How to cancel a flight

Image | Pixabay

One of the benefits of planning a vacation well in advance is saving money when booking accommodation or buying airline tickets. However, it also has a disadvantage and that is that if the circumstances of our life do not allow us to carry out our plans, we will not be able to enjoy them and the doubt of how to recover the money will assail us. So when it comes to airline tickets, how do you cancel a paid flight? The answer to this question depends on several factors.

Contracted rate

A paid flight can be canceled if a flexible fare has been chosen that includes this possibility, although this option is more expensive. In addition, the airline may charge a management fee and not reimburse the full amount you paid.

If at the time of buying the flight you chose the cheapest option, it is very possible that it does not include the possibility of refund or exchange. This is quite common with low cost airlines.

Claim the part of the taxes

When a plane ticket is purchased, a part of the fare goes to the State as taxes. In the event of not being able to fly, that amount could be claimed since the trip has not occurred. But we are again in a dilemma: is it worth claiming those fees or is it better to forget about it? In most cases, the claim does not compensate because the management is not free; again the cancellation policies will apply and that costs money.

Image | Pixabay

Force majeure

If you are forced to cancel a flight due to force majeure such as the death of a first degree relative, there are airlines that agree to cancel a flight already paid for and reimburse the amount (or at least a part of it) by presenting the family book and the death certificate. Each of the conditions can be consulted on the company's website.

Travel insurance

A good idea not to lose the money for the plane ticket in the event of not being able to fly finally is to take out travel insurance. This type of policy usually covers the cancellation of a trip but it is advisable to read the fine print before deciding. Normally, the assumptions that the insurance covers are cancellations due to force majeure such as illness, a court summons, a death or work reasons. The money would be lost if it were a cancellation for a trip not made without justification as it is not an assumption that would enter the policy. Therefore, to avoid surprises, it is advisable to be attentive when signing.

What if the airline cancels?

In these cases, it is the company that must find a solution, either by reimbursing the customer or relocating it on another flight. In these situations, the passenger chooses the option that is best for him and may even be entitled to some financial compensation. In any case, as recommended by the Ministry of Tourism and Industry, it is advisable to keep receipts for possible expenses derived from the cancellation, such as hotel accommodation, meals, etc.

However, there are three cases in which the company would not take care of anything:

  • Flight suspensions for exceptional reasons such as weather conditions.
  • Suspension of a flight with two weeks' notice and relocation of the traveler.
  • Cancellations due to strikes are not considered exceptional cause and the traveler has the right to be compensated.
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