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But why can airline tickets not be transferred?
Ralph Santopietro says Delta Air Lines had him under control when he tried to modify the data for a Myrtle Beach, S.C. to Hartford, Conn. planebound. In Myrtle Beach, a ticketing agency suggested rebooking Santopietro, a pensioned high schools instructor, on the new route. However, his $238 balance would almost be used up by a $200 exchange charge, and then he would have to foot a $538 travel surcharge.
What about the transfer of the tickets to his co-usin, who would take the plane as initially foreseen? Nope, the spy said, quoting safety limitations on changing ticketing names. Many of its travel companions do not do so in an aviation sector that today is predominantly characterised by a few large companies. In 2012, German airline companies raised a total of $2.5 billion in exchange fee tickets, and Delta headed the herd with $778 million, an 11 million dollar rise over the year before.
Even though airline companies have sound commercial grounds for their ticketing limitations, consumers say they are too inflexible and greedy. In particular, for air travellers, the renaming scheme appears to be a way for airline companies to collect more of their funds. Fully reimbursable tickets cost three to four tickets more than limited tickets.
Even if the passenger has a good cause to terminate a journey, the airline will not be moved. Says it's up to the aviation industries to get airline tickets to show the names of airline tickets to people. Airline companies do not allow name changes for two purposes, says Victoria Day, a spokesperson for Airline for America, an industrial trading group.
One is the airline directive. The airline needs to know who the client is so that it can "provide good value service," she says. She is also dependent on the fact that the tickets cannot be changed in order to administer her number of seating. "As aviation is a lost cause of life business, it is in the interest of both the passenger and the airline to align the number of passenger movements with the number of available spaces, both from a point of view of passenger services and revenues management," says Day.
Transportation Security Administration uses a system known as Secure Flight to check air travelers, but it is able to perform inspections immediately, according to the authority. Specifically, if the airline companies were to relax their naming convention, the TSA would have no problem meeting them. "There' s no need for a user to simply hand over their tickets to another individual if they can't travel," says Sally Greenberg, Managing Director of the National Consumers League.
Approving a renaming makes good business for passengers, and not just because an airline does not take any safety risk or extra costs. Veterans remember a period when tickets could be bought in the secret part of their newspapers. Somehow the airline companies were already making a living back then. In view of the fact that our airport networks are beginning to remove competitors and choices, should they not be forced to give back one of the usual pleas of the past - the possibility of allowing another to use a single pass?
In the meantime, it seems that even airline staff members realise that airline customers have no genuine choices. By chance, one of them was the friendly Myrtle Beach ticketing agency who saw the preposterous ness of Santopietro's state. "He said she was looking down and shyly whispering that I might try another airline.