Are Non-Refundable Airline Tickets Refundable?

by Steve Dasseos, The Trip Insurance Guru on July 18, 2008

We are planning to purchase non-refundable airline tickets. Expedia told us the tickets are refundable – we would lose only the handling fee (around $200) but keep the face value and we must use it in next year. Does that mean if we cancel our trip for a covered reason, we might not get full cash refund of our air ticket? Mimi

Hi Mimi, this is a common question since there’s so much mis-information about what part, if any, of an airline ticket is refundable.

Even though Expedia told you the tickets are refundable, the truth is they are non-refundable. Otherwise, why would they force you to pay a change fee instead of refunding your money? In reality, you will never get you your money back if you can’t travel. If you choose to pay the approximately $200 handling fee, you can re-use your tickets within one year. The big drawback to paying the handling fee is if you cannot travel within the year because the tickets are non-transferable to someone else.

Compare this to one of our pre-screened travel insurance plans, which, if you cancel your trip for a covered reason, you are reimbursed you based on what you actually paid out of pocket for your tickets (assuming you insured the trip’s prepaid non-refundable trip cost), not the just change fee.

Take a look at this article to help you decide which route to take: Cancel Your Plane Ticket Or Pay The Change Fee?

Click here to find out what else should be included in the Trip Cost.

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