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Tricks of the Travel Trade could be costly – Don’t be fooled

23rd September 2011

What the Airlines won’t tell you…

With the world and his dog desperately trying to recoup losses, airlines are the forerunners when it comes to charging via the back door. We have recently experienced two such examples, which we wish to share with you.

SCAM 1 – Refunds on the return portion of a flight ticket

Should you wish to change your return flight, the local airline is keen for you to purchase a new ticket from them and recommends you get a refund on your return to the UK.

You might expect to receive half the value back. However, you would be wrong.

The majority of the airline fare rules state the refund will be calculated based upon the ONE WAY fare for that route used. The One Way fares are usually almost the same cost as a return, therefore your refund is minimal.

Our advice?
Don’t buy a new ticket; insist on getting your ticket reissued or contact our Flightline Travel Management.

SCAM 2 – New rules for changes to BA discounted premium class tickets

BA has recently reduced and restructured their pricing on discounted premium cabins especially business class. In the small print the rules to change the ticket now state they must equal the original restrictions.

This proves to be a problem if the original ticket is an advance purchase of 7, 14, 21 or 28 days because you need to give that same number of advance days in order to change your return. This is fine if you are away for a long period but on short stays (e.g. a week) this can mean there are insufficient days remaining during your trip to make the changes.

Of course you can upgrade to the next highest fare and pay the difference, plus a typical £200 change fee. This happened to our client last week on a visit to the USA and it cost £800 to upgrade AND a £200 fee because he needed to return and could not give 7 days advance notice.

Our advice?
If there is a possibility that you may have to change your return flights at short notice, buy a flexible flight. Although the initial cost may be higher you will incur fewer penalties for making ‘last minute’ changes.

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