Refundable fare question

Old Nov 25, 18, 8:51 pm
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Refundable fare question

I booked a fare that was labeled as refundable since my travel plans are not completely set in stone. However, when I read more about it on the Delta website, it say "fees may apply". What does this mean, if the ticket said refundable when I bought it?

Also, if I decide I want to upgrade my seat to something better and pay for that, but then end up refunding the trip later, will my seat upgrade also get refunded, or is that a sunk cost?

Thanks. Could not find the answer on the Delta website.
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Old Nov 25, 18, 10:05 pm
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A fee may apply to process the refund.

What type of seat upgrade fee are you talking about? Some are non-refundable/ non-transferable, others are.
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Old Nov 25, 18, 10:12 pm
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$200 fee applies to cancel a nonrefundable ticket (domestic). No fee for a refundable ticket.
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Old Nov 25, 18, 10:23 pm
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Not sure about the seat upgrade — I’d imagine upsell offers are not refundable; if you want to upgrade your seat, you should hit “modify flight” to directly reticket into a higher cabin with a refundable fare. There isn’t a fee for doing that though I imagine it will be more expensive than an up sell.

As for the refund, if it was marketed as refundable I don’t see why there would be a fee. I’ve had no problem getting 100% back from refundable fares in the past.
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Old Nov 25, 18, 10:48 pm
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Forget the "fees may apply" language. This is boilerplate generic disclaimer.

Check the specific fare rules for each direction of your ticket. Under "Changes" or "Cancellation" it will either list a fee, or it will say "Cancellations Permitted." By saying that, it means it is refundable. Note that the most restrictive fare rules apply to your entire ticket, which is why you need to check the rules for each fare component/direction of your ticket.

As for seat selection and upgrade fees, these are generally nonrefundable even if you cancel/refund the ticket as a result of a voluntary change. If there is a qualifying involuntary change that would allow for a refund, then your seat selection/upgrade fees, even if initially disclosed as nonrefundable, can be refunded due to the involuntary change.
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Old Nov 25, 18, 11:05 pm
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Yes, there are fares out there that are refundable for a fee, it's more common on international fares, and for business class, the fee may be $200-500.
You have to look at the detailed fare rules, usually it's detailed in the "Penalties" section.
You also may or may not have to cancel the reservation prior to the flight's departure to retain the ticket value. That will also be spelled out in the fare rules.
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Old Nov 25, 18, 11:59 pm
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Originally Posted by Kevin AA View Post
$200 fee applies to cancel a nonrefundable ticket (domestic). No fee for a refundable ticket.
Incorrect. You're thinking change fees.
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Old Nov 26, 18, 11:14 pm
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Note that if you upgrade the ticket this could end up putting you into a nonrefundable fare class, depending on what fare you upgrade into. It's possible that the cheapest upgraded (nonrefundable) fares are cheaper than your refundable coach ticket.
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Old Nov 27, 18, 3:22 am
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Originally Posted by jdrtravel View Post
Note that if you upgrade the ticket this could end up putting you into a nonrefundable fare class, depending on what fare you upgrade into. It's possible that the cheapest upgraded (nonrefundable) fares are cheaper than your refundable coach ticket.
Fare classes have nothing to do with if the ticket is refundable, changeable, or if a fee applies to do either. The fare rules do.

If you upgrade a refundable fare to a non-refundable one, the whole new amount becomes non-refundable. If you upgrade a non-refundable fare to a refundable one, the original non-refundable amount remains non-refundable.
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Old Nov 27, 18, 9:46 am
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Just curious - at what point in the booking process does DL show the fare rules for a given itinerary? AA's annoying and only shows it at the very end.
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Old Nov 27, 18, 10:15 am
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On delta.dumb, you can see the fare rules just before the purchase. Toward the bottom of the summary page, there are a couple lines that seem to be boilerplate about fees and conditions. If you click on the right word there, you're sent to a page that shows the exact fare code(s) and both summary and full fare rule links.

However, I've never found a way to see the fare rules after purchasing the ticket except on EF.
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Old Dec 4, 18, 3:52 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
On delta.dumb, you can see the fare rules just before the purchase. Toward the bottom of the summary page, there are a couple lines that seem to be boilerplate about fees and conditions. If you click on the right word there, you're sent to a page that shows the exact fare code(s) and both summary and full fare rule links.

However, I've never found a way to see the fare rules after purchasing the ticket except on EF.
So DL's pretty much the same as AA in that respect.

I've used EF and ITA Matrix to find fare rules, but it shouldn't be that hard to find them. Especially when the airlines' like to cite them when things go wrong.
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Old Dec 5, 18, 12:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Superguy View Post
So DL's pretty much the same as AA in that respect.
Not quite - on DL the link is available right after you select your flight(s) and it's much less hidden. In the flight summary at the top of the page, like where it says "Changeable / Non-refundable", you can click that and you'll get a pop-up where you can see the rules. There's also a link in the fine print toward the bottom of that page.

On AA.com, the link is only in the fine print, and only AFTER you've entered the passenger information, selected seats, and are on the page where you enter payment information and select "Purchase."

DL definitely > AA on this!
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Old Dec 10, 18, 2:50 pm
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
Not quite - on DL the link is available right after you select your flight(s) and it's much less hidden. In the flight summary at the top of the page, like where it says "Changeable / Non-refundable", you can click that and you'll get a pop-up where you can see the rules. There's also a link in the fine print toward the bottom of that page.

On AA.com, the link is only in the fine print, and only AFTER you've entered the passenger information, selected seats, and are on the page where you enter payment information and select "Purchase."

DL definitely > AA on this!
Thanks. I always hated having to do a pseudo booking on AA just to see what the fare rules are. Why go thru the trouble of generating a PNR on their end just to show something that could easily be shown much earlier in the process?
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Old Dec 10, 18, 2:55 pm
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Originally Posted by Superguy View Post
Thanks. I always hated having to do a pseudo booking on AA just to see what the fare rules are. Why go thru the trouble of generating a PNR on their end just to show something that could easily be shown much earlier in the process?
Maybe so that AA can accuse their customers of fraudulently making bookings to hold inventory? There was a case of someone on AA who did dummy bookings to see upgrade chances and AA nailed the guy.
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