If air travel seems a bit more complicated to you these days, you’re not alone. The current travel landscape has some unique challenges.

While the good news is that travel is definitely back and people are flying again, the simple fact is that the experience from booking to in-flight experience looks a bit different than it used to. On top of this, airlines and travel vendors across the board now have to staff back up! So while we’re doing that, you might find that customer support isn’t quite what it used to be.

We’re here to help! CheapAir.com offers some strategies and unique tools to assist you so you can take charge of your bookings. In some cases, you can even make changes to your ticket on your own. Let’s take a look at some of the challenges you could face, and how we can help solve your problems quickly.

Help! I booked cheap airline tickets and realized later that same day that I no longer need them. What can I do?

screenshot of My Trips cancelation

You can actually cancel those tickets yourself, managing your booking in the My Trips section of our website. There’s an explainer to help.

Essentially, when you book just about any airline ticket, there’s a 24-hour grace period in which you can cancel for a full refund, or make changes to your itinerary. This can be particularly helpful when you have a misspelled name on your ticket or realize that – for whatever reason – you booked the wrong flight. Important note: There are 3 airline carriers that will not issue a refund even if requested within the 24-hour grace period,  if the flight is departing within 7-days of purchase. These airline carriers are, Spirit, Frontier and Sun Country. 

Just know that once you cancel, it’s gone for good. Don’t worry, we’ll ask you again if you’re sure before you pass the point of no return in My Trips.

Ok, but what if I’m outside that 24-hour window. Something’s come up and I need to cancel my trip. Can I get my money back?

Even though most airlines are allowing changes free of charge these days, most tickets don’t let you collect a refund. That’s because people generally buy non-refundable tickets (we’ll always let you know if it’s non-refundable before you buy). In fact, you can pretty much assume the default airline ticket is non-refundable.

If you know from the jump that you might need to cancel, it could be worth buying a more expensive, refundable ticket.

On some tickets you can still cancel your flight for a future travel credit. Again, just navigate to My Trips, enter your booking number and last name, and we’ll let you know if the ticket is eligible for a travel credit. It’s that simple.

If your situation is more complicated or you have additional questions, before you want to make a decision, just reach out to us at help@CheapAir.com. One of our travel advisors will be happy to assist.

I booked flights that I now need to change. Can I do this free of charge?

Most airlines are not charging change fees. However, when you make your change you will have to pay the difference between what the fare was and any increases in price for the new ticket. Sometimes people are surprised that they have to pay for the same route, but a lot of factors can impact a ticket price. You can read more about the process of changing a ticket here. ** Important note, most Airline carriers will not permit changes if you purchased their budget fare, i.e. basic economy or saver fare**

I booked a ticket three months ago. When I showed up at the airport today, they said my flight left 3 hours ago. How did that happen and how can I fix it?

It’s never been more important to reconfirm your flight 24 hours before departure. A flight can have a schedule change multiple times before your flight date. We will always inform you via email of schedule changes, but if you don’t check your email you might not see it.

It’s a lot easier to reconfirm in advance than to try and explain to the airline on your travel day that you missed an email notification or didn’t reconfirm. The airlines are not always willing or able to put you on another flight and if this happens to you, you can expect them to ask you to pay for that missed flight.

This is one of those completely preventable problems. We know, because it happened to us too. But spare yourself the aggravation. Reconfirm your flight 24 hours in advance. You can also see schedule changes under – you guessed it – My Trips. It’s a pretty handy little tool.

I booked a flight last week on CheapAir.com and now the ticket is $75 cheaper. What can I do?

You’re in luck! We have a feature available with every booked airline ticket that essentially “protects” the price you paid. It’s called Price Drop Payback and it gives you peace of mind, so you know you got a good flight price. Once again, you can access this feature through My Trips. With just one click we can check the price you paid and let you know if you have a credit coming your way.

I had to cancel a flight last year, and I have a travel credit to use. Can I use this credit myself online to book?

Unfortunately, there’s no self-service option for booking with a travel credit online. But this is a simple issue. Just reach out to us at help@CheapAir.com, and a travel advisor will help you rebook using your travel credit for payment.

I’m expecting a refund and it’s taking too long. How long does it take to process a flight refund?

If you cancel a flight you just booked online within 24 hours, the refund is processed on our end pretty much immediately. You can look under My Trips to see the status of your refund. It can take as little as 24 hours to return your funds to you or as much as 5-7 business days. Your credit card company or bank are in control of the release of funds, not us.

If the airline cancels a flight and you ask for a refund, we do advise people it can take up to one full billing cycle on your credit card for the refund to hit. Again, this isn’t something we control – it’s the airline’s internal red tape that can be the hold up.

My flight is tonight and I can’t make it. What should I do?

When you’re this close to travel, if you bought your ticket from an online travel agent like us, you should reach out directly to the airline for help.

I’m out of practice and haven’t traveled in more than a year. What do I need to know?

Here’s some helpful resources aimed to help you navigate pandemic-era travel.

COVID-19 FAQs
Countries Allowing Vaccinated Visitors and Quarantine Requirements
Returning to the U.S. After an International Trip

We hope these tips and tools will be helpful to you as you get back out there and start traveling again. Please let us know in the comments below if you have other issues/concerns and we will try to address them. We’re here to help!

Happy travels!

Shop for flights

10 Comments

  1. Susan Freeman

    I purchased a rt ticket and made a mistake (online) on the departing date. Missed my flight by 1 day. Southwest canceled the rest of my itinerary and won’t refund the portion I hadn’t used. Is there anything I can do?

    Reply ·
    • cheapair

      Hi Susan, Sorry about that. We understand mistakes happen. Try emailing Southwest, https://support.southwest.com/email-us/s/ and appealing. Hoping they will consider giving you credit but it is ultimately up to the airline. Unfortunately, being a “no-show” or not canceling the flight before departure forfeits the ticket but hoping Southwest will make an exception in your case. Best of luck.

      Reply ·
  2. Iris I Cody

    i had a change in my flight layover im not sure if i can get from one gate to the next in only 50min. layover .

    Reply ·
    • cheapair

      Hi Iris, most airlines will give you a connection that is long enough for the airport but we understand your concern. We recommend contacting the airline or where you booked to see if there are other options they can put you on. If you booked with us please email help@CheapAir.com with your 10-digit booking number. Thanks

      Reply ·
  3. Lucy

    Thanks for the tips!

    Reply ·
  4. Mary Bowden

    I booked a flight last yr from PHL to MCO and it was as canceled because of Covid. I have written you three times; no reply, nor credit or refund. I have everything in writing. What should I do ?

    Thanking you in advance,
    Mary H Bowden

    Reply ·
  5. Tamika Brandy

    I booked a flight Feb 2020 for Chicago July 2020 and was hospitalized due to COVID can I get a credit?

    Reply ·
    • cheapair

      Hi Tamika, Sorry to hear about that. Hope you are doing much better now. If you booked with us please email help@CheapAir.com. Usually, credit is suspended if you did not cancel before departure. But with proof of hospitalization, we can try to contact the airline on your behalf and request them to grant you a credit. It is ultimately up to the airline but will do our best to get you some credit under the circumstances. Thank you

      Reply ·
  6. Chuck Schimmel

    Excellent article. Thank you for this.

    Reply ·

Post a Comment