Are Plane Tickets Refundable?

Jul 19, 2022 By Susan Kelly

The answer is simple: yes, each airline has its policy on refunding flights. Most airlines provide a choice between non-refundable and refundable tickets to the airport. This is something that many of us avoid or ignore completely. Refundable tickets aren't the most popular purchase because they are generally more expensive than their non-refundable counterparts.

There's a sort of trade-off in play. You may pay less to purchase a non-refundable ticket; however, if you decide not to use it, you won't be able to claim that cash back. However, you can pay more for a flight and still be comfortable knowing that you will return the money to you if your travel plans change.

The Basics of Refundable Tickets

When you purchase your flight ticket, one thing you'll likely overlook is the possibility of booking a refund ticket. These are reservations you can make that will be completely reimbursed or, in some instances, even partially if you need to cancel your trip for reasons of any kind. As we said, Refundable flights are typically costlier than standard non-refundable ones. Costs can vary between a few hundred and several thousand dollars based on the type of flight you choose to book, such as economy or business class.

The decision to purchase a refundable or non-refundable ticket is based on your needs. If you're traveling for business purposes, there's a good likelihood that you won't need to cancel your trip, and you likely will not have to pay for it yourself; therefore, you don't require a refund ticket. However, if you doubt that you'll be unable to travel on time, perhaps there's a member of your family that's sick, or you're traveling to visit your sister's baby. The delivery date is in the air; you ought to consider the possibility of a refundable ticket. Purchasing the ticket will surely exceed the cost of booking an airline ticket you'll never use.

There are a few points to be aware of when purchasing refundable tickets. Certain airlines charge fees to refund a ticket, and some have strict cancellation policies. In these situations, you could have an opportunity in which you can request a refund. It will, of course, depend on your relationship with the carrier.

If you're a regular traveler who has accrued many miles, the airline may accept to ignore their rules and give you the right to a refund. Important to note that all flights are, on average, completely refundable within 24 hours after booking; therefore, nothing is lost if you book a non-refundable flight. Please make sure you check with your airline on the refund policy of their airline.

Refund Policies at Major Airlines

As we said, every airline has its approach to deciding when it is appropriate to offer flight refunds. Here's how policies for refunds on airfare are compared to those of the best airlines.


Southwest is among the most well-known airline companies in the U.S. Regarding refundable versus non-refundable tickets, most offers are refundable and come without any penalties. Southwest's want to Get Away tickets--the cheapest tickets available. However, they can be used for future travel for a specified time. Refunds are available for both Anytime or Business Select classes.


With JetBlue's benefits like free Wi-Fi in the air and complimentary drinks and snacks, it's not a surprise that it's also at the top of the list of top airlines in terms of flights. JetBlue provides both refundable as well as non-refundable tickets. Refundable tickets cost more. The fees for cancellations or changes with JetBlue are between $75 and 200 dollars per ticket, contingent on the cost of the first ticket. Refunds aren't available for flights that are part of a holiday package.

Delta Air Lines

Although Delta Air Lines is a well-known option for domestic travel, it's also a popular choice for international travel. Delta offers both refundable and non-refundable tickets; however, the cancellation charges are more expensive than other airlines. Delta charges a $200 cancellation or changes charge for domestic flights, and then the cost increases to $200-$500 for international travel. 500 for travel to international destinations subject to the ticket cost and location.

United Airlines

United Airlines permits cancellations or modifications without penalty when the flight is canceled or modified after 24 hours of making the booking. Refunds are not available for economy or basic tickets, but other classes might be eligible. Changes or cancellations after the first 24-hour period will be subject to an additional fee in the amount of 200 dollars per ticket.

American Airlines

American Airlines works similarly to United and Delta in providing refundable and non-refundable tickets. Change or cancellation fees are also similar and can be found between $200 and $200, according to the kind of flight.

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