Even though he couldn’t use his airline ticket, Eric Smith refused to cancel his reservation on a United Airlines flight from Omaha to Baltimore.
The reason? Smith, a technician at an aerospace company in Montgomery Village, Md., ran a few numbers, with frustrating results.
His return ticket cost $134, plus baggage fees. But United’s change fee, which was recently raised from $150 to $200, would have completely zeroed out the value of his credit. So he booked a one-way return flight on Southwest Airlines for $152 — about the same as his original flight, including baggage fees — and never looked back.
“Why should I spend any of my precious time on hold to cancel the ticket when I get absolutely nothing out of it?” he says. “To do the airline a favor? Do you think they would do me any favors?”