Post-purchase Fare Drops

Tracy Stewart, February 16, 2011
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q. When I bought our tickets last month on Continental to Bristol, England I chose the lowest available fare.  Today, I checked the fares again and the roundtrip fare for my dates is around $55 lower than my original booking.  I called Continental to complain but I was told I would lose more because I will have to cancel my tickets and they would re-issue me another ticket for a $250 fee.

    I did not know that it's not necessarily true that fares can go down as you search closer to the date of your departure.  What do you say?

    A.  It's impossible to generalize that fares go up or down closer to one's departure date. The sad fact is that if a fare goes down after you buy it, most airlines deduct a $150 ticket reissue fee on domestic fares from any amount they might refund, in the form of a voucher for future travel, and $250 and up on international fares. Some international airlines do not refund anything in the case of a fare drop. The only airlines that do not deduct a fee from a price drop refund are Southwest, Alaska, and JetBlue

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