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I have a ticket purchased from Seattle to Central Europe and I've decided to swap my flight dates to an earlier date. Before trying to use the change function on British Airways' website, I've decided to look up the same flight on Google Flights:

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Given that my original ticket for April cost $1360, I've expected to be asked to pay $2000+ to change this flight. But lo and behold, the BA website actually let me change it for less than $300:

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Why is this the case?

  • The fare class didn't change? But the new flights are in a different fare class? Just a guess. – Michael Hampton Mar 6 at 3:43
  • @MichaelHampton looks like same fare class, yes – JonathanReez Mar 6 at 3:51
  • So you're in premium economy on the LHR-PRG and PRG-LHR segments? – Michael Hampton Mar 6 at 3:52
  • @MichaelHampton plain economy – JonathanReez Mar 6 at 3:53
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    Because the airline or ticket seller decided that this time these ticket would cost that and the change the other amount. May have to do with many cancelations. – Willeke Mar 6 at 5:07
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Just speculating: you might got lucky here. Typically you pay the change fee and the difference in ticket price. Your flight is only 2 days out, so for a new ticket your are only eligible for fare classes that don't have a "must be booked XXX days in advance" condition.

It's possible that your earlier booking date enabled you to maintain the initial lower fare class and you only need to pay the change fee.

The new tickets seems to book into an "H" class for Economy, which appears to be a flex ticket with 100% point accrual, so it's an expensive one. I don't know what fare the class of the original ticket is, but since OP has to pay a change fee, it's unlikely to be a flex ticket.

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Your ticket appears to be a Basic Economy fare (endorsed BELH which stands for "Basic Economy Long Haul").

Google Flights generally doesn't search Basic Economy fares, plus it's likely that they won't be offered these fares for a new last-minute booking (as opposed to a change) even if you tried via the BA website directly.

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  • I did find my original ticket on Google Flights though, back when I've purchased it in January. – JonathanReez Mar 6 at 18:12
  • Ahh - looks like they do search Basic Economy if you want them to. So it's the 2nd part - it looks like this BE fare is no longer available for new purchased (even from BA.com) but it's still available for changes. – Doc Mar 6 at 18:43
  • My bet is Google gets up-to-date information on what fares are left for purchase (not every airline participates for that reason), and so Google is reflecting the lowest price now, compared to when the tickets were bought – Machavity Mar 6 at 19:59

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