Most of the airlines tickets today are non-refundable or carry hefty cancellation and change fees unless you are willing to shell out 2x or 3x the fare for refundable ticket. The same is not true for hotels but sometimes non-refundable hotels reservations might save you 10% or more than the refundable reservations.
So what to do when you booked that awesome flights for a great price but cannot take the flight? Or you had found a great deal on a hotel and booked it despite it being non-refundable? Getting refunded for that non-refundable hotel booking or flight reservation depends on the reason why you are looking to cancel. Below are few times you may be eligible to get refunded for a non-refundable flight ticket or hotel reservation.
Refunding non-refundable Airline fares:
Airline Schedule change:
Since all airlines like to have near full utilization on their flights they might change the schedule of the flights to align with their flight utilization capacity. This may lead to changing the schedule of the flights (very often) or cancelling them altogether (rare). What it does is opens up an opportunity for you to use it as a reason to ask for the involuntary refund without any penalty given the schedule would not meet your travel needs.
Lot of airlines has various rules on what changes would qualify for involuntary refund but still there is a good chance you can get the entire paid fare refunded or credited for future travel without any penalty.
Most of the airlines would refund your fare or provide credit for future use without any penalty when a medical emergency occurs to you or your close family member. While some airlines limit the refund only to the case where passenger travelling gets in to medical emergency in all cases it requires documentation from your Doctor to prove the kind of emergency to determine the eligibility for full refund.
Another situation is if you happen to book the flight ticket with a credit card that provides complimentary travel insurance in case of medical emergency. Even if you do not meet the airline criteria for refund under their rules you would still be eligible to get refund for your tickets from your credit card company in case of medical emergency. So, do check which credit cards provides this complimentary insurance and use them for your non-refundable flight reservation whenever possible.
Refunding non-refundable hotel reservation:
Hotels are operated by either the big chains such as IHG or Marriott or they could be independently operated and that opens up gates for negotiation. You can talk to the customer specialist for big chain hotels and be ready to go higher up to supervisor and see if they can make this happen. Alternatively for independent hotels it is best to reach out to the hotel directly and explain your situation and see if they can refund your reservation.
While there is no guarantee this would always work there is a good chance it might. Also most hotels are more willing to accommodate if you are looking to change the dates rather than outright cancellation. So, if that works for you do ask for it as well.
Similar to Airlines; hotels do consider medical emergency situation and provide full refund provided you can present proof of medical emergency. Again each big chain hotels and independent hotels are different and might have different rules on what constitutes a proof for allowing you to get full refund on your reservation.
Alternatively as stated earlier if your credit card covers you for refunding your travel expenses in medical emergency you can always approach them and get the refund for your hotel.
So, next time you are unable to travel do keep in mind you might still be able to get refunds for either all or some of your travels.
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Google acquired ITA a while ago. Most of the brain used by Google Flights comes from ITA and thus no doubt its pretty good at what it does. You can use the "google flight functionality" to easily narrow down to your desired flights by using few of the techniques below:
The search itself is very easy to use if you understand how to use it. Below are some sample example search to get you going.
San Jose City to New York City Round trip for 4 days length of stay:
As you can see from below snapshots, entering the source/destination and initial set of dates and by clicking in the "date field" will show prices for various dates in the given month. You can then use the "right arrows" to look up the prices for various months as well as you can change the date range on the bottom with "+/- 0 days" to add flexibility to 4 days of stay.
San Jose City to XXX destination for 4 days of stay:
You can enter the "Source" and the length of stay and Click on the Map to see what are the possible "destinations" which could fit your price range. In fact you do not have to restrict yourself to the U.S.A but you could select any region where you might want to visit.
Los Angeles to Tel Aviv (TLV) or Rome (FCO) with default 4 days and +/- 2 days of stay:
You could also search for multiple destinations by specifying the airport names separated by comma and thus browse through "days range" where the fare would be cheaper. As you can see from below the fare could vary from range of $1600 to almost half at $821.
Search for Specific "Alliance" such as One-World or any airlines:
You could even narrow down the search based on the alliance or airlines you would like to fly from the available ones. Sure this might be more costlier then the cheapest option available, but a preferred one for you.
As you can see from above the Google Flights could be quite useful in your search for that flight. It could also help you narrow down to the specific destination, dates or airlines and thus make your travel fit your budget or time constraints.
There are quite a websites that publishes good to great air travel fares. There fares become available for variety of reasons few of which are listed below:
Having flexibility in your travel plan and and knowing about these fares in the timely manner before they disappear can help you make that dream destination trip come true. To that end below listed are the few websites that will help you track on good fares when they become available. Note that the first one is USA originating and there are others in the list which are primarily from Europe.
So, next time if you are looking for that awesome vacation make sure you look through these websites to see if there is something that interests you!
Who does not like to vacation or travel? I believe very few if not none. But once you decide you want to vacation or travel, the primary questions is What's the cost involved and where to go? If your primary goal is to travel on cheap and you are flexible on dates and destination then read on..
As the world of internet as evolved there are great deals for travel available online all the time. Knowing where to look will help you getting started on that exciting journey. This post is primarily to list all the resources available for searching those cheap flights. If your goal is flexibility of dates but not on the destination then you might want to check my post on "How to find best flight deals", otherwise read on.
Flyertalk Mileage Run Forum - Although primarily used by folks who are chasing the Elite status, this is a great forum as the primary intent is to "travel anywhere" for cheap or at minimum cost as possible. Primarily targeted for US based flyers you will find great deal of information for "cheap tickets" to sort of places around the world. All you need to do is browse through it and see what works for you and you are on your way to your destination.
TheFlightDeal - This is a gem of a site which routinely publishes good deals for travel to various destinations around the world. Again it is targeted primarily with deals from the U.S. but for within the U.S. as well as around the world. Most of the fare published are 6.0 cents/mile or lower and a great deal if you are looking for a quick getaway.
AirFareWatchDog - This is a site where you can enter just the "Departure City" and it will do a search for all sort of destination where you could travel (with no particular priority or mention of how good the deal is). The best part is you can create alerts for the city pair you want to travel and it will alert you as per your selected criteria.
HolidayPirates - This is another website which regularly publishes good fares starting from Europe. Look often enough and you might end up on one of the error fares that happens once in a while.
Exbir - This is one of the other European websites which routinely publishes good deals to be had from Europe. Hop on to it and you will end up with great fare to your beloved destination from Europe and around.
Take help from above sites and visit that exciting destination you never knew about. Keep travelling. Enjoy!
I love traveling / backpacking. This blog focuses on 3 aspects: