US Airways has raised the penalty fee for changing most restricted coach tickets from $150 to $200, just as United Airlines did last week. The other major airlines are likely to follow, with the exception of Southwest, which doesn't charge fees to change a ticketed itinerary.
The $50 extra fee applies to newly purchased tickets only.
Fees for changing tickets on so-called nonrefundable coach fares are a major source of extra revenue for airlines. In 2011, U.S. airlines raised an extra $2.4 billion in revenue from such fees, according to the Transportation Department's Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Full-year numbers for 2012 haven't been reported yet, but the revenue seems to be increasing. In the third quarter of 2012 (the last period that the agency has reported data for), the total raised by domestic airlines on such fees was $652 million, compared with $602.9 million in the third quarter of 2011.