JetBlue has an official policy where theoretically at departure time, if a customer no shows a flight, funds on a nonrefundable ticket are voided and funds on a refundable ticket are made nonrefundable and placed in to a Travel Bank credit.
I don't believe that literally at departure time, they have a process in Sabre that voids out the unused flight coupons. Its more likely that every night a batch job runs that voids out the tickets. However, a level 1 reservations agent just told me that it is literally voided out at departure time.
I know B6 sometimes honors a flat tire rule, and they have to have procedures to hande other kinds of irrops, so I just don't believe programatically that the system is voiding funds immediately at departure time.
Does anyone know actually behind the scenes how this works proprogramatically in their instance of Sabre, or other ticketing mechanisms?
I've also observed sometimes especially if you are checked in for a flight, and need to cancel or change it with in 45 minutes of the scheduled departure time, even crew support (eg a reservations supervisor) cannot remove the checkin status from the flight coupon in order to complete other cancel or change transactions? Sometimes in practice they note the PNR that the pax called, and then the pax has to call back at some time after departure so that the PNR can get back in a state where res can modify it. Of course, the airport can modify it at any time.
But this last point also suggests their system really does not programatically void funds exactly at departure time?
Just to give you some related info, most other airlines do void funds through an overnight process if the customer does not make a change or cancellation at ***any time, and not necessarily before departure*** on the original travel date. For example, a United UA ticket goes in to a 0 status. In other words, if an agent displays the e-ticket coupons, it will show 0 instead of Open which is the default state for an unused flight coupon. At one point in the past at least US Airways US voided flight coupons would go in toa similar so-called NoGo status. But again, these void processes only ran late every night, and not the minute a pax missed a flight. This gave res and ATO more time on the original ticketed travel date to update, change, or cancel the PNR to prevent the voided status.
If at one of these other airlines a ticket had been voided, there is usually some special help desk that has the permissions in the CRS to un-void (in other words put back in OK or open status) a flight coupon. If say an ATO really wants to help a pax, they can do some arm twisting with this help desk, and if push comes to shove, they do have the tools or the buttons they can push to un-void the ticket. I've seen too where its sometimes a shouting match between an ATO and this help desk. For example at US this special help desk is called the More Care Department. Only another agent would call this internal help desk. Also curious at JetBlue, who can un-void tickets.
Incidentally because of this stated lose your money at departure time, I don't fly JetBlue unless it is significantly less expensive. If they won't even give me until midnight of the ticketed travel date, I don't need to fly with them. What if there is a long hold time, and you can't even reach res before the flight departs?