Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Another Fee in Air Travel--Same Day Changes

A friend just sent me an email that about a rising fee for air travel. It seems like every time you want to fly there's some unexpected fee. Airlines are having such a hard time, but in trying to look like fares are still affordable they're sticking it to travelers in the form of fees. Hmm, seems like a good way just to make people mad doesn't it?

Bike route? Is there an extra fee for that?

photo by richardmasoner

Just last month both United and US Air announced new fees for checking a 2nd bag (around $25). Now most airlines charge for sameday-confirmed changes. You can still put your name on the standby list at the gate without a fee, but that's not the same.

It used to be that if there were empty seats on a later or earlier flight on the same day as your original, the airline would confirm you for free. But now, most airlines charge to take an earlier or later flight on the same day as your original flight if you want a confirmed seat. Oh, and to get a confirmed seat you'll need to show up at least 3 hours before the flight.

Currently the fee is around $25, except at United and Delta where they'll charge you $50.

You can still try the old standby method if you're not worried about the possibility of not getting on--at no charge. And sometimes if it's to the airlines advantage to give you a confirmed seat they'll do it without a charge. Like if they are overbooked and giving you a different flight helps them. But if the airline cancels or delays your flight guess what...there's no charge to you. How nice.

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