Top airline executives revealed that it doesn’t cost them anything to change passengers’ tickets on Tuesday…
Top airline executives revealed that it doesn’t cost them anything to change passengers’ tickets, even though passengers are forced to pay a penalty to change their airline ticket.
Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) asked the panel of airline executives how much it costs them to change someone’s booking, pointing out that people are often charged well over $200 to change their flights.
“Well sir, the cost is not about the actual changing of the ticket. I don’t know what the actual changing of the ticket costs,” United Airlines President Scott Kirby told DeFazio.
DeFazio followed up by pointing out “it’s about being very profitable. I observe United got $800 million in change fees last year. $800 million.”
DeFazio then asked the same question to an American Airlines executive, who told DeFazio that she agrees with Kirby’s observation.
After this line of questioning, DeFazio changed the subject to the matter of overbooking, asking Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President Robert Jordan if they would go broke because they removed the practice of overbooking.
“We are not going to go broke,” Jordan responded while holding back a laugh.
It would appear, based off these executives’ answers, that the practices of overbooking and charging passengers exorbitant flight-changing fees are simply money grabs that airlines don’t need to be profitable.
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