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A couple weeks ago I booked a one-way domestic flight on delta.com for $152. A week later my plans changed and I had to go a day earlier. Unfortunately, that meant I would essentially lose out on all but $2 of my original ticket since Delta charges a $150 change fee plus fare difference on domestic flights. If I simply didn’t show up for my flight, I’d automatically get an e-credit for $2 for future use on a domestic flight. Bummer.
I decided to just book a brand new ticket, because if the weather ended up being terrible on my originally scheduled day of departure, there’s a chance I would be able to get a refund (or change) for free, so there was no reason to cancel in advance. This is what I recommend to people who have award tickets they want to cancel – if you don’t need the miles right away, you might as well wait and see if there’s a significant schedule change or weather event that could allow you to get free changes (just note on Delta that you must make all changes more than 72 hours prior to departure on award tickets).
However, when I was viewing my reservation on Delta.com -> Travel Information -> Itineraries & Check-in, I noticed a button that I couldn’t help clicking: “Request Refund”.
It brought me to this page, which allows you to enter your name and confirmation number and then enter in a reason for requesting a refund. I simply put “Other” and in the comments box “Needed new flight”. Ambiguous. Yes, but true.
I didn’t actually expect to get a refund, but it never hurts to try! Lo and behold, I get this email two days later:
“Dear Mr. Kelly,
RE: Case Number XXXXX
Thank you for contacting us regarding a refund of ticket 006 XXXXXX. We appreciate the opportunity to review your request.
We processed a refund in the amount of $152.00 on October 18, 2012.
For credit card purchases, we generally transmit our credit instructions to the credit card processing company within one business day of the date the refund is processed. However, it can take up to 2 billing cycles for the credit card issuer to show this credit on your statement. The refund was issued to a American Express credit card with an account ending in XXXX. Please refer to your issuing bank for further details regarding account posting.
You may check the status of your refund via one of the following options:
Online: Delta.com/refunds and ‘Check My Refund Status’
Phone: 800-847-0578 within the U.S. and Canada
404-715-5417 outside the U.S. and Canada or in the Atlanta area
Your business is valued and very important to us. We hope you will continue to choose Delta Air Lines, our SkyTeam partners, and our Delta Connection Carriers for your future air travel needs.”
So instead of simply letting $150 evaporate into thin air, I got it back by simply asking. I’m not guaranteeing this method will work for you, but it can’t hurt to try!