Delta, US Airways, and United hike change fees

Tracy Stewart, May 01, 2013
Fares from Washington DC:

    Extending your trip? Changing that reservation may now cost more, depending on who you're flying. Delta announced a $50 hike in change fees today, matching recent moves by both US Airways and United. That brings domestic change fees on all three carriers to $200, up from the previous $150. Changes to tickets for travel to/from Europe and the Middle East are $250, and $300 on flights to/from Brazil. This is, of course, in addition to the difference in fares, which you can bet won’t be cheap.

    So why sock travelers with higher fees on top of it? Does it really cost the airline that much to tap a few keys and put you on a Wednesday flight rather than the Tuesday, knowing that someone out there will gladly pay to take your seat? Puh-robably not. The increase in fees is most likely meant to lead business passengers to book fully-refundable (more expensive) fares, while keeping costs low-ish for leisure travelers. Just so long as they don’t decide on a whim to stay an additional day or two.

    Meanwhile, Southwest famously offers free ticket changes, leaving passengers responsible only for the difference in fares.

    For a look at these and other ancillary charges, you'll find our newly updated Airline Fee Chart here.

    Songquan Deng/