Unable to cancel/refund of award tickets

Old Dec 27, 2023, 2:23 pm
  #1  
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Unable to cancel/refund of award tickets

Hi All.
I have award tickets booked using Alaska miles back in Nov 2022.
Due to the Peruvian protest of 2022-2023, the flight was cancelled by the airline. I changed the tickets for early 2024 on Alaska website. We decided now that we won't be traveling on that trip next year, and would like to cancel the flight.
Both the website and Alaska rep told me that I won't get my refund (fees + miles) because the original ticket was booked more than a year ago.
I can see the 1 year requirement for revenue tickets on Alaska website, but I can't find this requirement for award tickets.
Is the rep/website correct that I won't be getting any refund for this ticket? If so, is there anything I can do to get my miles back? Thanks.
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Old Dec 27, 2023, 2:54 pm
  #2  
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Tickets do expire, so AS is probably within the letter of the law in this case.

If it were me, I'd write a concise email to Customer Care and ask for special consideration. Mention the details of the original cancelation and that yours is a bit of a unique situation. Maybe ask for half the miles back as a one-time accommodation?
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Old Dec 27, 2023, 3:57 pm
  #3  
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What I don't get is why a refundable ticket has an expiration date? Award ticket is refundable, isn't it?
In addition, there is no mention of an expiration date for an award ticket on AS website. All it says is that we have to cancel before departure time to get refund.
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Old Dec 27, 2023, 4:18 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by asdfghjk
What I don't get is why a refundable ticket has an expiration date? Award ticket is refundable, isn't it?
In addition, there is no mention of an expiration date for an award ticket on AS website. All it says is that we have to cancel before departure time to get refund.
My understanding:

[A]ny Ticket issued by Alaska on Alaska Ticket stock will be valid for transportation for one (1) year from the date on which transportation commences at the point of origin as designated on the original Ticket or, if no portion of the Ticket is used, one (1) year from the date of issuance of the original or reissued ticket, whichever is later. When an unused published fare Ticket is reissued, the new Ticket validity on the reissued ticket will be determined from the date the Ticket was reissued.
Rule 4 - Contract of carriage - Alaska Airlines
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Old Dec 27, 2023, 4:39 pm
  #5  
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When an unused published fare Ticket is reissued, the new Ticket validity on the reissued ticket will be determined from the date the Ticket was reissued.
My ticket was reissued earlier this year due to the cancellation. Does that mean that my ticket should still be within the 1 year window?
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Old Dec 27, 2023, 6:07 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by asdfghjk
When an unused published fare Ticket is reissued, the new Ticket validity on the reissued ticket will be determined from the date the Ticket was reissued.
My ticket was reissued earlier this year due to the cancellation. Does that mean that my ticket should still be within the 1 year window?
As suggested, it would be much more effective to write AS customer service a concise letter, gives the background of the original change / rebook - which the rebooking for 2024 travel already was an exception the way I see it - gives the convincing reasons why you no longer be able to make the trip on the new booking, and ask for sympathy / understanding, whatever you can word it up...

Most airlines' tickets whether awards or revenue, have one year validity even though not always explicitly spelled out. There are cases reissued got a new life of another year but that is more like a loophole and not by design it should be...

That is why I thought you already got a break by changing the original booking to way beyond the one year validity of the original ticket.

What you should have done back then was to simply cancel the original booking, then the rebooking for 2024 travel would become a brand new booking, and you have one year from the time you rebooked to cancel it and get the miles back, should be automatically.
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Old Dec 27, 2023, 7:22 pm
  #7  
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I just called again and spoke to a nice rep. She cancelled the tickets and refunded the miles. The whole call took less than 5 minutes 👍. 90k miles are in my account after hanging up.
Thank you all.
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Old Dec 28, 2023, 10:57 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by asdfghjk
What I don't get is why a refundable ticket has an expiration date? Award ticket is refundable, isn't it?
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Not everyone chooses to cancel and refund a refundable fare when they don't take a flight (sometimes they just forget about them). Some refundable fares become non-refundable if you no-show and fail to cancel (but still may maintain value as a credit until expiration date), but others can still be refunded afterwards if you fail to cancel. Having an expiration date on refundable fares reduces liability for airlines so that someone can't come back and a demand a refund or try to claim a credit for a refundable fare they booked a number of years ago and didn't take.

Last edited by xliioper; Dec 28, 2023 at 11:09 am
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Old Dec 28, 2023, 12:52 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by xliioper
Not everyone chooses to cancel and refund a refundable fare when they don't take a flight (sometimes they just forget about them). Some refundable fares become non-refundable if you no-show and fail to cancel (but still may maintain value as a credit until expiration date), but others can still be refunded afterwards if you fail to cancel. Having an expiration date on refundable fares reduces liability for airlines so that someone can't come back and a demand a refund or try to claim a credit for a refundable fare they booked a number of years ago and didn't take.
Yes, I completely agree with you here in case of no show. But it doesn't sound right to me when a refundable ticket expires or becomes non-refundable months BEFORE the scheduled flight.
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Old Dec 28, 2023, 1:28 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by asdfghjk
Yes, I completely agree with you here in case of no show. But it doesn't sound right to me when a refundable ticket expires or becomes non-refundable months BEFORE the scheduled flight.
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Yes, the issue gets tricky with a re-issue. The safest option is simply do a re-deposit/refund instead of a re-issue. But with a re-issue there can be some advantages as they can potentially use historical fares when pricing. If there is no pricing advantage to doing a re-issue, the safest choice is to do a re-deposit or refund on revenue fares and just book a new ticket. If the airlines let you extend/re-issue a refundable fare indefintely, they would also be on the hook for maintaining/honoring historical fares indefinitely.
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Old Dec 28, 2023, 7:21 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by xliioper
Yes, the issue gets tricky with a re-issue. The safest option is simply do a re-deposit/refund instead of a re-issue...
Yes, I should've cancelled and rebooked instead of changing the ticket to save on the partner booking fee

Originally Posted by xliioper
... But with a re-issue there can be some advantages as they can potentially use historical fares when pricing. If there is no pricing advantage to doing a re-issue, the safest choice is to do a re-deposit or refund on revenue fares and just book a new ticket. If the airlines let you extend/re-issue a refundable fare indefintely, they would also be on the hook for maintaining/honoring historical fares indefinitely.
When you change your ticket online, you have to pay the different between what you paid and the current fare. AS wouldn't let you keep your old fare.
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