AmWest Resists ‘Lose-It’ Mania

Carrier wants to attract more business travelers with flexible-ticket rule structure

America West will not match the major airlines in adopting the use-it-or-lose-it policy on nonrefundable fares, said Doug Parker, chairman and CEO, according to a report by Travel Management Daily.

Speaking in New York recently, Parker said the carrier expects to attract more business travelers who want the flexibility of canceling trips and rebooking them after flights depart.

America West already had attracted a greater share of business travelers after revamping its fare structure last March, eliminating the requirement of a Saturday-night stay and slashing walkup fares by 50% to 70%.

In other news, the carrier is launching a program in which agents in its Agency AWArds commission program can use free credits to “purchase” waivers for their clients no questions asked. The program begins Oct. 1.

Here’s how it will work: Agencies earning Waiver AWArds, based on their America West sales, will be notified of their waiver credit balances before the quarter begins. The credit will be expressed in the form of dollars.

The “price” of obtaining a waiver will depend on the type of waiver sought. A waiver of advance-purchase or minimum-stay requirements, for example, will cost $300 in credits. The highest “price,” at $700, will be to allow a refund on a nonrefundable ticket.

Agencies will call the airline’s More Care center to redeem credits. “No explanations are necessary,” an America West spokesman said. “If an agency has earned the balance to cover the price of the waiver, it is automatically approved.”

Agents get into the Agency AWArds program by moving market share to America West.

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