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Changing your American Airlines or Delta flight? That'll be $200

By Yukio Strachan     May 4, 2013 in Travel
The next time you think about changing your flight, get ready for your wallet to take a hit. Especially if you are booked on American Airlines or Delta.
Delta and American Airlines both increased their change fees this week, upping the fee to change a domestic flight from $150 to $200, ABC News reported.
"American has matched for travel within the U.S., between the U.S. and Canada, and between both the U.S. and Canada and Mexico, Puerto Rico & the Virgin Islands, the Caribbean and Central America," said American Airlines spokeswoman Mary Frances Fagan.
The carrier's website points out its program Choice Essential and Choice Plus allow changes with no fee, as well as other benefits. The programs were introduced late last year. The base fare is higher than that of a basic economy-class ticket. As far as we can tell, the change has not been reflected on American's web site.
Delta Airlines could not be reached by ABC for a comment.
United Airlines initiated the move last month. "We carefully manage our seat inventory and incur costs when a traveler elects not to fly in a reserved seat," United spokeswoman Jennifer Dohm told ABC News last week. "We adjusted this fee to better compensate us for those costs."
It's bargain travelers that are most likely to pay the price. As ABC News notes,leisure travelers are, for the most part, traveling on the economy-class, least-expensive, non-refundable tickets that are subject to change fees. According to ABC, refundable, flexible tickets, as well as business and first-class tickets, are most often sold to business travelers at a higher price. With that higher price comes the luxury of changing plans – without incurring any extra fees.
Not all airlines have followed the lead of United Airlines.
Southwest Airlines does not charge a fee to change flights. "When you have to change your flight, some airlines charge up to $150 on top of paying a difference in fare," the carrier's website says. "Unlike our competitors, we understand unexpected events may happen. Our No Change Fees Policy lets our Customers know we care."
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