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.


Sky High Travel Prices Rising

Dear Airlines:

I understand why you have to raise the price of tickets and start charging for luggage in an attempt to keep abreast of increasing fuel costs. But here’s what I would like to know: Are you still going to give away all those freebie flights for your employees’ family members?

Instead of passing along all of your higher costs to your paying customers, why don’t you stop letting employee’s parents, etc. fly standby for free? Let them pay for their flights. That will bring in some needed revenue.

Southwest Airlines still has discounts for senior travelers. Age doesn’t accurately reflect whether or not your pocketbook can afford to pay a full fare or not.

The other day I was listening to a couple of women talk about the high cost of maintaining a second home. Snowbirds. I had no sympathy for them. They should just be glad they can afford the option of a second home in their senior years.

There are many families who can’t afford gas to get to work and milk for their kids. These are the low level hourly workers who make it possible for the fat cats at the top to enjoy their vacation homes and other luxuries.

This country is an economic mess right now. How much worse will it get?