Many people who buy airline tickets assume that they can get it refunded if for some reason they aren’t able to travel – and this isn’t really true at all. Airlines will generally only refund tickets for specific reasons.
For example, if you fall ill or injure yourself, or there is a natural disaster or terrorist attack on the destination that you intend to visit, you’ll find that most airlines will not issue a refund or allow you to change your flights. If you do wish to change your flight you will have to pay whatever penalty or fee is incurred for doing so normally.
Some airlines may make an exception to this rule during exceptional circumstances – but you shouldn’t expect it.
Basically so long as the airline is flying the route and can get you to your destination then they will do so. It is only when for some reason they are unable to fly you to your destination that they may issue a refund.
So let’s just say an airline is going bankrupt, discontinuing its routes and so on it might offer a refund. That being said it is far more likely that the airline will endorse your ticket so that you are offered a flight on another airline. This may or may not require a change in travel dates, depending on the availability of flights.
If the airline is offering a refund then you should be aware that the refund you obtain will be based on the amount that you paid for your ticket. Often, this causes a lot of issues because when people buy tickets well in advance and during promotions they often pay a lot less, and so the refund they obtain is often a lot less than what it would cost to buy a new ticket to that destination on short notice.
For this reason it is often better to accept an endorsed ticket for a flight on another airline – if it is an option.
Even in the situations where airlines are offering ticket refunds you’ll find that it might take a long time for the airline to process the refund. Typically, airlines take anything from six months to one year before they issue refunds and so you should be prepared to wait.
At least now that you know the truth about when you will be entitled to a refund for your ticket you shouldn’t be operating under the assumption that if anything goes wrong you can always get a refunds. When it comes to flights, refunds are only issued under very specific and dire circumstances, and even then it will take quite some time before you get your cash.