Travel Tip: How Much Airlines Make From Change & Cancellation Fees
United Airlines has increased its ticket change fees from $150 to $200. In some cases, that’s more than the airfare itself.
But if you think that’s bad, consider some international ticket fees.
On Delta Air Lines, a change fee could get as high as $400. In fact, Delta was number one in reservation and cancellation fees—they pulled in $778 million.
American Airlines raked in $517 million. That’s almost pure profit—it didn’t involve fueling or flying a plane. It’s not a bad deal for the airlines, but a very bad deal for you.
In any case, a nonrefundable airline ticket is now worthless if it’s not used.
Consider this: the average domestic airfare in the U.S. is $374.
If you need to change it, take away $200 and then add any increase in airfare.
But remember, with airlines flying full, chances are your unsold seat WILL be filled. So if you buy a nonrefundable ticket, budget accordingly or get trip cancellation insurance.
To learn more about how much airlines make from additional fees, check out:
- How Much Airlines Make From Ancillary Revenue
- 5 Airline Fees You Can Avoid (And 4 You Can’t)
- Fewer Flights, More Revenue: Airlines Come Out Ahead
Keep reading for more travel tips.