Travelers often say that the big airlines are as responsive to their complaints as a block of concrete. But this week, some airlines are rolling back to a degree a stringent use-it-or-lose-it policy on nonrefundable tickets that they put in place last fall to nudge business travelers toward buying higher-priced refundable tickets. \nOn Tuesday, American Airlines, the world's largest carrier, said it would allow a passenger to apply the full value of a nonrefundable ticket to a future ticket if the passenger called in to cancel a flight before the plane's departure. The passenger will have one year from the date the original ticket was issued to apply the value of the ticket to the new flight. The passenger will also have to pay a change fee that usually amounts to US$100 for domestic flights and up to US$200 for international flights. \nContinental Airlines followed American's lead on Wednesday. Delta Air Lines said Thursday that it was also adopting the policy. Northwest Airlines went one step further and said Thursday that travelers could still keep the value of their original ticket for a year from the departure date even if they did not call in advance to cancel a flight. \nThe new policy is more generous than one that the airlines had put in place in the fall of last year. Under those rules, passengers canceling a flight had to book a new flight by the departure date of their original flight or they lost the value of the ticket. \nExcept for Northwest, the policy being adopted this week is not nearly as consumer-friendly as one that was in place before the fall of last year. Under the old rule, passengers could retain the value of their nonrefundable ticket for a year even if they did not call in to cancel a flight. \nWhen the airlines went from that lenient policy to the hard-edged one, they were flooded with complaints, especially from business travelers. \nTim Wagner, a spokesman for American Airlines, a unit of the AMR Corp, said the company received complaints "frequently." He said passengers canceling flights often did not know when they would travel next and chafed at the fact that they were required to book another flight before the original departure date. \nAs of mid-afternoon Thursday, two major airlines had not followed American, Continental, Northwest and Delta. The holdouts were US Airways, the carrier that first announced the use-it-or-lose-it policy, and its code-sharing partner, United Airlines, a unit of UAL, which said it had no plans to match the new refund policies. \nLast August, the same month it filed for bankruptcy protection, US Airways said it was imposing the stringent policy on tickets for travel starting in the fall. The other major hub-and-spoke airlines quickly matched its move. \nDuring the economic slump, business travelers have been turning away from buying expensive, last-minute tickets and gravitating toward nonrefundable tickets with greater restrictions and change fees. \nThe imposition of the tougher policies last fall was intended to discourage business travelers from buying the cheaper tickets, though there are no signs that has worked.
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
Americans awoke yesterday to charred and glass-strewn streets in dozens of cities after another night of unrest fueled by rage over the mistreatment of African Americans at the hands of police, who responded to the violence with tear gas and rubber bullets. Tens of thousands marched peacefully through streets to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who died on Monday last week after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck until he stopped breathing. However, many demonstrations sank into chaos as night fell: Vehicles and businesses were torched. The words “I can’t breathe” were
The nation marked its 49th day with no new domestic COVID-19 cases yesterday, and there were no new imported cases, but that does not mean the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) can relax its attention, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said yesterday in Tainan as he and a team of health officials wrapped up a weekend visit to the city. The visit is part of the center’s efforts to promote domestic travel under the “new disease prevention lifestyle.” Among the 442 confirmed cases, 423 have been released from isolation and 12 people remain hospitalized, Chen
EXTRA INVITATIONS: Russia, Australia, South Korea and India would be asked to a later summit dedicated to countering China, Donald Trump said US President Donald Trump has been forced to cancel a planned face-to-face summit of G7 leaders this month and now wants to host an expanded meeting in September dedicated to countering China to which Russian President Vladimir Putin would be invited. Trump on Saturday announced that he had canceled the June meeting, which he had billed as a symbol of the US “transitioning back to greatness,” after German Chancellor Angela Merkel told him in a telephone call that she saw the summit in Washington as a health risk. Hundreds of security staff, journalists and officials also attend the two-day summits. Reports suggest