From Santa Barbara Travel –
Last week United, American and Delta Airlines made fundamental changes to their fare rules that may have a significant impact on travelers and the cost of airline travel. The rule change affects the combinability of fares when connecting through an intermediate city, open jaw itineraries, or multi-city trips. The net effect of this rule change is to increase the price of tickets by restricting the ability to break fares in connecting cities. The easiest way to explain this change is the following:
Old system: A passenger is traveling between Los Angeles and New York City and connecting through Chicago. Under the old system we could combine a LAX-Chicago fare with a Chicago-New York fare on the same ticket, which could result in a lower fare than the published LAX-New York fare.
New system: It is no longer possible to combine a LAX-Chicago fare with a Chicago-New York fare on the same ticket.
The consequences of this policy change are far from clear. For many years it was a given that taking a connecting flight was frequently less expensive than traveling non-stop. The reason for that was the combinability of lower fares through connecting cities. Under these new rules that assumption may no longer apply.
The rule change affects all distribution channels – airline websites, online travel agencies, and travel agencies and travel management companies. It will take skilled travel advisors to construct solutions to this new challenge. Online agencies are going to feel the biggest impact of this change.
If you are booking through Concur or GetThere, or another online channel outside of Santa Barbara Travel, we recommend that you check with one of our travel advisors for a price comparison.
For more information, you can contact Santa Barbara Travel – 805-966-3116.