One or more evil airlines: American & JAL

We flew from Seoul to Tokyo on JAL and and from Tokyo to New York on American. They were American Air tickets – they don’t go to Seoul but they have a codeshare with Japan Airlines. We were planning to fly back to Seoul the same way, leaving on the 15th.

Then my grandfather passed away. I called American to see about changing my flight to depart a few days later. They wanted $1,150 each to change the departure date. That is more than we paid for the round trip ticket. They said there was no bereavement fare or change fee exemption. They blamed it on Japan Airlines, saying JAL was very expensive those days (we checked 18, 19th, 20th, 21st).

We called, the Korean website where we bought the tickets. They said it should be about $60 to make a change but that airlines can pretty much do whatever they want. They would see what they could do for us.

So we think we’re flying out 5 days later and we paid $60 plus $15 for the travel agent’s commission per ticket. Sure beats $1,150 per ticket.

So was it American being evil? Was it JAL? Both? I’m not sure, but our Tokyo to Seoul trip is now on United (probably a codeshare with Asiana we think) so maybe it really was JAL screwing us. Then again, how could they possibly screw us in the $1,000 plus range? We’re talking about a 1 hour 40 minute flight that never costs anything close to a grand.

All I know is theses 2 airlines just dropped way down my list. went up a few notches.

Filed Under: Airlines + flying

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  1. Lisa says:

    American has to charge what they are told to charge buy Japan Airlines. You making the call to is just what you should have done.

    American in some respects has there hands tied by the “rules” of code share agreements. American, like all airline is sympathetic to emergency travel related to a death in the family.

  2. Pat says:

    I worked in the airline industry for 38 years. Bereavement fares are a joke – if you can even get one. Usually they are more than a regular fare ticket.

  3. anonymous says:

    That is an outrageous ticket price! Thank goodness for 072. Good work.

  4. Jay says:

    I would venture to say this is the norm for American. We have now had 3 issues with flights on American and have chosen to not use them for any future travel.

    They don’t seem to treat their customers right, and we have found other airlines to be more accomodating.

  5. Flight Network says:

    I’ve flown JAL quite a few times and had a Vancouver-Bangkok itinerary where I could change the return flight date as many times as I wanted. I found them to be fantastic.

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