Monday, June 23, 2008

Your non-refundable ticket, now refundable!

While we are on the subject of looking at the bright side of the airline industry's slow motion suicide, you should keep in mind one benefit of their constantly changing rules; virtually all tickets purchased more than a week or two ago are now refundable.

How is that so? Let's take a look at a typical contract of carriage from Delta:

"In the event that we amend these Conditions of Carriage in away that materially affects the terms and conditions of your ticket purchase after you have purchased your ticket but before your travel begins, and you do not agree to be bound by the rules as amended, you may request a full refund of your ticket price." Rule 1, Section D, Paragraph 1 on Page 2.

Basically, if I buy a ticket today, and Delta changes their contract tomorrow, I am entitled to a full refund. This is very useful as airlines have lately been changing their terms and conditions constantly. It doesn't even matter what change is made, as long as it "materially affects the terms and conditions" and "you do not agree to be bound" by them. It could be changing the fees for a checked bag, charging for drinks, or anything you think is "material."

This clause is included in the contract of carriage with all airlines as the only way they can unilaterally alter the terms of their contract is to offer you a full refund.

It is a good idea to print out the contract of carriage at the time you purchase your ticket. If it changes in any material way, you are then entitled to a refund, and you have the proof to back it up.

This trick has been used by consumers against cell phone companies for years.

1 comment:

Eric Meadows said...

Great tip!!! I am sure I will try and use it soon.