US Airways has increased its change fee to $200 for changes on paid domestic tickets and tickets to Canada, the Caribbean and Central America, and also increased the change fee to $300 for paid tickets to and from Brazil.
If there's any good news, it's that change fees remain the same for paid tickets to and from Europe and the Middle East, at $250, not that this fee is any more correlated with the cost to the airline of changing your ticket.
So, US Airways has matched United's increased change fee to $200 in terms of domestic tickets, which I covered in United Airlines Ticket Change Fee Rises to $200-$300.
Just as I mentioned in that post, there are several ways to avoid paying the fee.
- Cancel Within 24 Hours of Purchase: You can cancel without a fee within 24 hours of purchase and rebook your flight. Here are the US Airways-specific rules:
“You're allowed to cancel your US Airways ticket (refundable or non-refundable) for a full refund (and no change fees and/or difference in fare).
- Must call 800-428-4322 within 24 hours of purchase to cancel and (request a refund)
- Does not apply to Dividend Miles award tickets
- Only for tickets booked on usairways.com or with US Airways reservations”
- Prepay for Changes: You could buy an expensive refundable ticket, but for most it's not worth the much higher fare.
- Flight Delay, Cancellation or Travel Waiver: If your flight is delayed or cancelled, or if there's a travel waiver issued due to terrible weather or other catastrophe (currently the Boston Marathon bombings), you should be able to change your flight for free.
- Schedule Change: If you've booked your flight months in advance there may well be a schedule changes (or several) prior to your date of departure. This is your “get of out jail free” card, since it could legitimately cause you to miss a connection or a meeting. Make sure you have contact info listed or otherwise monitor these changes, so you can avoid the ticket change fee.
- Book an Award Ticket as a Chairman's Preferred Elite: If you're not Chairman's Preferred, you'll pay $150 if you need to change or reissue your ticket and redeposit your miles (and keep in mind US Air does *NOT* allow changes to award tickets after you have departed on the first segment). But if you ARE Chairman's Preferred, the $150 fee is waived. Now, whether you'd actually want to every fly enough on US Air to become Chairman's Preferred is another question…
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