Are the changes more flexibility along the way?

Few things on the trip are more maddening than those high rates to change non-refundable tickets.

Do you need to leave earlier, stay longer or postpone your trip? That will be $ 200 per person, plus any difference in fare, on the largest airlines in the country. excluding Southwest Airlines. And that is only for flights within the United States. Exchange rates are as high as $ 500 for international flights. In many cases, the fare deletes the value of the ticket.

Airlines often work with travelers with compelling cases, but an airline seems to be considering a broad policy change when it comes to ticket changes.

Delta Air Lines has been giving clues about a more flexible exchange policy since its investor day in Atlanta in December, when a senior executive said the airline is studying ways to “address flexibility differently than this industry has had. in the past, “and CEO Ed Bastian provided more color, although cryptically and with few details, in an interview with USA TODAY in Las Vegas last week.

Bastian, who was in Las Vegas as the first CEO of the airline to deliver a The keynote address at the gigantic CES technology fair said that the Atlanta-based airline is focusing on ways to gain customer confidence beyond being a reliable airline, which has dominated based on its DOT rating and other metrics .

“When he says he wants to be seen as a reliable consumer brand, he questions all interactions with customers and where there are vulnerabilities to be considered reliable,” he said. “When you ask that question, ‘Where are those vulnerabilities?, Clearly the rates are one of the factors that criticize us. … Then we have to think: are they your best ways to handle that?’ ‘

And that effort includes a look at rates and policies, including exchange rates, he said.

“How, with the exchange rates or other rates that you have in the process, how do you make them something that people can understand more, why are they there and perhaps provide greater value along with this, or change the structure? ” Bastian said.

You don’t hear airline executives talk a lot about fares, which have become an important money generator for airlines, except to defend them. But Bastian recognized the widespread feeling of negative travelers about some of the industry rates.

“When you think about our rate structure, I think there are rates there, and exchange rates are part of that, that people feel are punitive.”

Bastian, careful not to conflict with regulations that prohibit the discussion of future prices, repeatedly stressed that no exchange policy decisions have been made or a broader look at how Delta shows its rates and fares to travelers for be as transparent as possible and gain more traveler confidence

“I am not suggesting we make changes,” he said. “We do not know”.

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