Changes to airline pricing could cost travelers hundreds

Changes to airline pricing could cost travelers hundreds

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - According to the Associated Press, major airlines including Delta, American and United Airlines have increased prices on certain airline tickets.

That means travelers may have to search a couple of different ways to find the lowest fares available.

The airlines changed their pricing policies to stop travelers who figured out that they could use the multi-city trip tool to get cheaper connecting flights. Now, the airlines are forcing those who book those itineraries to spend more dollars instead of offering the lowest fares available.

The change came about when the three airlines started to match low-cost carriers like Spirit Airlines on more routes. When the airlines noticed that fliers figured out that booking a multi-ticket instead of one connecting ticket could save them more money, airlines no longer allowed individual non-refundable tickets to be combined.

Airlines websites now only offer fully refundable tickets when combining one-way legs, which are often several times more expensive than the non-refundable tickets that most people buy.

"It's pretty much highway robbery and it's not fair to the consumer," one Myrtle Beach visitor said. "They're already making enough money. Fuel prices have dropped considerably, and they haven't the dropped the prices. That shouldn't be allowed."

A search of Delta's website for a multi-city ticket from Myrtle Beach to Miami, then to Atlanta two days later and back to Myrtle Beach a couple of days after that found the cost to be $739.

However, when a search was done for multiple one-way tickets for the exact same legs, the cost was almost $100 cheaper.

American Airlines' Joshua Freed said nothing sneaky is going on. The company made their decision back in the middle of March to change ticketing rules to what they were always intended to be.

Ultimately, a hunt for the best fare just got a bit more involved.

Flyers who buy simple round-trip tickets will not be affected. However, travelers visiting several cities on one trip, especially those flying for business, will see an increase.

Lastly, for those who have booked a flight, it is best not to change plans. There will be a $200 penalty on each ticket that is rebooked. That can lead to an extra $600 fee.

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