Let's Talk About Air Tickets Part 1, Non Refundable Tickets.
What do airline mean when they say your ticket is non refundable?
A non refundable ticket means you will not get your money back if you choose to cancel your itinerary, as simple as that. It is a policy across most if not all airlines, well I have not heard of any that does not sell non- refundable tickets. We can equate it to sales policy in some stores where goods once sold cannot be returned.
What makes a ticket non refundable?
A ticket becomes non refundable due various reasons.
Many tickets on offer if not all are non refundable. That means if you buy and pay for you ticket now, and you decide you are not taking the trip in the next second, you are not getting your money back. Many offers are made by airlines to promote a new destination, attract more customers, or on special occasions like Easter, valentines or Christmas. Promotional tickets in some cases do not make money for the airline unless they are sold in bulk, such tickets are non refundable like goods once sold cannot be returned. It is your choice if you want to consume the goods/service or not. I highly recommend you buy such tickets when you are sure about your trip to avoid any cancellations.
Discounted tickets are sold cheaper than the normal published fares. An airline may decide to select a few seats and sell them at discounted fares. A discounted ticket may be fully non-refundable or partially refundable. When a ticket is partially refundable it means you can get a refund on some taxes. In most cases a small percentage of your full ticket. On some discounted tickets you can get a refund before you take your flight, however if you have used part of the ticket then the rest may be non refundable.
How do I know if my ticket is non refundable?
Some airline or agents will issue you with a ticket and it is clearly written on the footer that the ticket is non-refundable among other condition that govern your ticket, in some cases you will not. The best way to find out is to ask when you are purchasing your ticket. You will be in a position to make an informed decision before you do the purchase.
Can I reschedule my flight if I have a non refundable ticket?
Some non refundable tickets allow for a reschedule, however it is advisable to note that such tickets attract the highest change of reservation fee and for some you can not change at all. I always make a point of finding out if my ticket has an allowance for rescheduling in case I decide otherwise.
The airline has changed my schedule, will I get a refund on a non refundable ticket?
Most airline if not all will refund your ticket in full if they cancel your flight and you have decided not to take the trip because of the changes. However it is good to note that some taxes like service fee are non refundable if you did not book your ticket online. Do not expect to get all your monies back.