This really blows. I posted about the ticket price going up in a minute after trying to book on line and then not getting a refund or credit when I decided to not use the return flight. See my earlier post about this.
Now I have a flight booked for Philly in the morning which I got for $477 round trip. Down quite a bit from the last flight. I figured with the increased worries of the war the airlines were discounting.
Last night I encountered a medical emergency which put me in the hospital and although we expect everything to be fine I have to take a later flight tomorrow afternoon because of tests the doctors want to run in the morning. Mrs. Thomas called U.S. Airways to see if I can get on a later flight in the day. Sure, $100 change fee plus $300 additional fare. They asked for a credit card number to which she replied she would have to get it and call them back. A minute later the fare jumped up another $400! ! ! !
My only advice is to never leave an online connection or phone connection when making a change or reservation. This seems to trigger an action to increase fares since they know they have someone hooked and can reel them in.
I had a simular expierence while booking air tickets on-line. Before I totally finished the transaction the price went up, so just the minute it took to get to the credit card info in...., couldn't get the price I started out, so I was stuck with the increase or forget it....
Then, a few weeks later the price dropped and they said we couldn't cancel and re-buy them, because the penalty would off-set any savings.....we just lost out on that one...
Check out the later flights online. I would not worry about it, get to the airport as soon as you can, and then fly standby to Philly (haven't figured out why anyone would want to go to Philly). Be forewarned, I don't know USAir's rules; I know how I would do it on Delta.
I'm so sorry to hear about your health emergency I hope everything turns out ok. I've been reading about your ordeal - holy cow - I can't believe they are putting you through all this! It certainly must be aggravating to say the least!
I can't believe the price gauging! The fact that the price can increase by hundreds of dollars in a matter of minutes is criminal!
I'm hoping everything works out for you - and that your travel is as stress-free in the end as possible!
booking soon - 10th anniversary cruise in August....
Thomas I am so sorry about your troubles. I just hope you will be better tomorow.
What is all this about prices. Jesterday Chuck was telling us about the cruise price that went up thousand dollars in one day and now his.Jeeze what kind of BS is this .
I too hope things will be less tressfull for you in the morning Auguste
My brother wanted to catch an earlier flight at his connecting airport recently and when he approached the desk to ask if they could put him on the earlier flight they gave him the $100 extra line. So he declined and waited for his original flight that left 1.5 hr later. That flight was overbooked badly and they had to give free roundtrip tickets to 4 people on that flight. Now the people at the desk must of realized that this later flight was overbooked, why didn't they jump at the opportunity to free up one of those seats. They would rather give away 4 roundtrip tickets then waive the $100 change fare. This was Delta at the Atlanta hub, so those people should know what is going on since it is the main hub.
There is a article in our paper today and it says <The major airlines change their fares on average now get this <200.000> times EACH DAY they had $18 billion in losses the last 2 years. unbelievable. Auguste
Wow, that's unbelievable. This pricing scheme has me baffled. How can you keep a straight face when you tell your customer at 4:03 p.m. the price of the ticket is $560 and then tell them at 4:06 p.m. it is now $987 and we're charging you $100 for the change.
Thomas, I hope you are feeling ok and that everything is fine. As far as the airlines go, they never cease to amaze me!
Flying home from Miami on American, I had a 7:00 p.m. flight because all the others were outrageously priced when I booked. At the airport, I asked if the 3:00 or 5:00 were available and they were both oversold by 20+ seats! I waited for the 7:00 and it was the same thing, huge line of people trying to get on, way oversold! There were already people there from the 9:00 flight trying to get on at 7:00! Miami/Chgo is very busy!
Funny thing is, they used the little "80" planes for these flights that hold maybe 125 or 135 with 2 seats left and 3 on the right! I guess I just don't get it and the varying prices people paid were amazing! Anywhere from just over $200 (me) to $500+.
But it sounds to me as though if AA were doing as nicely on all routes as it is on MIA-ORD, it wouldn't be filing for bankruptcy this week.
Being oversold by 20 or so seats per flight is pretty much ideal, because there are always some no-shows. Why are they so crowded? Maybe you answered the question yourself:
all the others were outrageously priced when I booked.
MD-80's, as you say, hold 133 people in the AA configuration. The next larger airplane flown by AA is the 757 at 173 seats. In fact some MIA-ORD flights use 757s.
I don't know how much more it costs to operate a 757 than an MD-80. But I know that AA knows. And I also know you can't change the proportion of the planes in your fleet day to day to meet changing needs. But the solution of using larger airplanes to accommodate just a minor overflow (many of whom bought discount fares) doesn't sound like a winner.
Obviously, the major carriers have been hideously mismanaged since deregulation. But I have a hard time putting the knock on them for selling out some flights here and there. Bottom line: you got home OK, right?
Ironically, a big part of the airlines' problem is just the opposite from what you encountered. On so many routes the airlines must use planes like MD-80's on routes that never run more than half full. You call the MD-80 "little," but it's not so little when it's flying with 20 passengers on it. A bunch of arcane and destructive work rules that were put in place over the years tend to prevent the majors from switching those routes to the more "right-sized" regional jets (35-50 passengers) that are so popular now on the regional airlines.