Change & Cancellation Fees

June 20, 2012
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q. I recently had a round trip ticket purchased from US Airways, traveling from Portland, Maine to Baltimore. My travel plans changed and I was going to switch to a one way ticket from Baltimore to Portland. I called and spoke with the agent who looked at the ticket and advised me what the charges would be to change the ticket. It turned out to be more economical for me to cancel the ticket, have the value for a future flight, and re-book a one way ticket.


     
    Here's the catch. The agent made a mistake. She changed the ticket, charging me a $150 change fee and a $25 service fee, then turned around and canceled the ticket. I caught the charge on receipt of my credit card statement.
     
    Now I'm getting the run around at US Airways. I had to log a complaint and request a refund through the web tool and now sit and wait for someone to contact me because no phone number is provided for the customer relations group.
     
    What recourse do I have? The agent made a mistake. How can I fight this?

    A. If your ticket was a non-refundable ticket, than a cancellation would incur a change fee. This is the language on their website with the pertinent language underlined:

    Non-refundable tickets

    If a customer has already missed their flight but contacts their travel agency prior to midnight on the day of departure, the travel agent must call US Airways Reservations to document the PNR to retain value. Failure to contact US Airways and simply canceling the past segment in the GDS will result in the ticket being marked with a "no value" status. Cancellations made in the GDS prior to flight departure do not require a call to US Airways.

    A change fee, per fare rules, applies to all non-refundable tickets. Any flights or flight segments canceled on or before the scheduled date of travel will retain ticket value and can be credited against the price of another ticket.

       If a reservation is canceled on/before the ticketed departure date, the value of the ticket may be applied toward future travel up to one year from the original issue date. Travel on the new ticket must be completed within one year of the original date of issue.
       If any part of the ticket is unused after the ticketed departure date and the reservation has not been canceled, the ticket has no value.
       Once the value of a non-refundable ticket has been applied towards the purchase of a new ticket, the original ticket is considered valueless.
       Any difference in fare, if greater, must be collected. No refund is given for a decrease in fare (no residual value) and residual amount cannot be applied to the change fee. All non-refundable values remain non-refundable.

    Refundable tickets


    All changes to refundable tickets (whether full or partially used) can be made at no charge. (Changes to passenger name are not permitted.) The value of the original reservation will be credited against the price of the new reservation.

    Any difference in fare must be collected if greater and refunded if less. All non-refundable values remain non-refundable. All unused ticket segments must be canceled.

    You may want to call US Airways (800-428-4322) and double-check, but fees are commonly charged by most airlines either for a change in your itinerary or canceling your itinerary. 

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