The global Covid-19 pandemic will undoubtedly lead to some lasting changes in the travel industry, and not all are negative ones from a customer perspective.
The dreaded change fee is being eliminated forever at United Airlines, at least on domestic flights.
From January 2021, the airline won’t impose change fees on standard economy and premium cabin tickets.
That apparently will likely not include the cheapest basic economy tickets which were always non-changeable even for an extra fee.
Customers who need to change their travel plans will be offered free same-day standby and flight changes.
“Change is inevitable these days — but it’s how we respond to it that matters most. When we hear from customers about where we can improve, getting rid of this fee is often the top request,” United CEO Scott Kirby said in a video message to customers.
“Following previous tough times, airlines made difficult decisions to survive, sometimes at the expense of customer service. United Airlines won’t be following that same playbook as we come out of this crisis.”
Even though the change fee is going for most tickets, any fare difference applicable is still payable.
The change fee has been one of the policies most hated by customers which can be $200 per change or more.
Every airline except for Southwest Airlines imposes change fees, although there are change fee waivers at the moment due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics, United raked in $625 million in ticket change fees last year.