Purchasing tickets has become so much easier in recent years. Gone are the days of visiting an airline office and waiting for a printed ticket. Nowadays tickets can be purchased directly from the comfort of your own home and for the more technology savvy, tickets can be bought practically anywhere just with their smartphones.
It is no surprise that online airline ticket sales now account for more than 50% of all sales. In Europe this figure is even higher due to the prevalence of low-fares airlines on the market whose tickets are primarily sold online.
Many travellers still opt for travel agencies for various types of travel. They may prefer to talk to a person face to face, or to book a package holiday, or group booking, or go to a local agency that they know and trust. But what happens when you need to cancel a flight ticket, can you get your money back if you decide to cancel your flight?
Reasons for airline ticket cancellation
Whatever the mode of purchase, there are as many reasons why people wish to cancel their flights. In general, most airlines give some form of leeway with regard to flight cancellation, however with low-cost airlines this is usually only offered as an extra payable option.
It is always best to check out the airline ticket cancellation terms and conditions when purchasing, especially if there may be a risk that you may not be able to take the flights.
The most common reasons for wishing to cancel a flight won’t come as a surprise and thus are covered by many airline ticket cancellation policies:
• Sickness and injury
This is the top reasons for cancelling a flight. No one likes travelling when they feel under the weather and certain injuries may make travel impossible. Sickness and injury not only effect the injured person but can also negate the need or desire to travel for other fellow passengers, family members, etc. The COVID-19 outbreak has had an unprecedented effect on flight ticket cancellations with many passengers still awaiting refunds from their airline.
The death of a family member or fellow passenger should be covered in most policies, however the death of a friend or work colleague may vary by policy to policy and airline to airline.
• Natural Disaster
Should a volcano, hurricane or tornado or similar natural disaster hits your flight destination after your ticket was purchased, cancellation is usually covered.
• Acts of Terror or Evacuation
When a destination is evacuated for any reason or if it falls under a terrorist attack, cancellation of your ticket reservation is possible without repercussions.
How to cancel your flight ticket?
All airlines have a flight cancellation option on their website. In general, these require the user to either login with their airline user account, or to login using other details such as flight ticket number, passenger name, etc. Make sure that you have all these details at hand before proceeding with the ticket cancellation process.
Some travellers may have purchased tickets with a travel agent or package holiday company. Check first if they have a webpage that offers a similar cancellation process as above. If not a simple phone call may suffice or you may need to send a confirmation email or visit them in person.
Do airlines have the right to not refund money for a returned ticket?
Once a flight ticket has been cancelled within the scope of terms and conditions of the ticket purchase and airline insurance policy option then legally the airline is obliged to refund your ticket refund claims within a period of 7 days.
This time period can vary dramatically from airline to airline and if it is taking much longer to receive your refund it is worth considering enlisting the help of a professional service like those offered by GIVT that can expedite your claims.
What to do if an airline offers you travel vouchers?
If you have a legitimate claim to a refund and instead are offered a flight voucher, you are under no obligation to accept it. Be adamant and demand a ticket refund from the airline instead.
Should the airline begin to cause problems or try to evade making a refund you can consult professional service websites like GIVT to find more information about what to do.
Last minute ticket cancellations? Cancellations within 24 hours?
The exact details of whether you can get your money back for your airline ticket depend upon the terms and conditions of your ticket and of any insurance policy included. If you cancelled your ticket for a reason that is not covered by their terms or policy, it is still possible to seek a reimbursement of air ticket costs. Legally airlines should refund any government taxes for unused tickets once requested, however this can sometimes prove quite difficult.
If you feel that you have just cause for a full refund and you purchased your ticket with a credit card, then you can approach your bank to request a “chargeback”. If they agree then can process a credit card refund for your cancelled transaction directly back to your account foregoing the need to deal with the airline.
Whenever possible, try and read the terms and conditions of your ticket regarding refunds, especially if there is any doubt about flying. Once within the purview of existing terms and conditions refunds for cancelled flights are your right, however if you are in any doubt just contact the experts at GIVT who will be happy to help.