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How to get a refund on a 'nonrefundable' airline ticket

An airline's Terms and Conditions are not the last word about refunds for flights and additional items such upgraded seats. Don't expect the airline to tell you all the options available following a cancelled flight as they are trying to conserve cash by switching you to a future flight or voucher. You can dispute a credit card charge until 120 days after the flight date. Here's some interesting reading if your flight was cancelled.
https://www.apathtolunch.com/2020/05/get-refund-for-cancelled-flight-ticket.html
https://www.elliott.org/answers/how-to-refund-on-a-nonrefundable-airline-ticket/
https://www.transportation.gov/individuals/aviation-consumer-protection/flight-delays-cancellations

Posted by
154 posts

This subject is being beaten to death. Just read all the other post on refunds.

Posted by
1093 posts

tdw I haven't read much here on this particular refund subject. Given the few postings currently on this forum, I don't think many people will object to an attempt to inform. If you read the article, it points out many seeking recourse believe the airline diversionary tactics.

Posted by
7153 posts

Airlines, just like always, are out to bite flyers in the butt in order to save their own wealthy investors. I have ZERO sympathy for airlines. Demand the refund. If you can't get anywhere with the airlines, then keep fighting it by disputing the charge with your credit card.

Posted by
6061 posts

I was able to get a promise of a full refund on Delta (to be credited back to my cc card within 7 business days) by giving them a call. My situation was that my domestic flight had been changed from non-stop to a one-stop. Given that I was planning to fly a pet across the country (in cargo no less, since there was no option to take him onboard), I could not accept the airline's change. They accepted my request for a full refund instead of an e-credit (voucher) good for 2 years. I have not gotten the refund yet (this just happened today) but I have no reason to believe that I won't.

I don't know anyone who buys refundable tickets - they are a multiple of the cost of non-refundable (at least for domestic flights).

Posted by
4855 posts

I'm not defending them, but I dont think its hard to understand why the airlines are trying to hold onto any cash they can. They're fighting for their survival. How many are going to file bankruptcy after the bailout money runs out - maybe all of them? Wealthy investors? I'd guess most of the country's 401Ks and pension plans have some investment in airlines that will soon be worthless. Look what happened after 9/11. Airlines lost their shirts in the aftermath, and it resulted in industry consolidation and major changes in service (more seats, baggage charges) to get back to profitability after many years of losses. Its hard to sell a plane to get more cash right now.

Posted by
1093 posts

As a taxpayer, I think supporting the airline industry with loan guarantees or such to avoid massive job losses is reasonable - much as many auto industry jobs were saved in 2009. As a passenger, I think it's larcenous to withhold refunds in contradiction of the Terms of Carriage under which the ticket was sold, not to mention regulations in both the US and EU. Imagine all the passengers who have lost their jobs and need that money badly. When a customer cannot trust a merchant to fulfill a contract, our entire economy becomes a house of cards.

Posted by
1932 posts

I don't know anyone who buys refundable tickets - they are a multiple of the cost of non-refundable (at least for domestic flights).

Well, Agnes doesn't know me, but I buy refundable tickets. The price difference doesn't seem like too many "multiples" to me. I certainly wasn't anticipating a pandemic, but I do know that s*** happens all the time, and occasionally it happens to me.