Right Flight, Wrong Date

George Hobica, July 12, 2010
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q. Boy am I dumb. I booked a one-way fare on Expedia (on Delta Airlines) from Seattle to Albuquerque for $160—pretty good fare, I thought!  The problem is that I thought I was making it for Tuesday, July 6 but it was actually for Tuesday, June 29! Big surprise for me when I showed up at the airport. I ended up taking a Southwest Airlines flight, as that was the best walk-up option.  

    As for the $160, Expedia says that I never cancelled the flight—this is a “no-show.” They say that this is Delta’s deal, not theirs. Delta says there’s a $150 change fee, and that doesn’t leave me with a lot.  

    Is there any way I can spin this into a $160 credit voucher with Delta? Or is a “no-show” a ticket to “good-bye money”?

    A. Or maybe “bad buy” money. I’m afraid you’re out of luck here. Some airlines will negate the value of your non-refundable ticket in its entirety (i.e., it has no value) if you fail to cancel and don’t show up for your flight. It’s a really good idea, when booking a ticket online, to call the airline’s 800 number and double-check the dates. Keep in mind that many airlines will allow you to cancel or change a reservation if you do so within 24 hours of booking. If you have “fat fingers” it’s wise to book with those airlines. For a list of these carriers, please see our chart.

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