One would think that airlines would be more helpful these days seeing how badly they have fared over the last several years. It has been my experience (even recently) that airline are becoming more and more callous to their patrons. They charge now for things for which they used to not charge, for example. This past trip to Houston accentuated this and is now embellished forever in my mind.
I purchased a ticket for Houston for which I would return in two weeks. The project was shortened and I only needed to stay one week. I figured that I would simply fly standby and hopefully get home earlier. Upon calling the airline to get on the standby list, the customer service agent told me that I would have to go to the airport to be put on the list. Furthermore, there would be a $50 fee for being put on the list! WHAT?!! Oh wait, she says…your ticket isn’t qualified for standby, she says.
Because your flight doesn’t leave until August 7. You can only fly standby on the day of your original departure. You will have to *change* your ticket.
How much is that?
$150 plus any change in airfare.
How much would it be for me to change my ticket? She starts typing madly on her keyboard and says,
But, say I—I only paid $328 for this ticket. How can a change cost me more than the price I paid?
It’s $150 for the change, plus the difference.
So you are telling me that the difference is $273 between the new fare and what I paid?
But..a new ticket is cheaper than that.
That is correct. I would recommend you purchase a new ticket, rather than change your existing ticket.
sigh…ok…so. Can I redeem the unflown portion for a flight credit?
Yes, sure. You have $128….oh…it wouldn’t be worth it.
What? Why not?
Because I will charge you $150 to apply your unflown portion.
yes, because it is bascially a “change”.
At this point I stop asking questions, bend over, and let her have my credit card number. All I want to know is: when do *I* get a bail out?