Delta and American Airlines have now raised their change fees for domestic flights from $150 to $200, matching the increase United and US Airways made last month. The four legacy airlines increased their fees to compensate the loss that occurs when customers choose not to fly in a reserved seat, according to United Airlines, who initially began the change-fee increase.
American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller told the AP that American Airlines sells “Choice Essential” and “Choice Plus” fares that allow customers to change reservations for no extra costs. However, these tickets cost more than base economy tickets. But, you get a 50% mileage bonus with Choice Plus fares.
Delta spokesman Anthony Black noted in the AP on Thursday that Delta “monitors competitive conditions” and increased its change fees “to remain competitive in the marketplace.”
As much as these change fees annoy us, airline fees are bound to happen, and they’re only going to keep rising. Airlines have quickly realized that they can keep raising change fees, baggage fees, and any other amenities without losing customers- the $200 fee may have created a stir, but flyers aren’t particularly surprised.
Nothing is more frustrating than tossing a ticket that would cost more to change than the actual ticket is worth, but this a reality of the industry. The competition that arose when United Airlines raised their change fee is the reason everyone else raised- to stay competitive, and to make the most money.
Change fees are practically unavoidable. Top-tier elite status with some airlines could wiggle you out of those fees, but even those benefits are changing. To completely avoid change fees, you can fly Southwest. Southwest doesn’t charge baggage or change fees, but they don’t accept no-shows- you won’t be able to apply credit from your missed flight to a later trip.
Your best option, as always, is to educate yourself and do the research. Figure out what airlines charge which fees, and know what you’re getting into before you commit to fly. Your loyalties to airlines may change are prices rise and fall, and that’s okay, but make sure you’re still traveling in a way that avoids as many fees as possible- baggage, window seats, traveling with pets, etc. Other than that, change fees are here to stay, and they’ll keep rising.
— Noob MasterRead More
US Airways often has a promotion to buy or share miles for 100% bonus, and it’s back! You have to buy between 30,000 and 50,000 miles to get the full bonus, but 100% is always a pretty good deal! Here are the details:
These promotions are wonderful, especially if you’re already looking at an award on US Air but are a few miles short. Though, small mileage aren’t getting as much of a bonus this time as they did in January, when any mileage denomination was a 100% bonus.
It can even be a great way to ride in business class for cheaper than a revenue ticket! Let’s look at some of the math. If you are buying 50,000 miles, it costs $1,881.25 after taxes, which is normally 3.76 cents per mile. This promotion doubles your miles, which brings it down to 1.9 cents per mile! If you can redeem for a better value then that, like a 90,000 point reward in business class to Asia, this might be a good deal for you!
If you’re an American flyer, this could be a good way to build up some American miles for cheap in advance of the merger, but no one knows yet how exactly that is going to work, so think carefully before you buy miles speculatively.
This deal is good through May 31, and you must have had a Dividend Miles account for at least 12 days before purchasing. So if you don’t have one and want some cheap Star Alliance miles, there’s still an opportunity. This promotion won’t make sense for everyone, but if it’s right for you this is definitely one of the best times to buy miles!
I love the US Airways promos for topping off my accounts for upcoming travel. However, they can be a cheap way to buy premium cabin flights if paying for international premium flights is something you do regularly.
— Ethan CarterRead More
You can earn up to a 100% bonus by shopping through US Airways Dividend Miles StoreFront until June 23, 2013. And guess what special days fall before then…Mothers Day, Fathers Day, and High School and College graduations. Perfect.
So, first thing’s first. You’ll need to register, and you can do that here —> Register Now
The bonus structure is tiered in a way to reward you greater the more you shop. They want you to shop more so you can earn more. See the chart below.
It is unclear if you will get the 100% on all 12 transactions or just transactions 10-12, but I’m assuming it’s all transactions. The participating partners are:
|Dividend Miles StoreFront –Special Offer|
|Teleflora– Earn 15 miles per $1 spent|
|1800Flowers–Earn 25 miles per $1 spent|
|FedEx–Save up to 26%, get 250 miles for first shipment & earn 1 mile per $1 spent|
|DM Dining–The more you spend, the more miles you earn|
Purchases made through the Dividend Miles StoreFront have to be at least $50 to qualify for a purchase. However, the Skymall has some cheap, cheap products, so you should be able to make multiple purchases through them to achieve the 10-12 transaction tier. Plus, who’s to stop you from going to a restaurant that participates in the dining network and ordering a few rounds of drinks, all separate transactions of course.
And don’t forget the option of sending your Momma, Grandma, Sister, or any lady in your life (all separate orders) flowers from 1-800 Flowers (25x), FTD, or Teleflora. Go ahead, be the hero and earn miles while you’re at it.
I may even look into getting some wine from Vinesse or Wine Insiders if it makes sense. You know, one glass of red wine a night is healthy for you and I’m all about healthy- maybe too much. You get 12 bottles of wine for $95.88 with Wine Insiders. That’s cheaper than what I pay for bottles now, and you get another 1,000 Dividend miles bonus. A couple years ago, I ordered the same thing through the Grand Slam promotion. I remember some of the wine being good, and some being below average.
Also, be sure that you don’t forget to add your Dividend account number, or the transaction won’t count towards the tier bonus.
All in all, this isn’t a groundbreaking promo, but it’s one that can definitely be useful in earning Dividend miles, which will eventually become AAdvantage miles (because of the merger).
Here are the full T&C’s from the US Airways website:
“Bonus miles will be awarded to registered Dividend Miles members as a percentage of total miles earned from qualifying partners via a tiered structure. Tier structure is as follows:
Qualifying Activity 1 – 3 = 25% bonus miles
Qualifying Activity 4 – 6 = 50% bonus miles
Qualifying Activity 7 – 9 = 75% bonus miles
Qualifying Activity 10 – 12 = 100% bonus miles
Qualifying Dividend Miles StoreFront transactions must also meet a minimum purchase amount of $50.00 to be deemed an eligible transaction. Bonus miles are in addition to miles awarded by Dividend Miles partners. In order to earn a bonus, a valid Dividend Miles number must be provided to the qualifying partner. Use of a partner without earning Dividend Miles will not count as a bonus. To earn a bonus, Dividend Miles members must click on partner offers through the US Airways website or request Dividend Miles when making a purchase. Transactions must have an Eligible Activity Date between April 22, 2013 and June 23, 2013 to qualify for the bonus. DM Storefront miles will be posted within 10 weeks after promotion end date of June 23, 2013. All bonus miles will be posted on September 8, 2013 and will be awarded based on the Eligible Activity Date, not the date in which the transaction occurred.”
— Noob MasterRead More