PDA

View Full Version : Please help - Continental now charges fee if the price of your flight goes DOWN....


HeatherT
05-05-2004, 02:21 PM
and you want the credit?? I just booked a last minute trip on Monday from cleveland to tampa and my price was $255/pp. I just checked today and the price for the same flights is now $218/pp. I called to ask for a credit and was told that they would credit me but I would be charged a $100 "reissue" fee. I was told this started after 9/11, however I just did this last year and was never charged $100. Has anyone ever heard of this?? I'm so mad now - I got excited that I was getting over $110 back - thought I'd be able to sneak another trip in this year;)

Anyone ever have this problem with Continental (or any other airline for that matter)?

Thanks,
Heather

Lewisc
05-05-2004, 02:29 PM
The rules vary by airline. One reason a lot of us like SW is their liberal policy with credits and flight changes.

The policy you quoted makes LOGICAL sense. The tickets you bought are non-refundable and non-changeable. If the airfare goes up Continental doesn't send you a bill for the difference in fare. Continental is basically acting as if you changed your flight and is charging you the change fee. I think delta has (or at least had) a similar policy.

JKanownik
05-05-2004, 02:37 PM
I've found that airline rules vary from person to person and depending on the situation, even on the same airline (I've experienced this with Continental and Airtran). I would call a couple more times and try speaking to different people.

-Josh

deltachi8
05-05-2004, 02:48 PM
Continental can be frustrating to deal with, but it is not an uncommon policy to see.

The unfortunate thing is, while I respect their right to make the charge, they end up turning people off and they switch airlines.

bballmom56
05-05-2004, 03:10 PM
I agree with Josh - I would definitely call again and speak to someone else. Delta and Song do issue credit travel vouchers when the price goes down as that happened to us. But I got conflicting info. on when I could use them. The first person told me all travel had to be completed within a year of the date of issue of the voucher. The second person told me all I had to do was book a flight within a year of the date of issue - travel could be after the year deadline.

GeminiMom
05-05-2004, 04:16 PM
This just happened to me with my upcoming June reservations on Airtran. When I made the reservations, prices were $291/pp. I caught sight of a web special on Airtran's website a few days ago & called to rebook. I knew from reading their rules that they would charge a $50 "rebooking fee", but it paid off for me to pay that. The new price was $165/pp! If I would have waited to book the flight it would have been $504 cheaper;however, I can't plan a trip without having the airfare 1st so booking back in March was the only way I would have stayed sane. After rebooking, I still saved $304 (4 tickets). The only problem....living in Pittsburgh we use USAir alot, never had used Airtran & now I'm finding that Airtran's destinations & schedules aren't exactly what I'd call pick of the litter! We'll probably try to return to Orlando in the fall for a long weekend to use the credit.

SyracuseWolvrine
05-05-2004, 08:39 PM
What may have happened is that the fare you're seeing is not the same fare you booked. Confused? Let me explain more.

Airlines have thousands of "Fare Basis Codes". Generally, a given route will have between 5 and 7 fare basis codes. Each code will have a different set of rules about the fare ... for example, some are fully refundable (these are typically much more expensive). Typically, most of the changes you see are changes to the fare basis code that you booked. However, sometimes, a different fare code will go on sale, and end up with a lower price than the (originally cheaper) fare that you booked. In this situation, you're not changing your reservation, you're essentially rebooking it at the lower rate, and thus it counts as a billable change.

Note: Generally, fare basis codes are transparent to the average flyer. Spending any great amount of time to try and figure them out is probably wasted time, since search engines like Expedia or the airline websites will just give you the lowest fares. If you're really curious about these, I'd recommend checking out the message boards over at flyertalk.com, where there are people who are very good at understanding and explaining these codes.

seashoreCM
05-06-2004, 10:16 AM
Tips:

o Book a different airline next time, one whose contract of carriage calls for a fare adjustment if fares go down.

o Wait for a fare war rather than buy at their everyday low prices. (Sorry, doesn't work for ultra popular travel dates.)

o http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/disney.htm

Delta sometimes has across the board fare sales, sometimes they use a different class letter (T) for fare wars (the everyday low price is U).

HeatherT
05-06-2004, 01:19 PM
Thanks everybody for your replies! SyracuseWolvrine, you are exactly right - I finally had someone at Continental explain this to me (after 3 different calls). I was told I would have to be "downgraded" to a different class in order to receive the lower fare. I asked if this meant I was entitled to more perks than someone who books at the lower fare grade :p I don't think she found that too funny! Anyway, lesson learned - next time I'll either pay more attention or fly a different airline.

Heather

TammyC
05-06-2004, 04:46 PM
Originally posted by bballmom56
I agree with Josh - I would definitely call again and speak to someone else. Delta and Song do issue credit travel vouchers when the price goes down as that happened to us. But I got conflicting info. on when I could use them. The first person told me all travel had to be completed within a year of the date of issue of the voucher. The second person told me all I had to do was book a flight within a year of the date of issue - travel could be after the year deadline.

I have checked with Delta 3 or 4 times about when to use credit vouchers. Every time but one, they said you had to book (but not travel) within the year. I finally had the agent tell me the page number of the employee manual she read it from, just in case they tried to tell me I couldn't use the vouchers when I call back.

I had some other vouchers a couple of years ago and they said to book (not travel) within a year and when I tried to use them they said I had to travel within the year. Of course it was after a year at that point, but they let me use them anyway because of what I had been told. I think there was a policy change around that time.

seashoreCM
05-07-2004, 01:01 PM
Not too long ago I got a voucher from Delta and printed right on the voucher was the rule that travel had to be completed a year from the voucher's issue date.

bballmom56
05-07-2004, 01:42 PM
I just checked my voucher and it has nothing about when it expires. It was emailed to me after I called when the price went down. During that call, the Delta rep. told me I had one year to complete travel with it. When I called about a month later with another question, I asked that rep. about the policy and was told just to book within the year. I told her another rep. told me travel had to be completed within the year, and she said no, just booked. If I do get to use it, I'll have to pin someone down on the correct answer!:rolleyes: