On May 27th in my post entitled "Leaving on a Jet Plane" I lamented that I had purchased an airline ticket for Jamie on the previous Thursday for what I thought was a pretty good price (and it was!) but on the following Saturday, the airline came out with the same ticket at an even lower price.
Having been raised by a New England mother who never bought anything unless it was on sale, this stuck in my craw even though I knew I had gotten a good price for the flight. But half price is half price and I felt a bit cheated in the big scheme of things.
I was lamenting about that very thing with some of my fellow co-workers a day or two later when Beth, our newest scheduler and a genuine pleasure to have in dispatch with us, mentioned that she had just seen an article on Yahoo! finance about what to do when airfares have dropped after you have already bought a ticket. She emailed me the link to the article which you can also link to here.
In a nutshell, the article states:
'Few customers realize it, but many airlines will give refunds if they cut the price after you have bought a ticket. Expedia.com or Orbitz.com, unless the price drops in the first 24 hours.)"I had never heard of such a thing and the timing of Beth's finding this article couldn't have been better! I figured it was worth giving the airlines a call because after all, it was , JetBlue, Southwest, United and all offer vouchers for the full price difference -- if the price drops $200, you can get a $200 coupon towards a future trip. Others offer vouchers, or cash, after deducting change fees (which can run up to $100). In industry jargon, it is called a " ," and in most cases it only works if you bought the ticket directly from the airline. (It generally won't work if you bought them via a Web site such as half price!
When I called Southwest, the airline I had booked Jamie's return flight on, I spoke to a very nice lady who walked me through the whole process on-line. I now have a credit with them which I can use for a future flight and I'm sure that I will be doing so as they are one of the few airlines that doesn't charge that overly exorbitant unaccompanied minor fee. They also have non-stop flights between either Hartford or Providence and Tampa, where Jamie will be living when she leaves here in July. When it comes to flying, my philosophy has always been the fewer times you have to take off and land the better and with non-stop I don't have to worry about Jamie missing a connection and being stranded in some strange airport.
Who knows? Maybe I'll even use that credit to fly down there myself to visit sometime. Long, long ago in what seems like another lifetime my father was stationed at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa and I spent several years there. No doubt it has changed by leaps and bounds since I was last there in 1968 but it might be kind of fun to see if there is any place at all that I can remember.
Of course, considering I can't remember what I had for breakfast this morning, that might be quite the trick!