Airline Charged $675 for Change Fee, Other Costs
Fred Zajonczloski had flown from his home in Texas to be with his ailing 85-year-old father in New York and was scheduled to return home last Saturday (Dec. 17). Unfortunately, his father died and burial was set for today. The problem: the younger Zajonczloski tried to change his and his fiance’s itinerary so they could be present for the interment, but he was told it would cost an additional $675 for the two tickets. Since he couldn’t afford this, they flew home as scheduled and presumably will miss the burial.
Continental to Investigate
Continental was contacted by a Rochester TV station and a spokesman for the airline responded by extending his condolences and saying they will look into the matter.
It is not clear how the $675 figure for a change fee and related costs on two tickets was arrived at. Continental’s domestic flight change fee is $150 per ticket, but it is possible that the remaining $375 Mr. Zajonczloski was told he had to pay for the two tickets represented the higher price of last-minute airfare – but at this point that’s not known.
Beware Non-Refundable Tickets
What is known is that in general, the cheapest tickets on any airline are considered non-refundable. If travelers have the slightest inkling they may have to extend or cut short a trip, they should always bear this in mind and purchase a refundable (and more expensive) ticket.
Another possible solution: buy trip insurance, but if you do, read the fine print carefully. Paying good money for a product that doesn’t cover your needs is not going to help you.