Canceling airfare for non-refundable tickets

Canceling airfare for non-refundable tickets

I read this post on canceling airfare through European airlines and found it worthy of reposting. That post in particular is about Iceland air, but the writer talks about European airlines in general in comparison to the US.

He says that when he had to cancel a flight, it ultimately cost him more money to rebook the dates than it would to cancel and purchase completely new tickets (strange). Apparently, when you cancel a flight through non-US airlines, even when you have a non-refundable ticket, you can still receive a refund of taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges. So this person received $245 back of his total $538 spent on the airfare. Woah

And to his point, this refund really shows how much money the airlines pocket versus government agencies. He provides an additional link of resource to a Wall Street Journal article on the issue with airlines, and Uncle Sam’s additional revenue.

For details, here’s a quote from the Wall Street Journal article on canceling airfare for non-refundable tickets:

Many foreign airlines refund taxes and fees and even hefty fuel surcharges, currently $200 or more for many trans-Atlantic flights, when travelers cancel nonrefundable trips. Singapore Airlines, Air France, Lufthansa and British Airways all say they refund all taxes, fees and fuel surcharges even when they don’t refund fares on nonrefundable tickets. “Just the fare itself is not refundable,” says a Lufthansa spokesman.

Many foreign airlines regularly practice this policy for “non refundable tickets.” To reiterate from the WSJ article, “Singapore Airlines, Air France, Lufthansa and British Airways all say they refund ALL taxes.” All the more reason to consider purchasing airfare through a non US airline for further safeguard in the event of last minute adventure fright.

Non-refundable ticket purchases in general can be canceled for a full refund within 24-hours of purchasing.  This writer at Airfare Watchdog goes into the details of various American airlines and working through their “non-refundable” ticket loopholes.