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Refund Policy If Airfare Goes Down After Purchase  
User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 8
Posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 6119 times:

I did a search (as I always do) and couldn't find anything (I never seem to speak the same language as the computer), so please forgive me if this has been discussed before, but it's not something I recall offhand.

I always help a fellow teacher purchase her airplane tickets, and today was no exception. After we clicked "purchase" on a great deal to Syracuse, New York for later this month, she asked me, "now, what if the fare goes down? What do airlines do at that point?"

I realized I had no answer for her.

So you buy a non-refundable ticket for $X dollars, and tomorrow it shows up as $(X-50). Assuming it is for the same exact itinerary, is the purchaser due a refund? And while I know that the airline isn't going to track people down to return money (I'm not always sure I would sometimes!!), is it persistence that is needed? Or is it something they do if you ask them?

I've never had this happen to me, so I have absolutely no idea what the different airlines' policies are. Thanks in advance for your responses!!


Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineRwSEA From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 3104 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 6110 times:

Depends on the airline. Some will give you a refund, some will give you a credit, some won't do anything. Any refund or credit is usually after the change fee (of $50 or $100 or whatever).

About a year ago I purchased a ticket with NW on SEA-NRT-HKG and it went down about $200 after purchase. I was able to get a credit for future travel of $100 (which is the difference less the standard $100 change fee). All in all better than nothing, especially since I did the whole thing online in all of 5 minutes.


User currently offlineYXD172 From Canada, joined Feb 2008, 449 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 6045 times:

Well, in your scenario, there is a chance that you could cancel the original ticket and rebook. With certain carriers ( AC, TAP, and others from past experience) there is a 24-hour "grace period" for internet bookings during which cancellations are free, even on the lowest booking class. Other airlines such as WS only offer it on the same day, which is much less useful. It really depends on the policy of the airline in question.

Of course, this only works if the fare goes down the day after the booking. I'm not too sure what happens after that, or



Radial engines don't leak oil, they are just marking their territory!
User currently offlineSbworcs From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2005, 844 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 5909 times:

Whilst I have no experience in this I would probablys say that most airlines would not do it. You don't get a refund on items bought from a shop that have gone down in price later on so not sure why airlines would be any different - would be nice though!!!!


The best way forwards is upwards!
User currently offlineVV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7531 posts, RR: 17
Reply 4, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5879 times:



Quoting Sbworcs (Reply 3):
Whilst I have no experience in this I would probablys say that most airlines would not do it. You don't get a refund on items bought from a shop that have gone down in price later on so not sure why airlines would be any different - would be nice though!!!!

I sympathise with the view, particularly as when you buy something from a shop you walk away with the goods.

On the other hand I have a flight to India booked and paid for for next November. HOWEVER with the current economic climate including escalating raw material prices (particularly fuel) a very different question may be more relevant. What happens if the airfare increases after purchase but before travelling?

Most (all?) airlines under these circustances will use the date of ticket purchase as the price point. With a flight to India next November booked and paid for I am happy that with the exception of certain specific existing and potential government taxes few (no?) airlines would pass on any price increase for that journey. I am also pleased I am booked with BA. At least in the past, although legally entitled to pass on such extra charges, never - at least upto now - have done so. They (unlike some but by no means all other airlines) have always absorbed such charges themselves. No doubt they have used the interest earned on the original purchase price between the date of purchase and the date of the flights to at least partly offset the increased taxation.

So all in all I think the more appropriate question for PanAm747's teacher friend is 'Will I have to pay ant incvreases in the flight cost before I fly?'


User currently offlineAA757200 From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 157 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5859 times:



Quoting PanAm747 (Thread starter):
So you buy a non-refundable ticket for $X dollars, and tomorrow it shows up as $(X-50). Assuming it is for the same exact itinerary, is the purchaser due a refund?

What would you say if the day after you buy a ticket, the airline called you informing you that the price of that ticket had gone up by $50, and that they needed to collect that increase from you? That should answer your question as to why most every airline won't issue refunds, if prices go down.


User currently offlineOkie73 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 446 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5855 times:

Let's reverse it. If you buy the ticket and airfares go up, is it fair for the airline to send you a bill for the increase?

User currently offlinePlaneguy727 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1247 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5855 times:

Actually there are a number of shops that will refund the difference if they lower the price within a given timeframe (usually about one week). I purchased a wireless router from RadioShack and it went on sale the very next morning - 12 hrs difference. I went back to the store and they refunded the difference (including sales tax) without question.

I did ask and they said that as long as it happens within the "return" period for an item, no problems.



I want to live in an old and converted 727...
User currently offlineJano From Slovakia, joined Jan 2004, 827 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5845 times:

Definitely possible on NWA. The ticket price drops so one pays the fee + the fare difference (which is negative now). Also until the midnight (central time) of the next day after purchase there is no fee to be paid. Simply one has to cancel the ticket and buy a new one.


The Widget Air Line :)
User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 5771 times:

From a business standpoint, it makes sense to say, "once you've purchased, that's it". Especially with non-refundable fares. Some businesses offer a price guarantee, others do not.

On the other hand, it's all a crapshoot - maybe the price will go down, maybe the price will go up!! Round and round she goes...where she stops? Nobody knows!!

If we all had a crystal ball and knew exactly when the airlines were going to offer the lowest fare on an itinerary...



Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5417 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 5747 times:



Quoting Jano (Reply 8):
Definitely possible on NWA. The ticket price drops so one pays the fee + the fare difference (which is negative now).

Not sure what you're getting at here?

Unless the ticket is fully refundable, you're not gaining anything. If you change your ticket, you're not getting a refund of the difference, plus you're paying a change fee. Also, for most airlines AFAIK, you pay the change fee regardless of the difference ... i.e. old fare $500, new fare $200, you still pay $100 change fee and that's all you get ... a new flight that just happens to show a cheaper price on your itinery.


Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineRwSEA From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 3104 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 5693 times:



Quoting Bond007 (Reply 10):
Unless the ticket is fully refundable, you're not gaining anything. If you change your ticket, you're not getting a refund of the difference, plus you're paying a change fee. Also, for most airlines AFAIK, you pay the change fee regardless of the difference ... i.e. old fare $500, new fare $200, you still pay $100 change fee and that's all you get ... a new flight that just happens to show a cheaper price on your itinery.

And a credit towards future travel for the difference.


User currently offlineTxAgKuwait From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 1803 posts, RR: 42
Reply 12, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 5641 times:

I believe someone said it depends upon the airline.

In the event someone is flying WN (assuming they aren't afraid - obviously I'm not - I have two AUS-OKC-AUS RTs starting next week) then you can get a credit for whatever the difference is with no change fee. The credit is good towards any ticket purchase for up to a year, IIRC.

It's fairly simple to do online. Once you have found a cheaper itinerary, you go in and cancel your first itinerary, which gives you a credit for the full face value of the ticket (no cancellation or change fees), then you immediately rebook the cheaper itnierary, using the credit as form of payment.

Whatever is left over stays on account for up to a year.


User currently offlineDon81603 From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 1185 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 5602 times:



Quoting Okie73 (Reply 6):
Let's reverse it. If you buy the ticket and airfares go up, is it fair for the airline to send you a bill for the increase?

My thoughts exactly. And in these days of rising fuel costs, IF the ticket price drops at all, the likely increase in the fuel surcharge will likely eat up the price difference and then some.

The last time I bought a ticket directly from an airline, I got burned big time. Between my purchasing the ticket and the actual flight, the airline in question went belly up, and my $189 ticket wasn't worth the electrons in a computer. I eventually got $6 back. Ever since, I book through a reputable travel agency, and they have time and again found be better prices than even the airline's own website.

For example, I leave YWG for BNE on Nov 1, returning Nov 28. AC 299 to YVR, 33 to SYD then QF 522 to BNE. return is QF 244 to SYD, AC 33 to YVR & 296 to YWG. As of now, AC's website is quoting $2658.59. I paid the travel agent $2390.09 for the exact same flights. And on top of this, if either airlines goes belly up (highly doubtful), it's a simple matter for the travel agent to rebook with other airlines.



Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
User currently offlineJano From Slovakia, joined Jan 2004, 827 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 5572 times:



Quoting Bond007 (Reply 10):
Not sure what you're getting at here?

Unless the ticket is fully refundable, you're not gaining anything. If you change your ticket, you're not getting a refund of the difference, plus you're paying a change fee. Also, for most airlines AFAIK, you pay the change fee regardless of the difference ... i.e. old fare $500, new fare $200, you still pay $100 change fee and that's all you get ... a new flight that just happens to show a cheaper price on your itinery.

Nope.

This has happened to me a few times in last several years. I fly TYS-VIE on NW/KL several times a year. A few times I got a ticket for $X. A few days later the price dropped. If the price drop was more than $200, which was the change fee for the reissue (check for example QKXUSE fare), then I went to nwa.com and requested reticketing.

So if the price drop was $250 I got back $50, which is
$250 price drop
$200- change fee for ticketing
------
$50 credited back to my credit card

So if I originally paid $1050 then after re-ticketing I ended up getting $50 back.



The Widget Air Line :)
User currently offlineIRelayer From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 1073 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 5530 times:

This thread is so odd to me, I never think of fares going down after I've bought them. Then again, I never buy a plane ticket more than 2 months in advance.

-IR


User currently offlineUA76Heavy From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 181 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 5513 times:

If you purchase a ticket through United.com, you can get a refund for the difference if at the point of your inquiry the price is lower than what you've paid. I've done it before with non-refundable, restricted e-tickets.

However, I think the subject is rather moot since oil is selling for US$108/barrel and going up. You're better buying a ticket in advance.


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