Refundable airline tickets are flight tickets that can be returned for a refund to your credit or debit card, or whichever payment method you choose to pay for your flights with. Some tickets are fully refundable and some partially.
If you need to cancel airline ticket, do you get your money back? And when is it better to buy a refundable airline ticket?
For most tickets, you’re probably going to pay a hefty fee to cancel your ticket and whether you get the remaining amount back or just credit towards a future flight depends on the airline. If you bought a refundable ticket, then you should be able to get all your money back with little or no fees but for non-refundable tickets the following fees apply:
- American Airlines does not refund your ticket price except when the passenger dies or when cancellation is due to military orders. To change your ticket is typically $200 for domestic tickets.
- Delta Airlines does not offer refunds and charges a $200 change fee for domestic flights
- Frontier Airlines charges $99 to refund or modify Economy reservations.
- JetBlue change fee varies based on timing and ticket price. 60 days or more before the flight changes and cancellations are $70. Within 60 days, the fee will range from $70-$135 based on ticket price.
- Southwest Airlines has no change fees, you can apply 100% of the price on all fares to future flights; only Business Select and Anytime fares qualify for refunds.
- Spirit Airlines change or cancellation fees start at $110 per customer, per booking.
- Sun Country charges $100 to change a domestic ticket, if you cancel your ticket you can keep the flight credit for up to a year sans the $100 change fee.
- United Airlines does not offer refunds (except in the event of death or jury duty) and charges $200 to change domestic flights.
- Virgin America charges $100-$150 to change or cancel reservations based on the region.
WHEN TO BUY A REFUNDABLE AIRLINE TICKET?
It will vary by each trip and airline, but refundable airline tickets typically run at least $200-$250 more than the lowest fare each way. More than the $99-$200 cancellation fees charged. Refundable airline tickets will also tend to come with more benefits — free checked bags, more miles earned, etc.
So when is it worth booking a refundable airline ticket? Only if there is a real chance that your dates or plans will need to change. For non-business travel, this almost never happens. Issues can always come up last minute,