Airline Change Of Ticket Fees…Sometimes There Is No Logic

Web: www.stevenfrischling.com — E-Mail: fish@flyingwithfish.com

05/03/2009 –  Airline Change Of Ticket Fees…Sometimes There Is No Logic

Airline fees rarely make any sense, and sometimes they work to the detriment of an airline.

A few days ago I tried out a new online booking service, FareBuzz.com. In creating my itinerary with FareBuzz an error occurred after I verified my travel information, and after the transaction had been completed. I contacted FareBuzz.com repeatedly, but it seems their customer service agents and customer service supervisors have only one line that they are able to pass along to customers.  This line is “call the airline directly please.”

Well I have now called the airline, who did not make the error, and it seems that I can pay the $10 fare difference + a $150 change fee to change my flight date…or I can purchase a new return ticket for $109.

This would mean for a ‘savings’ of $51 I would fly my first flight under the incorrect itinerary, fly home on my ‘new’ return itinerary and never fly the original return itinerary.    Of course this makes no sense, until you realize that it would save me $51!

Airlines have fees in place to avoid changes in tickets that will cost them money by having seats fly out empty.   The problem with these fees is that they can result in a loss of revenue, such as in this case.   The airline would like $160 from me, instead they will get $109 and fly out with an empty seat that they could have freed up and sold to another passenger if they allowed me to simply pay the $109 and open up the future unused seat.

Once airlines are able embrace logic, and create a booking system that looks at multiple options, rather than a single option, they should be able to not only increase revenue in some avenues, but also increase customer satisfaction.

As for FareBuzz.com, they will be getting a strongly worded e-mail from me later today which I am sure will be completely ignored and filed in the trash bin.

I am disputing this with my credit card company as the error was created by FareBuzz.com, and they take no responsibility for their error, however the fact of the matter is that I fly off to work on Saturday and need to come home Sunday…not 11 days later as ticketed by FareBuzz.com.

Happy Flying!

Comments

  1. Sounds like you need to write your Senators and representatives and demand that the airlines be re-regulated. That would strip them of the power to ration seats and change airfares. The world would be a vastly different place if airlines did not have those powers. In a regulated world, your dilemma could not arise. Write your senators and representatives. Demand that the flying public be in charge, not the airline CEOs who are every bit as onerous as the Investment Bank CEOs.

  2. Hi Steven,

    We had received a call from you regarding date change for Booking # 104607.
    As per your Booking Confirmation and airline rules, this ticket was non refundable and for making any changes, you will be charged an airline penalty and difference in fare, if any.
    And, for this booking we did received call from you once to change dates as you had booked it for wrong dates. And, you were informed by the agent about the airline penalty and difference in fare.
    For a ticketed reservation, for any date change, first we advise passengers for airline penalty and difference in fare only.

    And, for your booking you were advised the same.

    Thanks

  3. Shania

    Thank you for your reply to this post.

    Please note that the Booking # that you are referencing is not the booking number of the reservation made with FareBuzz that I was commenting on.

    Happy Flying!

    -Fish

  4. I just wanted a place to vent because im disgusted with airline prices there is no logic as stated here. I purchased a round trip non stop fligh from SJU to CLT and back 340.00 not bad understandable cost this is with United Airlines. I am having to buy 4 more round trip tickets this year. I understand inflation at times and now see this same trip is now 460ish dollars. So looking at alternatives I decide to try SJU to MYR round trip of course same flights from San Juan to CLT but the whole cost of the round trip ticket is approximatly 490 dollars. WOW only 30 dollars to fly from Charlotte to Myrtle Beach. So out of curiosity I look up CLT to MYR alone round trip gasp i find 432.00 so where is the logic in these rates. While in the Airport returning this guy tells me he got the flight back for 78.00 i paid about 180.00. It seems that airlines just wanna bend people over im sure there are federal fees ive tried to look stuff up just to understand the logic behind it but there isnt any. I dont care about loosing money if i miss flight and no refunds thats my problem. But like you said above charging a fee that is almost equal to the ammount of the ticket is a joke especially when there is an error on the agent or the airlines fault. I wont say my job but I hear the complaints daily from people that dispute airline tickets most of them are bad complaints from people that dont read the fine print when buying their tickets. Well I feel a bit better now thanks for the space on the web that a ran across and all apologies for wasting it with my rant. I know I might be in the wrong place doing it…

  5. I contacted FAREBUZZ on 13 Sept. requesting a roundtrip quote for a flight from PDX to BWI and return…I recieved an e-mail back from one of the agents on 14 Sept, quoting a price of $990.80 total including taxes.
    I returned with a phone call to book said flight on 17Sept. I was told the first price had been changed and was now $1780.00.
    Something wrong here……

  6. If you have been overcharged , you can one of the big heads at farebuzzed
    at (888) 808-4123 ext 138 , be prepared to be ignored as well.

  7. If you have been; overcharged, mishandled or simply SCREWED!!!…
    Try calling one of the big heads at (888) 808-4123 ext 138, good luck and expect to be ignored as well!!!

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