Unhappy with change in discounted airfare

| 08/11/2017

I purchased tickets during the August sale that Cayman Airways had for travel dates during September 2017. Unfortunately Cayman Airways called me to cancel my outgoing flight to Miami due to Hurricane Irma and I had to reschedule my trip. I have managed to rebook my trip for October. However, Cayman Airways has indicated that they will now charge the difference in fare between the sale price and the current retail rate for the new period of travel.

When I compared the regular non-sale price during the original period of travel (September) with the new period of travel (October) I found no difference between the two, which means they are now clearly charging me the normal fare. Why then is Cayman Airways not honouring the sale price? Could this not be considered price gouging?

Auntie’s answer: I took your question directly to Cayman Airways (CAL) and have received an explanation from an airline official. To begin with, I was told that every fare purchased has a specific set of rules attached such as on length of travel, restrictions on changes and whether it is non-refundable. And the lower the fare typically means more restrictions will apply.

The official then addressed your issue specifically: “In your request, you mentioned that the ticket had been purchased as a ‘sale’ fare which suggests that it was very restrictive. Changes on such fares will typically incur both a change fee and a difference in fare if that discounted fare is no longer available or if the seats in that class of service are no longer available.”

The official continued, “Due to the passage of Hurricane Irma, Cayman Airways implemented its hurricane protection policy on affected routes which allowed for the waiving of change fees – even on the most restrictive fare types. Further, differences in fares were also waived for impacted passengers so long as travel took place within 10 days of the original impacted travel date (this went well beyond the offerings of any other carrier). For passengers wishing to make changes beyond those 10 days, Cayman Airways would still waive the change fee (so long as travel was completed within six months), but required that any difference in fare be paid.”

The last point the official made is “the restrictions and CAL’s waiving only apply to discounted tickets. Non-discounted tickets are always refundable and able to be changed without penalties”.

I don’t know if that explanation helps. I am also guessing that you were not aware of the 10-day time limit on when travel could take place, so this answer was probably not what you were looking for.

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Category: Ask Auntie

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Maybe that same CAL Official can also explain why fares to Little Cayman are higher than fares to Cayman Brac? Distance to LYB is shorter than CYB, no landing fees in Little Cayman, not paying for office space, so why the higher ticket price?
    Could it be that more tourists are going to Little Cayman than CB? And everybody gets screwed, including us locals.