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lesson learned #206713
10/16/2019 09:37 AM
10/16/2019 09:37 AM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 92
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jborosara Offline OP
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jborosara  Offline OP
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We waited until after hurricane season was over to buy plane tickets - did not want to lose 400 bucks in 'change fees' again

Well - between the time that I first looked back in July and when I actually book yesterday, ticket prices from Memphis, TN pretty much doubled....

Ended up using FF miles on American and was able to get exactly what i wanted for 200 K miles plus 168 bucks - but lesson learned

Next year will buy earlier and risk losing the 400 bucks

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Re: lesson learned [Re: jborosara] #206714
10/16/2019 09:44 AM
10/16/2019 09:44 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 71,183
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Central Florida!
Sorry, I'm not sure I understand. You mean that you were worried that a hurricane would hit SXM and you wouldn't want to go and they would charge you change fees, to change to a different destination? After Irma, the airlines were waiving change fees for travel for many months after the storm. And trip insurance will often cover that situation, depending on the policy. You had to pay change fees after Irma?

Last edited by Carol_Hill; 10/16/2019 09:44 AM.

Carol Hill
Re: lesson learned [Re: jborosara] #206726
10/16/2019 11:24 AM
10/16/2019 11:24 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 11,735
Auburn, WA
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SXMScubaman  Online Content
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AA waved all change fees for us after Irma and I heard other airlines did also. Hope your flying FC with that many FF miles used.

Re: lesson learned [Re: SXMScubaman] #206733
10/16/2019 12:11 PM
10/16/2019 12:11 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 92
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jborosara Offline OP
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jborosara  Offline OP
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We are flying FC - we are middle aged, empty nesters who always bring our SCUBA gear with us - so need two bags each for a two week trip - We've also had a 'near crash' experience and are white knuckle fliers so the extra space and extra kindness help alot

we had a number of factors post Irma - had bought our tix as soon as they were available to buy so had a very short window to use the credit that they issued - also our trip was in Feb, so we were charged change fees to go to a different destination (ended up in Belize for the diving - which was awesome - but it was not SXM) - AA quit waiving change fees pretty quick after Irma -

had a trip to San Juan for a week after Maria that we were far luckier with - but still had to play airline chicken and wait for the flight to get canceled before they would refund us

but yeah - we had to pay change fees for the trip scheduled for the Feb after Irma... even though the condo we had rented was not habitable

my experience is that airlines will do whatever they can to keep my money after I've paid it - so I just assume i will have to pay fees or eat the ticket and plan accordingly... which is much easier to do with two tickets than with ten

Re: lesson learned [Re: jborosara] #206734
10/16/2019 12:27 PM
10/16/2019 12:27 PM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 45
Wichita, KS
fritzks Offline
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Just wondering if Trip Insurance would have taken care of that? Usually buy it for any major trip, mainly due to elderly parents. Cost of insurance might be lower than paying double for airfare at a later date.

Last edited by fritzks; 10/16/2019 12:28 PM.
Re: lesson learned [Re: jborosara] #206735
10/16/2019 12:28 PM
10/16/2019 12:28 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 11,735
Auburn, WA
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SXMScubaman  Online Content
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Auburn, WA
We fly FC to SXM for many of your same reasons. We go for 3 to 4 weeks and take 2 bags each. By the time we factor in the waived check baggage fees, airport meals and convienience it doesn't cost much more if you buy tickets when they first come out. We usually use AA miles one way and purchase 1 way. FC is the only way to fly for such a distance.

Re: lesson learned [Re: fritzks] #206737
10/16/2019 01:31 PM
10/16/2019 01:31 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 71,183
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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fritzks--Yes, I think trip insurance would have covered the change fees, since it was a named storm.


Carol Hill
Re: lesson learned [Re: SXMScubaman] #206777
10/17/2019 01:20 PM
10/17/2019 01:20 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 92
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jborosara Offline OP
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jborosara  Offline OP
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strangely enough... if we buy when tix are first released (and we generally do), FC tix are less than what Delta comfort plus is now - from Memphis our only real options for SXM are Delta and American - I prefer Delta in general, but MUCH prefer Charlotte airport to Atlanta - and always buy soon enough that I avoid Miami like the plague. Our upcoming trip will be the first since we've had global entry, so looking forward to seeing how much time that cuts off the customs debacle...

but I've learned my lesson - will buy tickets as soon as is possible this next year and risk the four hundred dollars...

life - and the IRS intervened so we've not been to SXM since Irma - used to be a yearly deal for us - hope it will be again starting in Feb/Mar 2020:-)

Re: lesson learned [Re: jborosara] #206801
10/17/2019 06:03 PM
10/17/2019 06:03 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 12,246
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
GaKaye Offline
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I'm a bit confused. AA refunded our fares after Irma.

Re: lesson learned [Re: jborosara] #206802
10/17/2019 06:34 PM
10/17/2019 06:34 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,695
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Same here. AA gave us full refunds without any issues and we had two individual trips that year, one for November and one for April. No problems at all.


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: lesson learned [Re: pat] #206805
10/17/2019 07:02 PM
10/17/2019 07:02 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 11,735
Auburn, WA
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Auburn, WA
My daughter also got full refunds on their trip from AA with no penalties.

Re: lesson learned [Re: jborosara] #207008
10/21/2019 01:12 PM
10/21/2019 01:12 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 92
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jborosara Offline OP
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jborosara  Offline OP
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In fairness to AA, we decided to change the destination of our trip rather than simply asking for a refund - so we ended up paying 400 bucks in change fees, but the flights were cheaper than our SXM flights, so we got about 150 of that back - but I suspect if we'd simply asked for a refund, we'd have gotten one... so that was our bad

Re: lesson learned [Re: jborosara] #207014
10/21/2019 01:26 PM
10/21/2019 01:26 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 290
Sugar Land, Tx
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IslandBoi Offline
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it's unfortunate you were charged "change fees", even if your travel wasn't until february...our travel to SXM was for Dec 2017, and we were able to change our destination for the same period without "change fees", but we did have to pay the difference in fares, which was like $850 for my wife and i

also, buying tix as soon as they're released (usually ~330 days out) doesn't always guarantee best fare...you just need to have a a fare in mind you're willing to pay, then go for it when you see the fare is in that ballpark...we could have saved some $s on our outbound this coming december if we had waited more, but am happy we jumped on our return when we did since that fare has increased quite a bit, and had only dropped briefly when we bought it...we actually bought our return a couple months before the outbound

but for award travel, we jump on that sh*t usually as soon as seats are released grin

Last edited by IslandBoi; 10/21/2019 01:52 PM.

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Re: lesson learned [Re: IslandBoi] #207048
10/21/2019 05:39 PM
10/21/2019 05:39 PM
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Posts: 92
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jborosara Offline OP
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jborosara  Offline OP
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We don't often use reward travel for trips to the Caribbean - were saving for trip to Europe and/or Thailand but that did not happen for our 30th wedding anniversary due to other issues so we can start saving now for 35:-)

Re: lesson learned [Re: jborosara] #207062
10/21/2019 08:13 PM
10/21/2019 08:13 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 12,246
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
GaKaye Offline
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GaKaye  Offline
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Originally Posted by jborosara
In fairness to AA, we decided to change the destination of our trip rather than simply asking for a refund - so we ended up paying 400 bucks in change fees, but the flights were cheaper than our SXM flights, so we got about 150 of that back - but I suspect if we'd simply asked for a refund, we'd have gotten one... so that was our bad


It pays to know the rules; you won't make that same mistake again.

Re: lesson learned [Re: jborosara] #207088
10/22/2019 09:22 AM
10/22/2019 09:22 AM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 290
Sugar Land, Tx
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IslandBoi Offline
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IslandBoi  Offline
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Sugar Land, Tx
Originally Posted by jborosara
We don't often use reward travel for trips to the Caribbean - were saving for trip to Europe and/or Thailand but that did not happen for our 30th wedding anniversary due to other issues so we can start saving now for 35:-)


yeah, we stopped using our points for travel to the caribbean years ago...we get much more bang for our points using them on our trips to europe each summer thumbsup


[Linked Image]
Re: lesson learned [Re: jborosara] #207332
10/25/2019 06:41 PM
10/25/2019 06:41 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 105
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CJIMI Offline
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AA did not exactly refund our tickets after Irma. They gave us "store credit" which we were able to use to purchase tickets to Portugal. We then purchased some cheap tix on Norwegian, and went to Club Med, in Martinique for a week, instead of St. Martin. The credit card company gave us a full refund for the appox. $400 deposit that we had put with the Blue Bay Beach Hotel.


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