Recently United Airlines decided to increase their change fee on all domestic bookings from $150 to $200 per person. US Airways followed suit shortly after. Eventually Delta & American matched. With those change fees in mind, it got me thinking, “where is the spectrum of these fees in the US right now?”
Before we look at all the change fees each airline charges, we first need to look at what a change fee is and why airlines charge them. A “Change Fee” to the airlines is a fee that is charged when you need to change the date or time on your flight booking. On heavily discounted airfares, changes are restricted so that you can be given the cheapest price possible. At least… that’s the idea. In essence this is a fee charged by the airline, as a penalty to you for changing your mind.
Changing the airfare on the airline’s end probably doesn’t cost them much, if anything. In this day and age of overselling most flights, the airline has probably already sold it within seconds of your change.