Life is unpredictable. Sometimes, travel plans might take a turn when you least expect them. In this case, the date and time of your flight ticket will be affected. But what if you’ve already booked a flight? Can you not take the flight without incurring any loss? Do airlines offer refundable tickets to their consumers? Let’s find it out in the article below.
Do Airlines Sell Refundable Tickets?
Whether you’ve encountered a travel visa denial, a business emergency, or want to extend your holiday season, you can tackle all these problems with one single solution – refundable tickets. When you’ve purchased these tickets, you can get a reimbursement for the amount if you no longer intend to use them.
In the majority of the cases, the refundable tickets are also changeable if there is a sudden change in your travel plans. Even though these tickets are a lot more expensive than the non-refundable ones, they give the users peace of mind that they can get their money back even if they don’t use the ticket.
Types of Refundable Tickets
You might come across various terminologies while finding out different refundable ticket types. To help make sense, we’ve discussed some of the common types below. Let’s check them out.
1. Partially Refundable and Semi-Flexible Tickets
When you’ve bought these tickets, you might be able to obtain a partial refund or change your plane ticket with some additional fees if you meet specific criteria set by the authorities.
2. Partially Refundable and Flexible Tickets
This type of refundable ticket is fully changeable and flexible. However, only a specific amount will be refunded when it comes to reimbursement.
3. Refundable and Flexible Tickets
These tickets are fully refundable and flexible up to two hours before the flight’s departure. The only exception to the rule is if you miss the flight.
4. Fully Refundable and Flexible Tickets
Even though it is the most expensive type of refundable ticket, you can get reimbursed even after the flight has departed. Thus, the users get total flexibility with them.
Some Additional Benefits to Buying a Refundable Ticket
Apart from changing the time and date of your flight or claiming a refund when you don’t need to travel, the airlines offer some other benefits to their customers. For example, you might get a seat reservation or additional luggage perks with these tickets. What’s more, some airlines also offer more miles for the same flight.
Are There Any Specific Conditions Related to Refund?
In the majority of the cases, the refundable tickets can be refunded if you haven’t traveled yet. However, if you’ve already traveled on your plane ticket, you can only claim the reimbursement under exceptional circumstances. For example, if the flight arrived late or you’ve completed only one leg out of a multi-leg journey. Other than that, a ticket might be refundable only if you cancel it a certain hours before the flight.
Can You Get a Refund on a Non-Refundable Ticket?
You also qualify for a reimbursement on your non-refundable ticket if your flight gets cancelled or rescheduled.
Typically, the airline will rebook you on a different flight when the flight is cancelled. If the new arrangement suits you, you can take the flight and not claim a refund. If it isn’t suitable, all you need to do is contact the airline and ask for a reimbursement. However, in situations where the reasons for cancellation are outside the airline’s control, the airline is not required to offer compensation.
Sometimes, the airlines might update their flight schedule, and as a result, you end up with different arrival and departure times. A schedule change is also treated like a cancelled flight when rebooked at another time, making you eligible for a refund. However, in case the flight is only modified by a few minutes, you’ll be unlikely to get a refund even if you claim it.
Changes in travel plans, flight delays, rerouting, and cancellations affect everyone regardless of ticket type. However, if your travel plans keep frequently changing, buying a refundable ticket might be the best option for you.