Non-refundable airline tickets

I have a flight to Chicago next Friday, the 25th, for what is essentially a job interview. But due to new circumstances that have popped up in my life, I’ve decided that there’s no way I’m going to move away from where I currently live, so going on this trip is pointless.

Problem is, I’ve discovered the plane ticket is non-refundable. I’ve Googled a bit, and my understanding is that the only way I’d have a shot at getting my money back (or at least a credit) would be if something drastic happens like a death in the family.

I would think that since it’s 12 days out, they’d be able to sell my seat now for more than I paid… but I suppose what would happen is they’d refuse my refund then sell it for more anyway.

So, is it worth it to try for a refund, or would I just be wasting my time?

Which airline? Have you read through their policies?

Take a look here —>

Oops - I forgot to mention the airline. It is United, and I didn’t come across that article in my search. Thanks!

Airline type here …

Each carrier has dozens, nay hundreds, of ticket types. Each ticket type has different rules.

“non-refundable” may mean you can’t get a refund, but you *can *get a credit for all of your fare for future use on that carrier. Or it may mean 100% of what you paid is lost forever. Or anything in between. Or something completely different.

Only by reading the exact fine print associated with your actual ticket / reservation will you be able to answer the question. Calling the airline is a good place to start if you can’t get the info you need from their website.

The last non refundable tickets I had were on Southwest. I could re-use the ticket again, sometime in the future, provided I 1) paid the difference between the existing ticket price and the new ticket price 2) paid a 100.00 change fee.

Typically if you call and cancel before your flight, you’ll have a credit towards a future flight. You’ll have to pay change fees for that next flight. So, say you have a $600, non-refundable ticket, and you cancel it. Now you have a $600 credit. But, the airline has a $150 change fee. So next time you book a trip, say, it’s another $600 flight. You’ll have to pay $150 for the change fee. Or, you can find a $450 flight, and with the change fee, it’ll be all taken care of. If you don’t use a travel agent, you may have to pay a using-a-human fee, since your credits aren’t generally available online.

Ironic, considering this recent ad campaign that Southwest is running. Maybe they’ve since changed the rules?

It depends on how badly you need the money but, if that is the policy, pick your least favorite person and hide the evidence really well.

I think he must be mistaken. I’ve changed tickets on southwest several times going back several years. I always buy the absolute cheapest ticket I can, and I have never had them charge me a change fee or hassle me in any way. As long as you use the credit within a year, you keep the full value.

I had to cancel a flight last minute once, and it was a non-refundable ticket. They told me to go to the airport within 30 days to get a credit minus $75. I don’t remember the carrier, but I know it wasn’t Southwest.

Yeah, you should be able to at least get a credit minus a fee. Good luck. Best advice is to take care of it sooner than later, not a day or two before the flight.

Before I started dating a pilot, I would regularly fly Southwest. I kept an eagle eye on prices and usually changed my flights a couple times before use, with no fees.

Generally, if you change your mind within 24 hours you can get a full refund.

If you’re looking at just eating the whole cost, why not just go? I’m sure you could find something entertaining to do in Chicago for the weekend.

I agree, if I couldn’t change the tix, I would go to Chicago and see what there is to see.

That’s probably what’s going to happen… the problem is, I’ll have to get a hotel room and either rent a car or pay a bunch of cab fare. That’s more money I’d rather not spend. It’s only for the one night though, I come back on Saturday night.

Have a great time.

Get another last minute ticket and take your new/old girlfriend and her kid.

We did discuss that, but it won’t work. :frowning:

Agreed. Might as well turn it into a credit for however much it is over $150 or whatever Untied charges these days. The norm these days AFAIK is that a simple cancellation w/o rescheduling becomes a credit good for a year, with the change fee taken out when you actually try to reschedule.