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United Airlines was the first legacy carrier in the United States to eliminate change fees back in 2020. What came from pandemic-induced necessity became the industry standard and has saved passengers over $2 billion in fees over the past few years.
More than 10 million United customers have changed their flights for free since the airline’s policy went into effect. United shared some interesting stats, including:
- 3.6 million people switched the time of day of their flight
- 1.8 million people extended their trip
- 1.5 million people chose to fly to or from a different airport
- 300,000 people changed from a domestic flight to an international one, or vice-versa
- The number of people who changed their flights themselves in United’s app has doubled
The elimination of change fees has fundamentally changed how I book travel. Like the stats above, I find myself frequently changing times, dates, and even destinations without having to worry about onerous and expensive change fees and policies.
United is celebrating change with a series of commercials that will premiere at the Super Bowl. The campaign titled “Believing Changes Everything” marks the first time a big game advertiser has created as many market-specific ads to target Chiefs fans in Kansas City, Browns fans in Cleveland, and Texans fans in Houston on broadcast TV as well as Bears fans in Chicago and Broncos fans in Denver on social media. A general market film will also air on TV in Chicago, Denver, Baltimore, Orlando, Colorado Springs, and Cincinnati.
Anthony’s Take: The elimination of change fees is probably the most positive development to come out of US commercial airlines in the past few years. The carriers claim fees are gone for good and I hope this holds true.
(Image Credits: United Airlines.)
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