The legacy airlines have, once again, teamed up against passengers and raised fees in one consecutive sweep.
American joins United, US Airways, and Delta in raising its ticket change fee to $200 (up from $150) for domestic flights. US Airways was the first to initiate the fee hike, but within a few days all of the major U.S. legacy airlines had followed suit.
According to Travel Weekly, American did not increase change fees for international flights.
It's easy (and outrageous) for the major airlines to gouge travelers when they go forward with fee increases collectively. But you still have some options. Southwest doesn't charge for ticket changes, and JetBlue only charges $100. (I say "only" in the face of the legacy airlines charging twice as much.)
Further, American offers branded fare options such as Choice Essential, which feature zero change fees for slightly higher ticket prices. Consumer advocate Ed Perkins calls this "an attractive alternative" to regular nonrefundable tickets.
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