State of the Airlines

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

NEWS: Ticket Change Fees - Scourge of the Business Flyer

USA Today published an interesting article on a familiar and expensive topic for business travellers...fees for changing your ticket. Airlines argue that they need this money to cover admin costs and "make up for revenue that could be lost from the change". I'll allow that providing a person the ability to change their tickets is a service that the airlines can charge its customers for. If that cost is truly $50 then I suggest that the airline needs to seriously evaluate their cost structure. And I will not challenge that an airline, if it so chooses, can decide to charge its customers a change fee that covers lost revenue due to the change. I will, however, challenge the wisdom associated with that decision. The public is simply tired of it. They are tired of supporting a policy that is designed to protect the hideously complex fare structure created by the monster yield management process used by many airlines. (Anybody feel a trend in today's posts?) Southwest fee. JetBlue...small fee. Get the hint?