Sunday, March 25, 2012

Travel Tip - Avoid the Phone Reservation Fee

Airlines have offered gift cards for years and they once served a valuable purpose.  It used to be that gift cards were only accepted over the phone and using a gift card would get the telephone reservation fee waived.  Due to advances in IT, most airlines can take gift cards online so the fee waives are gone.  US Airways is the exception that still allows free telephone reservations with a gift card and are the only ones worth buying.

Here is a rundown of airlines and gift cards:
US Airways CRJ-200 at ABQ
US Airways
You can buy a gift card online or at Walgreens.  Any amount will let you ticket by phone without a fee.
United Airlines CRJ-200 at ABQ
United Airlines
Now that Continental runs United, the free phone reservation trick is gone.  Gift certificates can be purchased for use at  Don’t bother.

American Airlines
American Airlines can process gift cards on their website, so they don’t waive the phone reservation fee. 
Southwest Airlines Taking Off at ABQ
Delta gift certificates expire in 1 year and can only be used at a ticketing office outside the US.
Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines gift certificates are only valid on their website. 

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