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United Airlines Is Eliminating Change Fees For Good

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United Airlines has announced today that it is getting rid of change fees for all standard economy and premium cabin tickets for travel in the US effective immediately. The carrier is also rolling out an extensive and generous policy to allow more flexible travel. (simpleflying.com) Altro...

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Moviela
United has figured out that helping passengers without jacking up their trousers and rotating their wallets creates loyalty.

Happy passengers will be back. Finally someone other than a bean counter has fashioned a policy that works for passengers.

Personally, I would like to go back to almost any airline would accept any ticket. That would force airlines to compete for passengers with better service.
IMissPiedmont
For good? I doubt that, the fee will return as soon as traffic picks up in the next 10 years or so.
hwh888
I doubt it’s permanent but it sounds nice to the public. The customer has finally found a different way to get around after years of screwing the customer base and treating us as cargo.
CookinAK
Pat Cook 4
This would certain affect my flying habits if United flew my routes. Rarely have I need the flexibility; but knowing I had the flexibility would influence who I booked with.
paultrubits
Twenty years ago changes fees were rare. Ten years ago their were some, but not like today. Back to the future!
richardorgill
LOL good side, if any, of COVID.
watkinssusan
the airlines MUST do something to bring people back into the "friendly skies"..so many have opted NOT to fly,or to postpone a trip or vacation,or to just drive..this is actually going backwards in time,because in "the" good old days",even up until the 80's there were no change fees nor cancellation penalties..that evolved because of the many hundreds of economy fares someone thought were a good idea..lets hope this works...
stofer
Pat Barry 2
The change fees drifted in because the bucket shop carriers (Easy Jet, Ryan Air, then Frontier) brought in fees for everything and it seemed to be an easy way to rip off some easy money. The consolidation in the USA airline industry reduced competition, so charging fees for everything was easy. The big airlines could not resist - easy money. They still competed on posted fares but the fees were never displayed on search engines and Sabre. People bought the fare, got stung by fees.
Note: The change fee elimination applies ONLY to domestic travel, and ONLY to premium fares (full fare economy, economy plus, and business/first). It probably still applies to mileage award travel.
Southwest never charged change fees, and has delivered on what it advertises, which is why I fly Southwest. The other carriers have screwed themselves.
patpylot
Okay- i can't wait for some United loyalist to say "it takes far longer than fifteen seconds to effect a change".. Really.....I dare you to defend this long standing larcency as fair behavior.
geckobrah
Ga Za 2
Note award travel only benefits from this if changes are made more than 30 days in advance. It’s tough, but better than nothing I suppose.
phowry
Phil Howry 2
I thought one of the benefits of advanced computerized systems was the seamless processing of such inherent programming functions such as "Change Fees". I'm not sure "Change Fees" were ever a definitive line-item overhead expense to the airline industry in the first place; thus, elimination of same merely semantic news fodder. However, in fairness to full disclosure transparency, perhaps United Airlines would publicise the revenue versus related fixed operational expense impact this move has on their Income Statement. The loss in customer revenue is clear (i.e., "haircut"), but the alleged related operational expense dubious.

I'm all for the airline industry making a successful comeback, but please consider the flying public as rational thinking partners versus cornered "pickpocket" victims.
stofer
Pat Barry 2
This is merely frosting on an empty cake!
The change fee elimination applies ONLY on domestic routes, and only on premium fares. The fees remain on the typical fares that you buy from on line vendors (Cheap Seats etc) and on international.
If the carriers wanted to lure passengers back they would restore in flight quality ..... how about expanding the seat pitch from 32" to 35" - planes are flying at light loads with rows of empty seats so why not remove a couple of rows? That would entice people to return.
wecsam
David Tsai 2
American followed suit not long after.
carlos4k
They lost me long time ago, Southwest is my primary, nobody has their benefits.
propman46
It's going to take more than dropping change fees to get me to fly on United again. Southwest is still the best!
jbammi
Smoke and mirrors, there is no change fees for only the high fairs, also when you go to change, no fees, BUT you still have to pay difference in fare from then to now, which will make up the fees and then some. Try it! Amazes me constantly how the public believes this drivel
patpylot
I very much doubt United eliminated change fees "for good???" out of the goodness of their corporate heart. It is admirable they have seen the error of their ways, stopped for a while screwing their loyal passengers. But, like other addicts, they will salivate and remember the good old days of racking up outrageous fees for fifteen seconds of computer entries. Then without rationalization, those fees will return. Bet on it.....
RicBen
Ric Ben 2
It would be great if this was announced as a permanent change.
ghstark
Greg S 4
It was announced as a permanent change, which really doesn't mean anything as it's not a legally binding promise. What it means is that United expects a long-term reduction in demand even after the Covid crisis ends. This is bad news for airlines but good news for the flying public.
Propwash122
Well, it’s permanent unless and until it’s changed again. Also, the lowest fare class, basic economy, will still be non-refundable with no changes allowed.
ArthurNetteler
This Post by United is a load of CRAP.. We just tried to Cancel or Change Dates of our MAF to MNL Round trip 2 Pax. Because of Japan having 14 Day Quarantine as well as Philippines 14 Day Quarantine. That would use up 4 weeks of our 6 week vacation to see Ana's 76yo Mom.. "United" said we could CHANGE our 6 Flights total (3 each way). But it would cost us $650! We Booked this Trip in mid February, as our Employer REQUIRES that ALL ANNUAL VACATIONS be POSTED to the Corp. Office BEFORE the end of February!
stofer
Pat Barry 2
That's the point. The elimination of change fees applies only to domestic travel.
It's a fraud, like so much of what United (really Continental since Continental bought the bones of United but kept the name) says and does.

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