Updated: Jan 23, 2021
The pandemic saw a lot of flight cancellations across the United States and the world. With that came a lot of people looking into getting refunds for their flight tickets – and many people had several challenges with this.
Airlines give passengers the option of purchasing a refundable or a non-refundable ticket, and a lot of passengers tend to ignore this option mainly because refundable tickets cost more.
Buying a refundable ticket, though expensive, could be a smart decision if you feel for any reason that you may not make your flight. Reasons can include illness or birth in the family or an unexpected event.
However, if you can cancel your flight within 24 hours of booking, many airlines will show their goodwill and give you a full refund. It is important to read the terms of your airline to find out if you are eligible for this.
If your flight is canceled in the United States, you are not always guaranteed compensation. You are eligible for a refund if your flight is canceled due to reasons within the airline’s control. However, in the event of a hurricane, for example, they are not obliged to give you a refund.
In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, many airlines gave their passengers a full or partial refund while others gave travelers a travel voucher that would allow them to make a flight schedule change at no additional cost.
Airlines are often reluctant to give you a full refund and would rather give you the option to change your flight. It is important to note that if your airline cancels your flight and does not give an alternate date of departure; you are liable to receive a full refund.
The process of getting a refund is often drawn out and could take up to a year. If you can, take the option of a flight change.
In the EU, if your flight is canceled, you are given the option of either rerouting your flight or getting a full or partial refund and this refund will come in no more than 7 days according to their aviation laws.
Remember, if you cancel your flight on your own without purchasing a refundable ticket, you will not get any compensation. If you require a schedule change, many airlines will charge you a fee.
All in all, it is important to be knowledgeable about what your preferred airline’s policies are towards flight cancellations and their refund policies to avoid distress.
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