American Airlines Charges Outrageous Fee for Ticket Changes, Southwest and Virgin America Don’t

American Airlines has pushed way past the line when it comes to the fee for changes to an existing reservation. For a domestic ticket it’s $200, and for international it’s up to $750!

In my case, due to my AAdvantage status there is no or low charge for changes and cancellations. But to the ordinary flyer, perhaps with family in tow, these charges are serious money.

They should investigate Southwest Airlines, which has NO CHANGE FEES and NO CANCELLATION FEES.

A second airline has decided to be almost as friendly as Southwest…Virgin America. When purchasing a ticket online at Virgin America, you will see an option for their $25 “Plans Change Pass.” If you select it, then you can change your reservation later at no cost.

The Battle for (Flights to) Cuba is On!

All the major US airlines (nine, maybe ten) are vying for the 20 daily flights to Havana which are slated to become available soon.

US Airlines Battle Over Havana

More and more Americans are making the trip, and they all return with the advice that “you’d better go now, before it opens up completely.”

Tooth Fairy Saves the Day Aboard Southwest Airlines Flight

A sweet story about a boy who accidentally swallowed his loose tooth during a flight.

The flight attendant announced it over the intercom, and soon thereafter the tooth fairy somehow got aboard and left two dollar bills on the aircraft.

Along with 2 free bags and no-fee changes, this must be another benefit of flying Southwest.

Fly Southwest Airlines at a discount.
Fly Southwest Airlines at a discount.

Comparison of Frequent-Flyer Award Charts for American, Delta and United Airlines

One conclusion is that the Big 3 legacy carriers have nearly identical numbers of frequent-flyer miles needed for any given route.

Maybe a comparison including JetBlue will be published later.

jetBlue N290JBSouthwest Airlines does their frequent-flyer program in a very different way, so it can’t really be compared to the others.

5+ Reasons to Fly Southwest Airlines

For those unfamiliar with Southwest Airlines, this is a good summary of why you should fly them.

The biggest advantage of Southwest is not even on the list: For my wife and I, it is the Companion Pass…when I fly SWA, she flies for just $5.60. No matter if I pay money or points, no matter where I fly, her ticket is just $5.60.

Many Southwest passengers like the free checked luggage feature of SWA flights, and we occasionally find it useful.

Southwest Airlines. Photo by thor_mark  / Flickr

Fly Dallas to Atlanta, $82 on Southwest (free cancel) or $87 on Delta (no free cancel)…Which Would You Choose?

Southwest Airlines is so much more passenger-friendly than the other legacy carriers…free changes, free checked luggage, friendly staff.

In both cases the fares are from Love Field in Dallas to Atlanta Hartsfield and back.

And if you have a Southwest Airlines Companion Pass, your companion can accompany you for just $5.60.

Related: Atlanta to NYC La Guardia, $110 r/t on Southwest, $167 on Delta.