This is a very uncertain situation when you have booked a non-refundable flight and now you have to cancel your non-refundable flight ticket. People usually go for non-refundable tickets because it is much cheaper than the refundable tickets. Usually, airlines charge more for refundable tickets. Cancelling a non-refundable flight can create a huge load in your pocket as the money will not return. In some circumstances, there are ways that you can get your refund on non-refundable tickets. It’s not confirmed that you will get your all money back but some fixed amount of it. Not all refunds are in the form of cash or money, some are in the form of credit which you can redeem for your future flight bookings or you can get it in the form of changing your flight dates at no extra cost. But the credit can only be redeemable for a year not more than that.
However, nothing is guaranteed, the only guaranteed refund will be given to you when you will book a refundable flight ticket. Due to this coronavirus pandemic, many airlines have changed/updated their policies as well as their refund policies. Currently, when the pandemic hit the entire world was under lockdown then many flights had to be cancelled which was refunded later?
• Health issues- a sudden health problem can be the reason to cancel your flight. The documents are important to proof your medical condition to the airlines so that they can verify and cancel your ticket and initiate your refund.
• Death of someone you love: in this case, the airlines can cancel your ticket and refund the amount even if your ticket was non-refundable. But the respective documents must be submitted for that which can offend people but the proof is necessary.
• Your own death: in this case of sudden demise, someone in your family must inform the airlines so that they can cancel your ticket and the refund will be processed to your family members account.
• Corona positive: in these times where the corona is all over the world and so many people are getting affected on a daily basis. According to every airline guideline, you cannot board a flight if you are corona positive. This can lead to spreading the virus.
• Job termination or transfer: if you are terminated or transferred from your job then also you can cancel your flight ticket because then there will be a change in plans. In this case, the airlines allow you to apply for the cancellations and your refund will be initiated.
So these are the reasons people usually cancel their flights. Now let's get to the part where we discuss the methods and strategies on how we can cancel our non-refundable flights which are as follows:
1. CANCELLATION WITHIN 24 HOURS- the cancellations within the 24 hours of booking your flight tickets are usually free and refundable. According to the United States department of transportation rules, it states that you are eligible for a refund if you cancel your ticket before or within 24 hours. You can cancel from the same platform through which you have booked the flight tickets. Or you can call customer service for the same. This 24-hour cancellation policy is with every airline even if they are very strict or rigid with their policies.
NOTE: This only applies if you have booked your ticket a week ago from the date of your departure date otherwise it won’t be applicable for you.
2. CHECK POLICIES BEFORE BOOKING: research can be the safest way. Doing research and comparing different airlines might help you to not invest your money. If you are not sure about your schedule then before booking check the airlines cancellation policy. It will guide you if you can cancel your flight later on with a refund. If not, then check other airlines' websites for the cancellation policy.
3. GET INSURANCE- this method might take some extra amount from your pocket but this guarantees that your flight will be cancelled and you can even get your refund. The reason through which you are claiming the insurance should be powerful such as major health issues, death of a person who is close to you, etc. the reason should not be that you are cancelling and demanding a refund because you do not want to go.
4. REQUEST: You can call the airlines customer service and tell them your problem, request them to cancel your flight or even re-schedule. You might get the kind person who can actually hear you out and provide you with the best they can. The problem should be genuine. Different airlines have different policies so never force them to do anything because they are also bound with the company's policies.
5. BE DETERMINED: Be constant in your efforts to get the refund and talk to different authorities. Maybe a different person can help you with the tickets that are authorized to help the customer in the refunding process. You can even contact the airlines through different platforms such as Customer care number, airlines social media handles and mail.
6. TRAVEL AGENT: If the travel agent has booked your ticket then he might get it cancelled as well. These agents have many contacts inside the airlines. So they can help you get your flight cancelled and if you wish to reschedule your flight. They can make it happen.
7. PRAY FOR ANY NATURAL DISASTER: Sounds silly but this might work for you. If you have used every method that is mentioned above then this is the last option you can hope for because you never know when your fate can be in your favour. Sometimes due to weather and other circumstances, the flights get delayed and in some cases, it might be cancelled. In this case, you can demand your refund and you will get the full payment or you can get the credits for your future flight bookings. So, you have to keep an eye on your booking to be informed about the delays and cancellation.