It now costs $200 to change or cancel a non-refundable airfare on the remaining "legacy" U.S. airlines (American, Delta, United, and US Airways), and a bit less on some other airlines. But there are ways of avoiding the fee.
According to late-breaking reports, United Airlines check-in desk representative Rhonda Miller is presently so intently focused on her computer terminal as to be completely unaware of the end-times hellscape unfolding all around her.
One of the more pervasive travel practices is calling something "free" when it's not. Like Southwest Airlines' clever Bags Fly Free campaign, which should actually be called, "Bags Are Included With Your Ticket." But it doesn't have the same ring to it, does it?
I continue to curse my inability to be in the right place at the right time, specifically on United's website for 15 minutes on September 12 when fares for most domestic United flights dropped to zero, save for a few paltry taxes and fees.
Should we really have to deal with these super-complex rules that the airline industry throws in our way? We shouldn't have to absorb pages of complex information in order to fly with a little class. The fix is pretty simple. It is equal parts reform and disclosure.
Running an airline is a tough business and I wouldn't want to do it myself any more than I would like to run a restaurant. But it is the business the airlines are in and they need to do a better job. This is what you do for a living and we pay you.