Airline Refundable Robbery — 2021 Review
4 min readDec 22, 2020

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It pays to shop around when you need built-in flexibility for your travel plans, especially if you’re flying.

The next time you’re shopping for airline tickets, you’ll have a choice between an inflexible ticket and paying extra for one that’s refundable. Is the extra cost for a refundable ticket one that’s worth paying? Pay $700 extra for Refundable, or $64 for Travel Insurance?

Learn more about the Great Airline Refundable Robbery

Built-in Flexibility for Traveling

There are many reasons you might need flexibility built in to your travel plans. You might be flying to an important event whose date is not yet certain. Or you might just want the comfort of knowing that if your circumstances change, you can switch flights or cancel the trip and get a refund.

In both these cases, it might be better to pay extra for flexibility up front. Otherwise, you run the risk of missing the event or paying exorbitant fees for last-minute flight changes.

Let’s take a look at what flexibility options the airline might offer in situations like these.

Flexibility and the Airlines

Let’s consider an actual example from a popular airline.

For a specific flight from Miami to Sacramento, the cost of a single coach seat was $487.

What if you buy this seat and the date of your important event changes at the last minute? The airline will be happy to make these changes for you (if possible), but they will charge you a $200 administrative fee for the trouble.

And what if the event gets canceled and you just want a refund?

Now that’s something the airline simply won’t do. A refund is out of the question unless you had the foresight to buy a refundable ticket in the first place. And what would the airline charge for this sort of flexibility?

A refundable ticket for the Miami to Sacramento flight would cost $1,156. That’s an increase of almost $700!

And remember, these ticket prices are all for the same flight, same day, and same airline.

Flexibility and Travel Insurance

Neither of these options are acceptable. There has to be a better way to buy the built-in flexibility you need for your travel plans.

Well, there is.

Let’s consider adding travel insurance to the original $487 coach ticket. More specifically, let’s add cover that includes ‘ Trip Cancellation,’ ‘ Cancel for Work Reasons,’ and ‘ Cancel for Any Reason.’

Airline Refundable Robbery — Fighting Back

A Comprehensive policy through would typically include these three types of cover and cost around an additional $64. Doing the math, we see that there’s simply no comparison. Travel insurance is the clear choice for superior flexibility when flying.

Next, let’s have a look now at exactly what situations this policy covers.

‘Trip cancellation’ cover means that if you or a traveling companion get sick and can’t take the trip, you receive a full refund for the ticket.

With ‘Cancel For Work Reasons’ cover, you receive a full refund in the case of a lay-off and if your boss changes her mind and you can’t travel. It will also reimburse you in full if you are self-employed and can’t travel due to work obligations, provided you present a notarized statement.

And what if none of these legitimate emergencies come up, but you just decide you don’t want to go?

Finally, Cancel for Any Reason travel insurance reimburses you up to 75% of your money spent on the ticket, no matter why you decide not to travel. Note, Cancel For Any Reason has a few rules to activate the coverage.

To sum up, the clever folk at have found a way to spend only $64 to provide what the airline would charge you almost $700 for. Why would anybody buy a refundable ticket?

Safe Travels

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