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Is it really just a $200 change fee for missing a flight?

Is it really just a $200 change fee for missing a flight?

Apr 25th, 2006, 04:11 PM
  #1  
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Is it really just a $200 change fee for missing a flight?

Well, not JUST a $200 change fee . . . that's still a lot more than I'd care to part with, but can someone confirm that this is correct info?

After my question about heading to CDG straight from Lyon on the day of our flight, I called American to ask about their policies on missed flights due to train strikes. As someone here mentioned, the agent I spoke to said that we would most likely find out about the strike beforehand. When we do, she said we could call AA and let them know we'd miss our flight, resulting in a change fee.

This is making me feel it's a bit less of a gamble. Has anyone had to do this?
Paucie is offline  
Apr 25th, 2006, 04:15 PM
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What about a fare difference, which would no doubt be quite high on such short notice.
Travelnut is offline  
Apr 25th, 2006, 04:16 PM
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Perhaps some trip insurance would cover part of such an additional unexpected expense?.. Major train strikes don't happen that often, so it's really a very small chance anyway.
Travelnut is offline  
Apr 25th, 2006, 08:48 PM
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yes, do make absolutely sure of the price change. Some tickets have fees at "the next highest available fare" which could be substantially more. also some airlines only allow you to change for the $100-200 (etc) on the Outbound flight only and not the return.

My advice is to call (as you did) and call again and again. Different agents can sometimes give different answers depending on their experience (or laziness in finding the correct answer for you).
Aerick is offline  
Apr 26th, 2006, 12:30 AM
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The agents at the airport are all powerful. They could take pity on you and simply change it if there was a strike. They could also choose to collect a fee or even recalculate the fare. By the book would be fee plus new fare.

One time my mother and sister were traveling on reward tickets between CDG and DFW. On the return they did not have a direct flight as there was no reward inventory. They decided to stay a few extra days so we went to the AA office in Paris (now sadly closed) for assistance. They charged a change fee but the agent said, "You know there is a direct flight, would you prefer to take that?" Of course they said yes. The agent did it and said "Your mother will be more comfortable that way". In otherwords she decided my mother deserved a direct flight because of her age and simply rebooked it despite there being no award availability. Very nice.
MorganB is offline  
Apr 26th, 2006, 04:19 AM
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Trip insurance is a good idea. I get it primarily to cover me if I should need an ambulatory flight home or ship my dead butt home if I should assume room temperature while in Europe. My plan also covers such things as delays and forced changes in transportation as well as medical coverage up to 50K. I am 63 and pay about $50 for the coverage. If you travel extensively in France and Italy you know that train strikes are very common. In France there are often train strikes that are limited to just certain routes for 24 hours. Italy chooses to strike the entire train system except for a few national and international trains.

Larry J
LarryJ is offline  
Apr 26th, 2006, 04:54 AM
  #7  
 
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I'm sorry but there are times when those "all-powerful" agents are unable to override a computer program which insists on charging you a change fee and a difference in fare, if any.

How would anyone here "know" what American's policy is better than the airline does?
Intrepid1 is offline  
Apr 26th, 2006, 05:08 AM
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I just went through a missed flight experience on American so I will give my story.

About a month ago we were flying from Rome to Chicago with a layover in Brussels. Due to my stupidity in not knowing that time daylight savings time change occurs in Europe a week earlier than it does in the US, we missed our flight to Brussels. They put us on the next Alitalia flight to Brussels, but we were charged a $200 fee per ticket and were told that we would indeed make our Chicago connection. Of course, with only 40 minutes to spare and still having to go to the American counter to sort out the situation over there, I knew this wouldn't be possible. So we get to Brussels, finally get our bags, and make our way to the American counter to explain our situation. We had to wait the next day, but the customer service agent was so nice and she took pity on us and waived the next round of $200 ticket fees. She reticketed us and after spending the night in Brussels (there could be worse things...) we left the next day.

So basically we were told that they charge $200 per ticket to change the tickets if you miss a flight unless they only have business class seats left; if this is the case, you also have to pay the difference in price. But as noted above, the American agent did not make us pay. We were upset because we were basically told we would definitely make our connection, and the American agent said that they should have known that we would not have, so she was very nice and waived the price.

Anyways, I think it depends on who is helping you and the situation you are in. If there is a train strike, someone might take pity on you and offer to waive the fee.

Good luck!
Tracy
tcreath is offline  
Apr 26th, 2006, 09:19 AM
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-----I'm sorry but there are times when those "all-powerful" agents are unable to override a computer program which insists on charging you a change fee and a difference in fare, if any.----

The check-in agents can do what they please. There are the rules but they do indeed have the power to simply hand you a new ticket with zero fees. Its up to them to assess the situation and charge or not accordingly. The computer does not force them to charge any fee.

However a telephone agent has much less flexibility.
MorganB is offline  
Apr 26th, 2006, 09:31 AM
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Larry, Would you mind sharing where you bought your trip insurance? That sounds like a good price. Thanks
summer is offline  
Apr 26th, 2006, 07:02 PM
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To Summer,

I use the Travelex Company. You have no doubt seen their kiosques in airports. They sell travel and flight insurance and do currency exchange services. The website is:

https://www.travelex-insurance.com/C...r/Welcome.htmx

Larry J
LarryJ is offline  
Apr 27th, 2006, 05:02 PM
  #12  
 
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Larry, thanks for the information, I'll check it out. Summer
summer is offline  
Apr 27th, 2006, 05:25 PM
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Yep. In December 2004 my daughter and I arrived at the gate in Venice with only 15 minutes to spare. After sprinting there, we were breathing easier...until we were told the gate was closed and we could not board. It did not matter to the Air France b*tch that she had closed the gate early. We...and two other people... were charged $200 each for booking the same flight the next day...plus an extra day's expenses, of course.

DD and I were philosophical about being stranded in Venice while others across the way were reeling from the Tsumani. We knew we were fortunate so we didn't complain much...

...until I wrote Delta to complain about how their "partner" had treated us. Delta reimbursed us the $400 (in vouchers which we later added more $ to in order to fly to Denver for a weekend).

Beware, beware.
sallyjane3 is offline  

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