Most airlines now offer super low fares with conditions stating that if you cannot use the trip, for whatever reason, the money paid is forfeit.

22 replies



Member since 07 Jun 2013

Total posts 10

In some to most retail stores these days, if you buy an item that is on sale, the terms and conditions state they are non-refundable and non-changable. In what way should an airline be any different simply because someone decides to change their mind? If an emergency pops up, that's what travel insurance is for. If the person has passed away, most airlines are happy to refund the money (unless stated otherwise).

There's a reason why the fares are on sale. If you don't like it than pay for a more flexible airfare. Simple solution, isn't it?


BA Gold

Member since 01 Apr 2012

Total posts 75

I DEFINITELY do not think that cheaper fares which have their flexible conditions clearly stated should not be required to be refunable/changeable.  As others have pointed out this would simply result in the removal of airlines offering these fares.  Ticket prices would skyrocket.  Less people would be able to travel.  Just think back to the days of airline regulation.  Air travel was exclusively for the wealthy pretty much.

As others have also mentioned on here, this method of sale is not reserved for airlines.  Hotels work exactly the same way.  If you are prepared to book a non-refundable and non-changeable room reservation and you don't show up you will be billed for the room - AND the hotel may sell it on again.  Fact of life.  Same applies for car rentals, bus tickets, train tickets, restaurants.....

What I DO disagree with in terms of airline/hotel practice is the inability for them to change a travellers name.  I think provided the seat/.room has been paid for, whoever has paid for it should be able to have the opportunity to transfer it/sell it on if they cannot themselves travel.  And the airline should be able to charge some (reasonable) fee for the change as I guess it would involve some administrative requirement on their part.

My gym recently did this for me.  I signed up for a twelve month membership and had to move abroad after seven months.  They were more than happy for me to transfer my membership to someone else instead of stinging me for the full twelve months (which they were fully entitled to do).  Provided they are still getting what they are due, why should they care?



Member since 07 Jun 2013

Total posts 10

Hi cooper81,

The reason airline's don't allow name changes is to avoid a loophole of it being resold for profit. For example, if they allowed people to change the name of a ticket than someone could potentially buy five tickets for $800pp and than sell them off for $1400 each. 

Hope that helps. :)


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 02 Jul 2011

Total posts 835

Agree with Andy.

If the cheap tickets could be resold, airline sales would become like concerts... bots snapping up tickets then reselling for profit.

No thanks..

Richard Hames


Member since 13 Jun 2013

Total posts 2

I am not really interested in opinions, or the pros and cons. I simply wanted to know whether the principle had been tested legally. It was a simple question.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 17 Aug 2012

Total posts 1,285

Welcome to the Internet.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 16 Jun 2011

Total posts 230

I don't think the specific case has been tested, but the generally speaking, there is no legal right for a refund if you simply change your mind and don't use it.


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 06 Dec 2012

Total posts 155

I think that the airlines in question should have to refund all the tax/levy/fee etc parts of the payment. If someone doesn't fly and forfeits the seat/fare, then all the non-fare components which comprise fuel surcharges and other levies to do with the flight/airport etc shouldnt have to be chased up by the consumer, the airline should have to refund them off their own bat.

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