How To Get A Refund On Your Airfare

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Learn how to get a refund if your airline ticket drops in price, and how to find a cheap fare to begin with.

You diligently compare airfare costs for your trip, scour online sites for deals, plan well in advance and are rewarded with…watching your ticket price drop after you’ve purchased it. Sound familiar? How about this—you may be able to get a refund for the difference!

Most airlines offer to refund the difference of their fares as part of their “contract of carriage.” But you have to ask. And, of course, there are some caveats:

  • Your refund will be in the form of a voucher, rather than cash.
  • In most cases, you can only receive a refund if you purchased directly from the airline, rather than fare comparison sites.
  • Change fees may apply and will be deducted from your refund amount.
  • The lower fare has to apply to the exact same itinerary as the ticket you originally purchased.

That said, your savings could be significant. When you see your airfare drop, act immediately as prices change constantly. Call the airline’s customer service line, provide your confirmation code or flight number and ask for a refund voucher. If the agent you speak with isn’t aware of such a policy, ask to speak with a manager.

Use a fare-tracking service

Don’t have time to constantly be checking to see if your airfare has dropped? Several services will do that for you, for free.

  • Yapta: Register online and input the information of the flight you recently purchased. Yapta takes into account any change fees that may apply and alerts you via email or Twitter when the change in price exceeds the change fee.
  • Orbitz Price Assurance: If you book a flight (or hotel) on Orbitz and another customer pays less for your exact itinerary, Orbitz will issue you a cash refund between $5 and $250 per airline ticket ($5 to $500 per hotel booking).
  • Travelocity Price and Service Guarantee: If you book a flight (or hotel) on Travelocity and find a lower price for the exact itinerary within 24 hours of booking, Travelocity will refund you the difference up to $500 and give you $50 to use towards your next vacation package. However, you have to contact Travelocity to receive your refund.

Track low airfare

Don’t want to go through the hassle of getting an airfare refund? Start by booking the lowest fare possible! Several sites can help you do just that:

  • Travelzoo: Travelzoo’s Top 20 travel deal newsletter, delivered to your inbox for free, lists the week’s best travel deals.
  • Airfarewatchdog: Sign up to receive Fare Alerts for your departure city, arrival city, or city-to-city fares, and check out the site for that day’s top 50 fares.
  • Farewatcher Plus: Another Travelocity product, Farewatcher Plus will deliver to your inbox changes to airline prices for the 10 destinations of your choice.
  • FareCompare Fare Alerts: Receive alerts for drops in airfare, which the site claims are delivered to your inbox six hours before being posted on other fare comparison sites.
  • Google Flights: This site shows the lowest fare for your itinerary, as well as the costs to fly to nearby cities.
  • Bing Travel: A low-fare search engine that also provides tips on whether to purchase now or wait for fares to drop, along with a confidence rating of their assessment.

Want more information on how to travel on the cheap? Review tips on how to save on everything from food to airfares.

Related Articles

Source: MSNMoney.com, New York Times, Seattle Times, Orbitz, Travelocity
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