It’s true that airlines come up with some of the most absurd rules in the travel business. If you have any doubts, just ask your favorite travel agent to book a hidden city or back-to-back ticket. Read more “Can an airline break its own rules?”
Walk-up fares are some of the most flexible — and pricey — airline tickets. But corner any airline employee at a party, and they’ll admit these super-high, unrestricted fares, which are purchased at the last minute, are meant to be paid by business travelers on an expense account.
Not passengers like Dina Bennett. And yet South African Airlines charged her $5,900 for a one-way, economy class ticket from Namibia back to San Diego, so she could attend her mother’s funeral recently.
Lori Kaufman didn’t mean to play the system. She just wanted to reschedule her flight so she could attend her grandmother’s funeral.
In the process, Continental Airlines ended up dinging her for a total of $954 — more than twice what she’d originally paid for the tickets. It also failed to tell her it would be billing her credit card that much, she says.