US Airways implemented new policies last week that place many new
restrictions on nonrefundable tickets, Travel Management
Effective immediately, nonrefundable fares for all US Airways’
domestic, Caribbean, U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Europe destinations must
be used for the specifically ticketed flight and will have no value
once the flight has departed.
A customer, however, still can change the ticket before the
flight takes off. Under the previous policy, the value of the
unused ticket could be credited toward the purchase of another US
Airways ticket, minus the applicable reissue fee, for up to one
The airline said it would not make exceptions for extenuating
circumstances, including death, illness, military service or jury
In justifying the policy change, the airline noted that other
industries have similar policies. For example, someone who misses a
theatrical play or sporting event can’t use the ticket the next
Most of the new restrictions and rules are designed to widen the
gap between the services and flexibility offered to customers
willing to pay higher fares and those who are not.
Airline officials said the changes also are needed to allow them
to offer lower fares to customers who want the cheapest
Among the other changes:
" Customers with nonrefundable tickets no longer will be allowed
to stand by for alternate flights.
" Customers will continue to earn frequent flyer miles
regardless of the price of the ticket. But, as of Jan. 1, the miles
earned on cheaper tickets won’t count toward the attainment of
" Corporate discount programs no longer will be applicable for
certain nonrefundable fare classes, generally those with
advance-purchase and minimum-stay requirements.
" Tour and consolidator tickets will become nonrefundable and
have no value after the ticketed travel date.
" Coach customers on trans-Atlantic flights will be charged $4
for alcoholic beverages.
The airline will reduce, but not eliminate, its offerings on
Hotwire, Priceline and the Travelocity and Expedia opaque