Travelling using miles is a great benefit where you could fly to destinations which otherwise you might not dream of going to (as it would be too expensive for you to afford it). But there are times when you want to change those award tickets or completely cancel the trip you once planned with so much of time and effort. Most airlines would charge you a fee to cancel the award and redeposit the miles unless you have some sort of elite status with them which would waive off those cancellation fees. Let's face it, airlines wants to monetize any opportunity you throw at them as that's one of the revenue generator for them. But most often you will find creative ways of getting around this limitation. Although I do not provide any guarantee that it would work 100% of time and YMMV, but I can guarantee that it would work more often than not if one thing falls in your favor, and that thing is "Schedule Change".
What is Schedule Change?
Most airlines allow you to book award tickets for almost 330 days in advance. Since airline industry is dynamic in nature there could be routine changes to the schedule due to certain route additions/deletions or change in partnerships between the airlines or some changes due to airport maintenance requirement. All this could entail change in either departure or arrival time of flights which accounts for "schedule change".
How does schedule change help you?
Since each and every airline has a different policy regarding schedule change (and this info is often unpublished), its hard to predict what would work and what would not. But below are few instances which could very well help you to be qualified for a full refund of miles with no cancellation fees for your award tickets:
How to increase the probability of schedule change to affect your itinerary:
So knowledge of above would help you save your buck in the inadvertent circumstance where you could no longer take that trip and would still want to avoid those hefty cancellation or miles redeposit fees.
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