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Airlines rake in big bucks for changing tickets

October 30, 2013 Aviation, Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

egtmedia59It’s a general rule with airline tickets: the more they cost, the more flexible they are.

Cut-rate or discount tickets often require a fee to change, and the fees can be lucrative for the airlines.

The US Department of Transportation has just released data showing the money that American carriers raked in from passengers who changed and cancelled flights. Cordato

In the second quarter of this year, Delta Airlines collected USD 212 million from that activity, more than any other US carrier. United Airlines came second with USD 197 million, American was third at USD 134 million, US Airways was fourth at USD 84 million, followed by JetBlue (USD 34 million), Alaska Airlines (USD 22 million), Virgin America  (USD 8 million), Spirit Airlines (USD 7.8 million),  Southwest Airlines (USD 7 million), Hawaiian Airlines (USD 4 million), Frontier Airlines (USD 3 million), Allegiant Airlines (USD 2 million) and Sun Country (USD 435,000).

As the Washington Post pointed out in a recent article, many airline passengers are indignant about having to pay to change travel plans or cancel a ticket. Airlines, however, are in no mood to drop ancillary charges. They were paying 69 US cents for a gallon of jet fuel (18.2 cents a litre) in January 2000 and now, 13 years later, they are paying about USD 3.05 per gallon (80 cents a litre).

Passengers and consumer advocates want airline charges shown upfront, for honest comparisons on purchase – rather than having airlines display a low initial price which they then bolster with all kinds of charges for carrying baggage, changing tickets or even choosing a seat.

Airlines argue that charging passengers for the specific goods and services they use (user pays) is fairer than spreading the cost to everyone who flies by whacking up fares to cover fuel price increases and other overheads.

Written by : Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. AgentGerko says:

    The more you pay the more flexible it is? Rubbish! Try buying a Business Class ticket to New York on QF. Return fares start at under $8000 but they are nonrefundable once ticketed. Want something refundable? Try their $9K fare? No, still nonrefundable. What about their $11K fare? No, still nonrefundable. The cheapest refundable fare is $17254,00 and that’s not including taxes. Who in their right mind expects business travellers, who are reknowned for changing and cancelling, to cough up over $11,000 for a ticket that the moment it is issued becomes totally nonrefundable? Yes, The great Flying Red Rat does. I have noticed a number of countries and/or airlines introducing a cooling off period. If you change your mind within 24-72hrs you can cancel your trip without penalty. Maybe its time the ACCC had a look at this option.

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