Airline Pet Peeve: Name Change Fees

I understand why the airlines have to raise fees to cover the high costs of fuel, but if there’s an airline out there who really wants to be a kinder, gentler, customer-friendly airline…it should drop its name change fees.

If I buy a ticket to a sporting event or a rock concert, I don’t have to commit to the name of the person who will use the tickets. But if I buy an airline ticket, I can’t just sell it — or give it away  — if I can’t use it. Or I have to pay a big fee to use it at a later date or another departure time.

Ski clubs, which sign contracts committing to purchasing a block of tickets several months before the day of departure, incur name change fees if a member cancels out of trip and the trip spot is sold to someone else.  In some cases, the trip has not been paid for in full, and the club needs to fill the accommodations and balance the budget for ground transportation. Most of these are non-profit social organizations managed by volunteers.

And don’t tell me that there is a security risk. Everyone is checked at the airport. It doesn’t take that much time to type in a new name. With everything computerized today, let the consumer go in and change the name.

It takes more time for airline employees to explain the policy than it would to simply change a name.

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