Find Flight Credits

I picked up this great tip from a friend and felt compelled to share. Did you know that some airlines actually care about your pocketbook? Alaska Air, Jet Blue and my personal favorite – Southwest Airlines – will credit your miles account if the cost of a ticket drops after you’ve purchased it. They don’t even charge an extra fee for the service. How cool is that! Apparently, these policies are not published, but according to my friend and this nifty fare watch blog site the policies are practiced. Of course, you’ll need to either check the flight prices post-purchase or set price watch alerts to stay on top of any changes. Most credits will expire within a year of purchase.

This nice chart, provided by Airfare Watchdog, lays out the details on many airlines. This works best when you work with American companies. Tickets purchased on sites like Priceline.com don’t apply.

 

 

Refund for fare drop after booking?

Charges/fees on domestic fares 

Charges/fees on int’l fares

The details

Browser says:

Aeromexico

No

N/A

N/A

N/A

A media relations rep stated that no airlines issue fare drop refunds. Not true, obviously.

Alaska

Yes

No

No

Refund is given as credit in form of electronic voucher, good for travel up to one year

Woof! One of the simplest and best policies in the industry, hands down. If only Alaska went everywhere we needed to be.

AirTran

Yes

No

No

You’ll receive credit for future travel. Business class tickets can be changed with no charge.

The airline used to charge a $75 change fee but with the purchase by Southwest Airlines they’re aligning their policy with the new owners.

Allegiant

No

N/A

N/A

“The airline unfortunately cannot refund or credit fare differences after a reservation has been made.”

Well, that’s what you get when you want to fly for almost-free, right?

American

Yes

$150

$250

The airline will issue a “rollover credit” good for future travel, in form of a travel voucher.

This isn’t a widely publicized policy, but it does work.

British Airways

No

N/A

N/A

N/A

Refunds tend to be more of an American thing.

Delta Yes $150 $250 Voucher for future travel.  

Emirates

No

N/A

N/A

N/A

Buy it you fly it.

Frontier

No

N/A

N/A

N/A

It’s hard to keep up with this airline with all its policy changes. But yes – no on refunds.

Hawaiian

Yes

$100

$100

Credit will be issued if you meet all their requirements (and if the amount is more than $100).

The policy’s as strict as the other majors, but at least Hawaiian tends to be easy to work with.

JetBlue

Yes

No

No

Not a published policy, but standard practice to just credit you the difference.

No formal claim process or anything – just rebook online.

Lufthansa

No

N/A

N/A

N/A

The airline is moving towards a low-cost, low-rewards model.

Singapore Airlines Yes, except for heavily discounted fares (i.e., those with no changes or refunds allowed) N/A Depends on the change penalty for the fare in question Credit issued in same form of payment used to buy ticket Even fully refundable fares incur a $25 fee to reissue at the lower fare

Southwest

Yes

No

N/A

Simply rebook your fare and receive credit for the difference to your account.

Customers love this simple policy, and so do we! 

Spirit

No

N/A

N/A

No means no!

(What, you were expecting Champagne?)

United

Yes

$150 administrative fee

$150 administrative fee

Receive a voucher for any remaining difference after paying the fee. A voucher that will invariably be a pain in the butt to cash in and will also not retain any value if you use only a portion of it.

Basically, like Alaska’s policy, except designed to never pay out, thanks to the $150 fee. Also, you have to call to claim. So, enjoy that. (Until a few years ago, United refunded in full, but that was then).

US Airways

Yes

$150

$250

They’ll give you vouchers for the difference, providing the fare you find meets their terms.

Claims can’t be made online – everything needs to be done over the phone. (Be nice, or the agent might slap you with a call center fee, too.) As with United, US Air used to refund in full.

Virgin America

Yes

$75

$75

Credit is held in your account for 12 months for future travel.

Those fancy exit row fares can sometimes drop quite a lot before travel, so if you booked one of those, check back at least once and see – you may qualify for a credit.

Chart source: Airfare Watchdog

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