It has started again.
Last week, United Airlines announced an increase in their fees for exchanges and then this week, U.S. Air made the same announcement. I suppose it’s only a matter of time before Delta and other airlines join this game of Follow the Leader.
Most major airlines, until last week, charged $150.00 for exchanges associated with domestic reservations and $250.00 for international reservations. The new fees introduced by United Airlines are now $200.00 to change domestic reservations and $300.00 for international reservations.
While I understand this is a revenue-generating tactic by the airlines, it is also, unfortunately, a huge disservice to their travelers. My simple advice to Delta (and it’s probably the same advise you would give them!) is: “Don’t raise your change fees!”
As a frequent business traveler I would be willing to shift all my business solely to Delta if they were to leave their fees where they are. I believe that concern for, and loyalty to, travelers will generate traveler loyalty to the airline.
As a travel management company, Christopherson Business Travel sees how change fees affect our customers’ bottom lines, and this increase will significantly impact travel budgets across the board.
While increasing change fees has an obvious negative impact on companies with business travelers, I see this increase benefiting airlines in two ways. First, they will increase revenue with change fees. And second, travelers may now choose to buy refundable tickets, which can be significantly more expensive than non-refundable fares.
This is where the benefit of working with a Travel Management Company like Christopherson Business Travel comes in handy. When working with a full-service travel agent, you will receive expert advice on whether it is financially advantageous to purchase a refundable ticket based on the likelihood that your travel plans may change.
For up-to-date information on changes in airline fees you can refer to individual airline websites or call Christopherson Business Travel, and let our agents worry about it for you.