Can Airlines Change Luggage Rules After Ticket Purchase??

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by Bill From PA, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. Bill From PA

    Bill From PA Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That

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    Some airlines have a 1 checked bag per passenger limit and others are looking to follow suit. This rule will be a factor in my choice of arlines next March, and my question is, if our choice allows 2 bags of 50 lbs each when I buy, can they change that and apply it to my flights, or are the rules set in stone once I pay?

    Thanks,
    Bill From PA
     
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  3. bavaria

    bavaria <font color=deeppink>Makes the best of both worlds

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    Yes, they can. As can rental cars change taxes and fees from the time of booking to the actual date of use.
     
  4. Bill From PA

    Bill From PA Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That

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    I'm surprised. There's a huge difference between making a ressie for a car, I've got an Alamo car for 8 days for $234, and an airline ticket. I can blow off the car rental and look elsewhere without penalty if terms change, once airfare is purchased there's no changing things without a fee, if then. But if that's how it is, that's it.

    Bill From PA
     
  5. mickey2000

    mickey2000 Pin trader

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    I would think by this time next year ALL airlines will have this in place.
    JMO.
     
  6. Lewisc

    Lewisc <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

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    The luggage rules are contained in the CoC, you're bound by the CoC that's in effect when you fly. Generally you're entitled to a refund if you don't agree to the new terms.

    I'd assume most airlines will be down to one (or possibly zero) free checked bags shortly.

    I think what Delta is doing is despicable, they are continuing to show the 2 bag rules in their website but showing the new rules in the CoC.
     
  7. bavaria

    bavaria <font color=deeppink>Makes the best of both worlds

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    The difference however is that one does have a choice when it comes to checking a second bag. If a fee is implemented and one does not agree with it, one has options. Pack less, do laundry, pay the fee, ship items, etc

    The fee does not apply to everyone, just those who choose to make use of the service. It is not a mandatory fee for all passengers.

    Same holds true for an increase in the buy on board meal - if it goes from 'free' to $5, or from $5 to $7, one has a choice as to whether or not one wants to purchase the meal.
     
  8. Horace Horsecollar

    Horace Horsecollar <font color=blue>DVC members represent a unique ca

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    So far, the airlines have "grandfathered" those passengers who bought before the announcement of a charge for a second checked bag.

    For example, the announcement from United included the following: "This policy is for travel exclusively within the 50 United States, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada and applies to tickets purchased on or after February 4, 2008 for travel on or after May 5, 2008."

    I expect additional airlines (possibly all U.S.-based airlines eventually) to begin charging non-elite, economy class passengers for a second checked bag. And I expect them to "grandfather" passengers who bought tickets before the announcement, similar to how United handled it.

    On the other hand, there have been cases when airlines have "changed the rules" after passengers bought their tickets. For example, several airlines replaced free meals with buy-onboard meals. Passengers who bought their tickets before the change were not given any special consideration.

    The difference is that meals were never guaranteed, but passengers should reasonably expect the published checked baggage allowances that were in effect when they bought their tickets to be honored by their airline.
     
  9. Lewisc

    Lewisc <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

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    That's only true if the passenger is aware of the policy prior to arriving at the airport. Delta is still showing the 2 free checked bag policy in their main site but updated the CoC.

    I'm beginning to think Delta is counting on revene from passengers that don't know, and can't realistically be expected to know, of the new charged until they arrive at the airport.

    Other airlines aren't charing passengers who booked under the old rules.
     
  10. bavaria

    bavaria <font color=deeppink>Makes the best of both worlds

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    I agree Lewis that Delta did not implement this well, but frankly I think that they are desperate and it is showing. With a merger no longer on the horizon, I think that they are in a panic and are trying to maximize revenues as best they can.

    Conventional wisdom is that they have tossed out the current MQM bonus as an appeasement to travellers in hopes that they will forgive or overlook the fee increases.

    I didn't think that Delta would be the first of the existing US legacy carriers to 'crack', but I think that this is what we are witnessing now.
     
  11. Bill From PA

    Bill From PA Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That

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    Not to quibble, but my point here is that I'll verify my Alamo reservation the day before we leave for MCO, and if the terms have been changed to my disadvantage, I'll shop elsewhere without penalty. I can walk up to the desk and if I don't like what I'm signing for, I'm out of there, no charge. When I reserve 2 seats on an airline after reading the terms, they've got my money and I can't walk away or make any changes without paying a fee, if at all. I don't know the law, which is why I asked about this in the first place, it just seems to me that if I plunk down $$ for a RT flight and their documentation at the time of purchase says 2 bags each, then that's what I've contracted for. We'll just check 1 each and jam stuff into 2 carry-ons if this happens to us. The baggage allowance will still be a consideration when it comes time to fly.

    Bill From PA
     
  12. bavaria

    bavaria <font color=deeppink>Makes the best of both worlds

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    but you still have a choice. If you choose to check two bags, you pay the fee.
     
  13. megveg

    megveg Drink up me hearties, yo ho!

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    Delta is charging for the second bag after May 1 regardless of when you booked your tickets.
     
  14. Lewisc

    Lewisc <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

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    not to quibble but a passenger who shows up with 2 bags doesn't really have a choice.

    Only passengers who are aware of the new policy, prior to leaving for the airport, have a choice. Other airlines grandfathered ticketed passengers. Not only isn't Delta grandfathering passengers but they provided incorrect information on their website.

    Passengers going on a ski vacation can't make do with only one checked bag. Passengers (should) have a right to know what it will cost to check their skis and luggage prior to purchasing a ticket.

    The next step is to try to add a fuel surcharge to already ticketed passengers.
     
  15. Jestocost

    Jestocost DIS Veteran

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    You have not in any way contracted for two bags each. You have agreed to a contract of carriage that allows the airline to vary its fees at their whim (and to change your flight schedule, for that matter) and to charge you for making changes or cancelling. It may be a one-sided agreement, but it is what it is.
     
  16. Bill From PA

    Bill From PA Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That

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    Last post on this, promise. The senario is this: At the time of ticket purchase, I CHOOSE USAir because they allow 2 checked bags at 50 lbs each. That allowance plays a role in my CHOICE of carriers. After making the reservation, USAir changes the rule to one I would not have CHOSEN in the first place. I made the CHOICE to take 2 checked bags at the time of purchase, and I would not expect to have to CHOOSE again later because the airline changed the rules after I gave them my money. Again, I don't know the law, but if I read the terms on their web site when making my buy, those are the terms I expect to get when they fulfill their end of the transaction.

    Bill From PA
     
  17. bavaria

    bavaria <font color=deeppink>Makes the best of both worlds

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    But isn't the flip side of your argument that passengers who arrive at the terminal with liquids (because the last time they flew in 1999 they could carry on them on board) should be permitted to take them past security if they were not aware of the new rules?

    Education is key. I fully expect that Delta will have advised passengers of the second bag fee by May 1st, and will have posted it on their website by then. If people choose not to educate themselves, their loss.

    If Delta does not advise passengers other than via the CoC by May 1st, then I agree that they do have recourse to dispute the fee. Otherwise, it is the responsiblity of the passenger to educate themselves, whether in regards to schedule changes, fee changes, or restrictions.
     
  18. Jestocost

    Jestocost DIS Veteran

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    I believe that already is allowed under the terms of most (if not all) contracts of carriage. It hasn't been done by any airline as a result of the current fuel cost upswing, to the best of my knowledge, but the times are a changin'.
     
  19. Lewisc

    Lewisc <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

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    I don't it's fair but your ticket purchase is subject to the CoC. The terms of the CoC allows the airline to modify (change) it. The terms of the CoC that's in effect when you fly is what is enforced.

    You have the right to a refund, if you don't want to agree to the new terms.


     
  20. Lewisc

    Lewisc <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

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    I tried a search in the (pdf) CoC and nothing shows up for fuel surcharge. Airlines could amend the terms of the CoC and add a fuel surcharge but that may cross the line.
     
  21. Jestocost

    Jestocost DIS Veteran

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    I think it may be some of the international contracts of carriage that include the fuel surcharge potential. Sorry about the confusion.
     

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