Recently, I needed to fly to Tucson Arizona with a friend. The cheapest we could find was a 3-legged flight with a transit at Phoenix. But after we booked, we changed our minds and decided to rent a car and drive the last leg from Phoenix to Tucson, so we called the airline to cancel the last leg:
Me: I would like to cancel the last leg of our flight, and get off at Phoenix
Airline rep: No problem Sir. It'll cost you $400 a ticket.
Me: I am not sure I explained myself well, all I want is to not take the last flight. Surely not flying can’t cost more than taking the flight. After all, you can resell the tickets.
Rep: Sir, this is our policy. If you don’t fly we’ll have to deduct the charge from your credit card.
Well, after some more deliberations with supervisors and managers we decided to take the flight nevertheless and try our luck at the service desk in Phoenix. (after all the entire ticket was not much more than $400)
Well, to our great surprise, no sooner had we arrived at the gate in Phoenix, a loudspeaker announcement could be heard: The flight to Tucson is overbooked, if anyone volunteers to take a later flight, please make yourself known to one of our staff members.
Not wasting a second we jumped at the opportunity, but only under the condition that instead of taking the next flight, they would waive it altogether. They agreed, but not before we got refunded $250 each.
And the American airline industry remains in bad shape.