary, and without Change Insurance, pay normal change fee.

Would normal trip insurance reimburse the change fee if the change were for "covered reason"??

I have a bigger problem with bag fees. Seems to me that most people flying have baggage, that baggage handlers have always been on staff, that the industry is of course set up to Handle Baggage. Paying extra for normal expected stuff is extortion. People with oversize/overweight or over max quantity can pay the bag fees.

I would also charge people to gate check those super large "carry ons" to discourage the gate check practice. Not sure how some folks are special enough to not have to use same baggage handlers the rest of us use and wait for their luggage at carousel like the rest of us. Leave gate check for wheelchairs, strollers, overage of carry-ons, odd lots (skis, guitars... stuff too delicate to check but too big for overhead bin)
 
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mdurette

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Just one of the reasons why I am a loyal to Southwest. Heck, I constantly "change" my flight to the SAME flight when the price goes down and get the points back in my account for no fee. If paid by cash, then I have a credit to use for a year.
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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Just one of the reasons why I am a loyal to Southwest. Heck, I constantly "change" my flight to the SAME flight when the price goes down and get the points back in my account for no fee. If paid by cash, then I have a credit to use for a year.

Alaska has the same feature - if you see your itinerary priced for less than your ticket, you get the lower fare and a credit for the difference.

Flying Southwest one time from LAX to SFO, I arrived at the airport earlier than anticipated, while they were boarding an early flight. Even though the departing plane had plenty of available seats (about 2/3 full) they would not let me board that flight because my ticket was a non-refundable fare. So it could only be used on the flight for which it was booked.

I was amazed - they had a plane sitting there with available space. They had a customer with valid ticket for the same destination, ready to board. No checked luggage. And they made me sit in the airport for two more hours.
 
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