What to do when you need to cancel a flight
We all plan our holidays in advance, opting for the cheaper non-refundable option and feeling pretty smug that our trip away is all booked and paid for. So when life gets in the way and you end up having to cancel part, if not all, of your travel plans, you might find yourself stuck with an unwanted flight and your money down the drain.
The first thing you need to do if you are in this situation is to check out the airline's cancellation policy. There’s a chance you can still get your money back, so get in touch with them as soon as you know you won't be travelling. Bear in mind that each airline’s terms and conditions will vary. As most flight tickets are non-refundable nowadays, we believe they should make tickets easily transferable - and some have. Name changes are quick to do and mean that you can sell your non-refundable flight to someone else if you can't use the airline ticket yourself. Airlines with low-cost name changes are doing the right thing and giving their customers the chance to get some money back without the airline having to lose out.
If you have an easyJet booking, it is non-refundable (unless you specifically paid extra for a Flexi fare). This means that if you need to cancel your flight, you won’t get your money back. Instead, you can change the details of your booking for a fee so they suit your plans better. One option would be to choose a later date for your flight once you realise that you won’t be able to fly, which costs between £17 and £52 depending on how close to the departure date you are. On the other hand, you can change the name so you are able to sell it to someone else. The name change fee for easyJet is £20-£25 if it's more than 60 days before departure, and £47-£52 if it's less than 60 days until your flight. For full details, read our blog post about easyJet’s cancellation policies and the different charges for booking changes.
Your Jet2.com booking is also non-refundable so, unless you have paid for travel insurance, you won’t get your money back if you cancel. However, they do encourage making a name change to transfer your flights to someone else or choosing a different date or time to travel. This usually costs £35 but the limit to what they can charge depends on whether you amend the booking online or through their call centre. For full details, check out our blog which outlines everything you need to know about Jet2’s name change fees.
Like other budget airlines, you won’t get a refund if you cancel a Ryanair flight. The price to change the name on a booking is steeper than most at £115/€115 whereas the charge for a flight change starts at £35/€35. They will add a fare difference to any flight changes if the new flight costs more, but if it's a cheaper fare, you won't get any refund. For more information about Ryanair’s policy, head over to our blog.
If you have made a booking with Flybe that you can no longer use, the first thing you need to find out is what kind of ticket you purchased. There are three types: Just Fly, Get More, and All In, which will impact your rights when cancelling a flight. Flybe has a 24-hour policy which allows you to apply for a refund if you’ve made a mistake or need to cancel but only if you have a certain type of ticket. There are also differences between ticket classes when it comes to amending your booking, which you can read about in our Flybe cancellation policy post. The standard name change fee is £50/€65, regardless of booking type.
The Norwegian Air cancellation policy will change depending on the type of booking you have. This is because when you book, some tickets are completely non-refundable but allow you to change with specified charges for booking amendments, and some flight tickets are completely flexible. It will also depend on whether you are flying short haul or long haul. Tickets which require you to pay for a name change will cost €55 for a short haul flight and €100 for long haul. Find out which Norwegian airline policy applies to you in our blog post.
Expedia.com is a travel aggregator which means they collect the prices of lots of airlines and sell them through their platform. As a result, the cancellation policy for your booking will depend entirely on the airline you intended to fly with rather than Expedia’s terms and conditions. If you want to know more, we have a blog post which explains how to find out your specific airline’s refund policy.
If you have booked a flight through Kayak.com, you will have to find out who the airline provider is as they are also a travel aggregator like Expedia. It is their individual policy which will tell you if and how you can change your booking, which you can find out more about on our Kayak cancellation advice post.
Do you have a flight that you want to sell? Read our guide to selling an unwanted flight to find out how to make your money back when you can’t get a refund.