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Nonchangeable, nonrefundable tickets
Old 03-23-2018, 09:50 AM   #1
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Nonchangeable, nonrefundable tickets

I booked a "basic economy" airline ticket a few weeks ago, and according to the fine print this ticket is nonrefundable and can't be changed. Just my luck, though, I can't take the flight due to a last minute, unavoidable change of plans. The flight is scheduled for Monday morning and the carrier is Delta.

Based on various articles I've read online, it looks highly unlikely that I'll be able to convince the folks at Delta to allow me to re-book the flight for a later date or give me any sort of reimbursement for the fare (around $300). I'm going to call and give it a shot, though.

Wondering if any of you have ever had any luck getting reimbursed (even partially) for a nonrefundable "basic economy" fare. Any tips, tricks, or strategies for what to say when I call?
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Old 03-23-2018, 10:03 AM   #2
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I booked 2 first class tickets to Hawaii that were non refundable. Because of health problems we could not go. I contacted American, and they were happy to refund the tickets. The reason was we paid about $1000 each for the tickets and they could resell them for $2000.
In your case, with a basic economy, that may not happen. I would contact Delta to see what they can do for you. It cannot hurt.
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Old 03-23-2018, 10:10 AM   #3
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When something similar happened to me, I was able to get a credit for future travel from Southwest which was satisfactory to me. I have also used Craigslist to sell travel vouchers/tickets but it requires having them re-issued in the buyers name.
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Old 03-23-2018, 10:16 AM   #4
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Back in 2010 I had to re-book tickets to England with Delta when DW's father died about 4 weeks before we were scheduled to fly. They were non-refundable coach class tickets and they did charge us a rebooking fee plus the much higher cost of the new ticket minus the original ticket cost.

It took a few weeks, but once they had received a copy of the death certificate they did refund the extra money we had paid minus the rebooking fee, which I was happy about. Gosh, that was 8 years ago and the first year of our retirement.
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Old 03-23-2018, 11:11 AM   #5
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AFAIK, 'non-refundable' means no refund, but in my experience, you get a (full?) credit for the ticket that you can use later. Pay a change fee and difference in ticket price and you're good.

"No changes" might complicate that however.
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Old 03-23-2018, 11:18 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by jazz4cash View Post
When something similar happened to me, I was able to get a credit for future travel from Southwest which was satisfactory to me.
Yes, I would be happy to receive a credit from Delta, and I'm going to tell them that. I need to take the trip regardless, just can't do it on Monday. In a perfect world, they would just issue me a credit that can only be reused to book a later flight. Guess I'll see what they say when I call.

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Back in 2010 I had to re-book tickets to England with Delta when DW's father died about 4 weeks before we were scheduled to fly. They were non-refundable coach class tickets and they did charge us a rebooking fee plus the much higher cost of the new ticket minus the original ticket cost.
The difference is that my ticket is actually listed as both non-changeable and non-refundable. If it were only non-refundable, I could change the flight and rebook it by paying a $200 change fee (which is ridiculously high, IMHO).

I have never had to miss and rebook a flight in all the years I've been flying, so I guess even if I don't get any sort of reimbursement I can just view the lost $300 as equivalent to what I would have paid in travel insurance on all those previous flights. Still, hoping I can convince the folks at Delta to help me out as a "one time courtesy".
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Old 03-23-2018, 11:19 AM   #7
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I had bought tickets to see a dying friend and a few days later her husband called and said he did not think she would be alive in 2 weeks. I had non-refundable tickets and when I called and told the agent the story I started crying and she just exchanged them without a change fee which was so nice.
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Old 03-23-2018, 12:16 PM   #8
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Non-refundable tickets have been around forever. What is new in basic economy is the non-changeable. I read recently that many companies are buying regular economy tickets instead of basic economy for this reason. Me too!
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Old 03-23-2018, 01:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jazz4cash View Post
When something similar happened to me, I was able to get a credit for future travel from Southwest which was satisfactory to me. I have also used Craigslist to sell travel vouchers/tickets but it requires having them re-issued in the buyers name.
One of the big benefits of flying with Southwest is that all of their tickets are refundable or you get credit.
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Old 03-23-2018, 01:41 PM   #10
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One of the big benefits of flying with Southwest is that all of their tickets are refundable or you get credit.
That's amazing... didn't realize that. I definitely need to give much stronger consideration to SW when I book future flights. Even if I have to pay $10-20 more to book each flight on SW vs. Delta, it's probably worth it over the long run if I average one cancelled or changed flight out of every dozen or so.
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Old 03-23-2018, 02:33 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Sojourner View Post
The difference is that my ticket is actually listed as both non-changeable and non-refundable. If it were only non-refundable, I could change the flight and rebook it by paying a $200 change fee (which is ridiculously high, IMHO).
Yes, $200 became the standard change fee a few years back. When working, I threw away a couple of return tickets and bought new ones for less than $200 when plans changed.

Per the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the average domestic airfare is currently about $335, so $200 is a 60% penalty - usury laws should apply!
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Old 03-23-2018, 04:38 PM   #12
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The problem is this is the new class of tickets that have been introduced.... cheaper than the other non-refundable ones.... and from what I have seen on TV and read they are being sticklers about keeping the rules tight...

IOW, good luck with getting anything at all....
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Old 03-23-2018, 04:43 PM   #13
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Given what the fine print said, I don’t think Delta has any obligation to refund or credit your ticket. If they do help you out, they deserve some credit. Do let us know what happens.
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Old 03-23-2018, 04:55 PM   #14
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The print doesn't look all that fine. On the fare page where you can chose between Basic Economy and Main Cabin they clearly say no refunds, no changes. The box you click to book it says in big letters "ACCEPT RESTRICTIONS". Even after you do that, the next page, before you buy says "REMEMBER, YOUR BASIC ECONOMY FARE INCLUDES SOME RESTRICTIONS", and with RESTRICTIONS being a link you can click on to see them again.

IMO you should accept the limitations on what you booked. You don't get both the cheapest price and the benefits others paid for with the higher price.
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Old 03-23-2018, 05:03 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by marko View Post
AFAIK, 'non-refundable' means no refund, but in my experience, you get a (full?) credit for the ticket that you can use later. Pay a change fee and difference in ticket price and you're good.

"No changes" might complicate that however.
My general memory also tells me that even though you can't get a refund, you may be able to get a credit good for a certain period of time if you cancel a non-refundable ticket. But of course the terms of your ticket control, and please let us know what happens.
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Old 03-23-2018, 05:45 PM   #16
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The print doesn't look all that fine. On the fare page where you can chose between Basic Economy and Main Cabin they clearly say no refunds, no changes. The box you click to book it says in big letters "ACCEPT RESTRICTIONS". Even after you do that, the next page, before you buy says "REMEMBER, YOUR BASIC ECONOMY FARE INCLUDES SOME RESTRICTIONS", and with RESTRICTIONS being a link you can click on to see them again.

IMO you should accept the limitations on what you booked. You don't get both the cheapest price and the benefits others paid for with the higher price.
Sometimes... If you book directly with the airline.

I booked a ticket that I thought was regular economy because it didn't have the word basic anywhere. I booked it through my travel credit card portal because they had a special deal going to get extra points. (I was paying cash, not points). I assumed if be able to select my seat. No luck. It was a red eye so I really wanted to not be in a middle seat and the flight was 6 weeks out. Turns out basic, in this case meant they randomly assigned your seat the day before the flight. No bueno. I tried reversing the purchase through the website when I realized it was a 'basic economy' fare. No luck.

Fortunately, I was able to get fairly cheap upgrades to premium economy when I called the airline directly. Since I was able to get some cheap upgrade, it worked out ok.

The word basic was never mentioned on the credit card travel portal. Nor the extra restrictions.
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Old 03-23-2018, 06:06 PM   #17
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Fair enough.

The OP can certainly call the airline and see what can be done. Explain the circumstances under which the ticket was bought, and why you have to change. I don't think there should be any fabrication. I'm not saying that was suggested.
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Old 03-23-2018, 09:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sojourner View Post
I booked a "basic economy" airline ticket a few weeks ago, and according to the fine print this ticket is nonrefundable and can't be changed. Just my luck, though, I can't take the flight due to a last minute, unavoidable change of plans. The flight is scheduled for Monday morning and the carrier is Delta.

Based on various articles I've read online, it looks highly unlikely that I'll be able to convince the folks at Delta to allow me to re-book the flight for a later date or give me any sort of reimbursement for the fare (around $300). I'm going to call and give it a shot, though.

Wondering if any of you have ever had any luck getting reimbursed (even partially) for a nonrefundable "basic economy" fare. Any tips, tricks, or strategies for what to say when I call?
I think that is a fundamental feature of basic economy.
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Old 03-23-2018, 09:24 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by marko View Post
AFAIK, 'non-refundable' means no refund, but in my experience, you get a (full?) credit for the ticket that you can use later. Pay a change fee and difference in ticket price and you're good.

"No changes" might complicate that however.
Basic economy is non-refundable AND non-changeable. A significant difference from the "standard" economy ticket which can be changed or at least leave you with airline credit to be used later in the not too distant future.
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Old 03-23-2018, 09:25 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
I had bought tickets to see a dying friend and a few days later her husband called and said he did not think she would be alive in 2 weeks. I had non-refundable tickets and when I called and told the agent the story I started crying and she just exchanged them without a change fee which was so nice.
Again - these were non-refundable. But not non-changeable. Different animal.
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