There’s really nothing quite like the prospect of travelling that makes me so happy. For me, it starts way before the trip even begins. I’ve chosen the destination, now it’s time to find that flight. Sometimes it’s the other way around – I discover an amazing deal and the next thing I know, it’s off to Morocco! Either way, I’m definitely one of those people that gets excited buying a flight – maybe that’s why I’ve messed up a few (okay, more than a few) times when I’m doing it. It doesn’t matter how much I tell myself to chill, or be careful, or to check again, there always seems to be a little voice in my head saying “hurry up! You’ll miss your chance!”. Well, anyway, that’s the reason I’ve had to cancel multiple tickets before. Also, sometimes life just gets in the way – a family emergency can come up, or when the ticket only costs 20 euros it doesn’t seem that big a deal to just not turn up when you have other things going on. And most people just write it off as an unfortunate expense.
But here’s where I get to the point. Passengers have rights! Whatever your reason for cancelling your ticket, you’re entitled to getting at least a portion of your money back. Surprised? Well, that’s because airlines don’t want us to know this tasty morsel of information and, if you’ve ever sat down and read the terms and conditions of your flight ticket (who actually does this?), you’ll know how over-complicated it is to figure out what it actually says. So, to make things a bit clearer I’ve got a few tips that should help you when you have to cancel a flight, which should make it easier to get your ticket refund.
1. Evidence is key
Make sure you keep hold of everything connected to your flight – the most important of all is the booking confirmation. If you have proof of your ticket cancellation or any correspondence with the airline, make sure you keep hold of that, too.
2. The sooner the better
Actually, the deadline to claim your ticket refund varies by country in the EU (in the U.K. you have 6 years, in Germany, you have 3) but it’s always better to do it as soon as you can. You’re more likely to have all the relevant documents on hand, plus it will be easier for the airline to resell your seat – which means you would get your refund.
3. A full refund doesn’t always happen
Getting a full ticket refund depends on a few factors. Firstly, if your ticket is non-refundable, it’s pretty clear you won’t get that money back – of course, refundable tickets are more expensive and most of us don’t bother spending more ‘just in case’. If you did splash out on a refundable ticket, you’ll get a refund only if the airline can’t prove they couldn’t resell your seat. BUT, before you lose all hope, there is a silver lining! A flight ticket price consists of 1) the actual ticket cost 2) taxes and 3) fees. What does that mean? Well, even with a non-refundable ticket, you are entitled to those taxes and fees back – and they can make up to 70% of your ticket!
4. Claiming doesn’t have to stressful
Honestly! I know, the thought of trying to figure out legal terms and dealing with airlines sounds daunting, but these days you can just claim online. As long as you have all the correct documents, all you have to do is upload them to a site like MYFLYRIGHT and they’ll take on your case from start to finish.
As you can see, it is possible to get at least a portion of your money back and sometimes you can even get that whole ticket refunded. Hope this helps all you fellow travellers out there – remember, once you know your rights, you can fight for them!