Airline Cancellation Charges are a Big Business

March 10, 2017

in Flying Hell Commentary

Another way the airline industry has found a way to screw the consumer: 

1. You purchase a ticket.  Of course it’s non-refundable; why would I want to pay double the amount when my true intentions is to fly?

2. Unfortunately, there are circumstances that do not allow you to use that ticket (but you do cancel with enough time for them to reissue it to someone else), so MAYBE you get some credit. But of course they charge you over $200 for cancellation.

3. That seat now gets occupied by someone who pays a higher premium because it is closer to the date of travel.

4. The airlines not only did NOT get cheated because there was no one in that seat, but now they have your money for doing absolutely nothing for you, PLUS the money of the passenger that does occupy the seat.

Now, if you purchase the tickets months before the travel date you might have saved, and now you cancel and the person who does ultimately get that seat pays much more. So a seat that might have been $200 goes for $350 due to the date of travel. The airline now receives a total $550 for a shitty seat.

No longer do they serve any meals, boarding sucks, security at the airport is horrendous. This is why unless I have to be at a place quickly or it’s out of the country, I would much rather drive (even if the drive takes more than 24 hours). I remember the days when people used to wear their best clothing when they were flying. It’s truly disgusting how all these companies find loopholes to get paid for providing absolutely NO SERVICE.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

weyoun March 10, 2017 at 6:17 pm

Yeah, but that could be true for anything. Maintaining an airline with even a fleet of one craft let alone many is expensive for them, too. I don't agree with cutting corners, but the airline industry isn't as profitable as you think, given the fees and charges they have to pay and every time they land and take off, that's in addition to fuel. Alas, I agree, the lack of service and inability to cancel is extortionate. I get incredibly irritated when a company (that is, pretty much all of them) gets to make free money for doing nothing and as some sort of punishment for supposedly inconveniencing them or costing them their precious profit – which they profit from.

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RedHead0186 March 15, 2017 at 12:34 pm

Agreed, anytime you make a reservation to any place it's a promise that you're going to show up, and if you can't show up, the business has a right to recoup some of that. Yes, some of the change fees are exorbitant, don't get me wrong, but I have no issue with the principle. (That's why I fly Southwest, no change fees).

Also, airport security isn't their fault, you can't really blame that one on the airlines. And yes, people used to dress up to fly but they also used to dress up to go anywhere. And back then air travel cost a lot more, even when accounting for inflation. So of course people dressed up, because the people flying could afford to fly and were the people who dressed up all the time anyway.

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weyoun March 19, 2017 at 4:30 pm

Yep, air travel was a lot different in those days. And yeah, airlines aren't really the ones enforcing airport security, it actually makes it harder for them too.

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MartinB105 March 16, 2017 at 4:00 am

"I remember the days when people used to wear their best clothing when they were flying."

What the hell is this supposed to mean? I'm glad that people today wear what they're comfortable in rather than trying to conform to some kind of silly misguided social or cultural convention.

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Boo March 23, 2017 at 8:14 am

Back in the day first class was exactly that..first class. Nowadays with enough air miles/points or standby or simply asking the flight attendant just about anybody can sit in first class. And thats a good thing except for those of us who actually pay the extra 2,000 to sit there. For that extra money aside from a larger sitting area food and privacy (although that doesn't exist anymore as people now go through first class to get to their seats and the washrooms are now allowed to be used by the entire plane). The food (off a menu) and premium drinks they are suppose to offer does not exist.

I have been on several flights where they offer a beef dinner (off the menu) and have been told they ran out. Now mind you I was sitting at the back of first class but that is no excuse to not have what they offer especially paying premium. Same as drinks. I only drink light beer but when I ordered it I was told they ran out..this was one hour into a five hour flight. However, they did go back into economy and found one!!!

For those of you who fly first class on points or whatever guess thats all fine and dandy. But for those of us who actually pay for those seats it sucks. And I totally agree with the dressing up for a flight. It used to be a fun exciting thing to do. But now its just become a chore.

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Nomad March 23, 2017 at 2:54 pm

I feel your pain — fortunately I've not experienced that (Virgin America, and Alaska are my two most frequent airlines.) Which airline has this inferior premium service?

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Boo March 30, 2017 at 6:43 am

Air Canada. They used to be decent until they introduced "Rouge" and from that point it went downhill. Another experience we had while in first class (Rouge) we ordered the beef from the menu and the flight attendant told us they ran out. Strange as we were sitting in the second row. My husband was disappointed and told her that. She walked away came back a few minutes later and told us that she would give up "her" beef dinner and give it to him. So, the first class dinners that people pay (some people pay, like us) go to the staff before they go to the paying customers? I probably sound like a jerk but seriously? When you pay upwards of 2,000.00 plus per seat isn't it fair to say we should be served the dinner we pay for first and not the staff? I would like to hear others thoughts on this and hopefully I don't sound like a jerk lol.

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James March 30, 2017 at 2:32 pm

I don;t think you sound like a jerk, but I am also a flier who pays for first (or if not available, business) class. I have not experienced service as bad as you describe, but Ive also not flown Air Canada. I have seen an airline run out of choices for food (United, breakfast, SFO-EWR) but I was in row 5 of six. I would guess if an airline offers a choice of meals in a luxury cabin, they should expect to return with some inventory. But I could also see them not carrying enough for every choice to be selected by everyone.

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linda leblanc March 31, 2017 at 7:29 pm

James…Im not one of those people sitting high on their horse with great exception lol. And I do understand running out of food – drink etc. However, when a premium price is paid one would expect premium service yes? Including food – drink so on. I do draw the line when staff of the airline is taking (rightfully ours given the cost) our food and/or drinks is being sold in economy for a max price. So for the money we pay for first class we expect first class. Not selling our drinks for 6.00 a beer or that our choiceof of food is taken by staff. Maybe its me..but I hope and would expect more for the money I spend on their airline.

We don't have a choice of many airlines out of Canada and Air Canada is one of the two choices we have that have first class.

As a sidenote after so many bad experiences with AC we have flown WestJet business class and are very happy with them for a quarter of the price 🙂

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weyoun April 2, 2017 at 4:04 pm

premium and first class isn't really about extra stuff, it's about class divide. this is why rich people always get first/business class even on short trips, it's not so much about getting a special service as it is about *feeling* special

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Boo April 3, 2017 at 6:35 am

Of course its about extra stuff and special service. First class/premium offers better seats..true. Food off a menu..not true when they run out or staff is taking food for themselves before the customer. Premium drinks..not true when they run out. Privacy..not true when the washrooms can be used by the entire plane. When you take away the all of that there is no "feeling" special. In fact the opposite because if you actually do pay for the extras out of pocket and don't get what you pay for is pretty annoying.

And…first class is not just for "rich people" as you put it. Air miles/points/frequent flyer gives everyone the opportunity to fly first class.

Having vented my grouchy comments lol I will still fly first class just lower my expectations.

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Mabel April 5, 2017 at 2:56 pm

I don’t know what airline you fly that allows just anybody to use the first class loo, but I have never seen that happen. Even when I paid for premium economy on BA and was six feet from the business class loo, I still had to go all the way to the back.

The only time I ever got to use the first class toilet was on a Delta flight back from Heathrow; a woman had a seizure in economy and the EMTs had blocked the aisle while we were at the gate still. I had to pee like a racehorse and asked the FA if I could go forward and use the toilet (I couldn’t get around to the other side either). They graciously allowed me to do so.

Any other time, they block those toilets off and if you even look at them you get a death glare like “Do not even think about coming up here.”

FYI–The only difference between that and the cheap loo was that the first class one was bigger.

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Boo March 24, 2017 at 8:15 am

Back in the day first class was exactly that..first class. Nowadays with enough air miles/points or standby or simply asking the flight attendant just about anybody can sit in first class. And thats a good thing except for those of us who actually pay the extra 2,000 to sit there. For that extra money aside from a larger sitting area food and privacy (although that doesn't exist anymore as people now go through first class to get to their seats and the washrooms are now allowed to be used by the entire plane). The food (off a menu) and premium drinks they are suppose to offer does not exist.

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Adam April 13, 2017 at 11:50 pm

Then pay more for an unrestricyed ticket, with no change fee's. Maybe you don't have enough money to travel On the plane.. There's alway the bus!

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