When your fare drops: the who & how of refunding the diff

Tracy Stewart, August 12, 2008
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q. For our anniversary, my husband and I purchased two tickets to Auckland on Air New Zealand. At the time, we purchased what was the cheapest fare, but now I see that fares for the very same trip on Air New Zealand have dropped by several hundred dollars. I called Air New Zealand to ask about a credit or refund for the difference but was turned away. Is there something we can do to recover the difference?

    A. Unfortunately, Air New Zealand does not offer any such deal. The price you pay is the price you're stuck with.

    But, hey, you're not crazy for trying. A number of US airlines (Midwest, United, Southwest...) do offer vouchers for the difference in price, should fares drop after you book. Sometimes these vouchers come with fees which can sometimes cancel out the difference (tricky, tricky!), but it doesn't hurt to check.

    Of course there's also Yapta.com, which -if you register your trip- will alert you if the fare drops. Also, Orbitz.com offers a price guarantee of sorts, good only if someone else books your exact itinerary at a lower price.