United drops ticket change fees
United Airlines has dropped fees on ticket changes to encourage more bookings.
Tracy Rucinski reported the news for Reuters:
United Airlines (UAL.O) said on Sunday it is permanently eliminating change fees on tickets for U.S. travel effective immediately, the latest effort by a U.S. airline to try to stimulate bookings hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
Chicago-based United is among the major U.S. airlines that began implementing temporary waivers of change fees this year to give passengers more flexibility with their travel plans given the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.
CNBC’s Leslie Josephs wrote:
“Following previous tough times, airlines made difficult decisions to survive, sometimes at the expense of customer service,” said United CEO Scott Kirby in a news release. “United Airlines won’t be following that same playbook as we come out of this crisis. Instead, we’re taking a completely different approach – and looking at new ways to serve our customers better.”
David Koenig from the AP noted:
United also said that it will extend a broad waiver of change fees — including for international travel — through Dec. 31. Customers who pay the lowest fares, called “basic economy,” can also change tickets free because of the extended waiver announced Sunday.
And starting in January, it will let customers fly standby for free on other flights the same day as their booked flight.
The moves come as United and other airlines try desperately to lure people back to flying despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. U.S. air travel has recovered modestly since April, but passenger traffic remains down about 70% from a year ago.