Did you know that some airlines allow a full refund if you make a mistake when booking? Yes, it’s true! If you’re the kind of person who has been a victim of fat fingers (the phrase I use to write off any typos!) this advice is for you.

I have had this problem once or twice and it makes me feel like a total noob when it occurs. I book a lot of flights, so you’d think I’d always get it right but not all the time.

A Full Refund? But My Ticket Is Non-Refundable!

Yes, even your ticket that is totally non-refundable might be eligible for a refund. There are usually conditions attached though, which are quite important.

When you make a mistake, you can cancel your flight and receive your money back as long as you cancel the ticket within the first 24 hours. This means you should check your e-mail confirmation and check it again the next day just to be sure. Outside this window and you’re out of luck.

Which Airlines Allow This?

There are a number of airlines that have come to the party on this. British Airways allows this at anytime while American Airlines allows it as long as your booking is more than two days in advance of the flight.

Cathay Pacific allow it on tickets to and from the USA as long as your booking is more than seven days in advance of the flight. It does not appear to apply on other bookings.

Qantas allow this as long as you telephone them before midnight the same day you booked, which makes it less than 24 hours. They have the same policy as Cathay Pacific for US flights though.

Other airlines that allow this include Finnair, Lufthansa, Delta (three days before the flight or more), Southwest, JetBlue, Alaska Airlines, United, Hawaiian (seven days before the flight or more), Japan Airlines, Royal Jordanian, Singapore Airlines (again with the seven day before flight rule), KLM, Aer Lingus (long haul flights to/from USA only, with the seven day rule) and many more.

Some Airlines Don’t Allow This

A friend recently made a booking with UK airline FlyBe and needed to cancel immediately and was not allowed to. Low cost airlines don’t really allow refunds at all. Ryanair is another case in point – once they have your money, it is theirs.

Aer Lingus on short haul flights will allow a refund of the Government taxes and charges, less an administration fee. This means you get a little bit back but usually not very much at all.

Overall Thoughts

Being able to refund your ticket within the first 24 hours of your booking is a good thing. People should not be penalised for making a mistake and I daresay most people would go ahead and rebook with the same airline – just correctly.

With low cost carriers and their policy of not returning any money, it’s often no big deal as the amount of money you have spent is negligible. Still, money is better in your pocket than theirs so it would be better if they did refund.

Have you had an experience with making a mistake and getting a refund? Was it good or bad? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Profile500 via Wikimedia Commons.
Other image via Hawaiian Airlines.