Getting Your Money Back When A Fare Goes Down

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Getting Your Money Back When A Fare Goes Down

Posted by George Hobica on Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Most consumers don't realize this, but when they buy a nonrefundable airline ticket for $400 and discover before departure that the fare has gone down to, say, $200, some airlines will refund the difference in full, in the form of a voucher good for future travel, upon request. But others will deduct a fee from the refund, ranging from $25 to $100 for a domestic ticket.

  • Once you buy a ticket, it's a good idea to check to see if the price has gone down before you take off.
  • Airlines can adjust fares up to three times a day during the week, and once a day on weekends.
  • Airfare alerts such as those provided by are a good way to keep on top of changing airfares. These alerts are provided by email and by RSS feeds.
  • If you want to get a full refund, in the form of a voucher, book with Southwest, United, USAir, or JetBlue.
  • Southwest refunds in cash, the others in vouchers.
  • Northwest, however, charges a $25 administrative fee on domestic fares; Continental, American, Delta charge $50-$100.
  • Even those airlines that charge the fee can sometimes be persuaded to waive it. Ask nicely!
  • Only caveat: you cannot change your dates or times of travel; must be exact same flights to get the refund.
  • International airlines, such as British Airways, often won't refund a dime, fee or no fee. So you're better off buying your international travel with an airline like United or US Air if possible.

To learn more, visit George Hobica's profile on Google+

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