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
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
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.