If there’s one positive change to come for travellers after the pandemic, it’s that customers will have more power when it comes to choosing service providers. Hotels, airlines and more are all vying for attention. The latest company to do right by the consumer? Chicago-based United Airlines, who is permanently eliminating change fees on tickets for U.S. travel effective immediately.
While the majority of major airlines were allowing customers to change tickets free of charge during the Coronavirus uncertainty, United is the first to say they’re waiving their fees for good. Rivals Southwest Airlines are the only other airline to not (and never have!) charge for change fees.
By Ending Change Fees, United Will Lose Out on $625 Million
Yep, that’s how much the airline usually makes in change fees. The entire US airline industry rakes in about $2.8 billion a year from change fees. This a highly lucrative fee.
But, the airline is keen to drive more bookings and boost its customer base in such tough times for the industry. With the average change fee for a domestic flight costing $200, this is pretty enticing for travellers.
And starting on January 1, 2021, any United customer can fly standby for free on a flight departing the day of their travel regardless of the type of ticket or class of service, a first among U.S. carriers. Could 2021 finally be the year that ‘the customer is always right?’ With these changes, it seems like it.