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Misadventures in Pricing from My Preferred Airline

March 25, 2014

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA

It must be tough to work in the airline industry. Everyone’s a critic – sometimes justified and sometimes not. Consider an experience I just had when trying to change my travel plans for an upcoming flight.

My roundtrip ticket from New York to Chicago cost $376. I now have to stay in Chicago for an additional evening and need to change my departure time from 7pm to 7am the next day. The cost for that change is $200. That’s more than half the cost of the original fare, which doesn’t seem right.  Plus, this is my preferred airline and I am a “silver” member in their loyalty program.

It gets worse. The cost for a one way ticket from Chicago to New York is $188. How can the “penalty” for changing my flight plans possibly cost more than a new ticket? And wouldn’t the airline rather me not buy that new ticket to prevent having two reservations in their system (including one I wouldn’t use)?

I don’t mind paying a fair and reasonable fee to change my ticket – but this is ridiculous. We hear so much at ANA about brands “putting the customer at the center” and airlines (at least this one) would be smart to do the same.

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