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#1 mongo_jones

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 07:27 PM

do i have to use a travel agent for this or is there some way to purchase refundable tickets on orbitz/kayak etc. as well? how much of a premium do you have to pay for refundables? or is it the same price but with a surrender charge?

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#2 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 07:50 PM

do i have to use a travel agent for this or is there some way to purchase refundable tickets on orbitz/kayak etc. as well? how much of a premium do you have to pay for refundables? or is it the same price but with a surrender charge?

1) Can buy on orbitz or Kayak - though they only have discrete - refundable/non-refundable. There are other fare classes that are not fully re-fundable but offer greater flexibility/lower change fees - those can be hard to do via the mass-market online guys
2)Impossible to generalize a premium - its very flight by flight, route by route.
3) sort of a subset of one - you can find fares that will have larger change fees but they can be a hassle to figure out.
Why not mayo?

#3 Evelyn

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 07:54 PM


do i have to use a travel agent for this or is there some way to purchase refundable tickets on orbitz/kayak etc. as well? how much of a premium do you have to pay for refundables? or is it the same price but with a surrender charge?

1) Can buy on orbitz or Kayak - though they only have discrete - refundable/non-refundable. There are other fare classes that are not fully re-fundable but offer greater flexibility/lower change fees - those can be hard to do via the mass-market online guys
2)Impossible to generalize a premium - its very flight by flight, route by route.
3) sort of a subset of one - you can find fares that will have larger change fees but they can be a hassle to figure out.


Be sure and read the fare rules. Some of the refundable (especially international) tickets still incur a change fee/penalty--even though they are refundable. Also, look for something in there along the lines of--purchase will be refunded to original method of payment. Otherwise, you may be stuck with a credit for the amount of the ticket in 'airline dollars', rather than a credit to your cc.

#4 mongo_jones

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 08:32 PM

i am translating this as "use a travel agent".

this is for an international visitor to the college who will be unable to apply for a visa until 10-14 days before the trip. if we wait till after the visa is in hand to buy the tickets the prices will likely be very high. so i'm wondering if it is better to pay a higher price now for a refundable ticket and make sure we get the dates we need.

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#5 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 09:40 PM

i am translating this as "use a travel agent".

this is for an international visitor to the college who will be unable to apply for a visa until 10-14 days before the trip. if we wait till after the visa is in hand to buy the tickets the prices will likely be very high. so i'm wondering if it is better to pay a higher price now for a refundable ticket and make sure we get the dates we need.

I suspect it won't make a difference price wise

I'm sort of surprised there isn't enough travel going on related to your school that you don't have a corporate travel relationship.
Why not mayo?

#6 9lives

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 10:24 PM

I have only bought nonrefundable tickets..never an open ticket. In reading the fine print on some refundables, there can still be change fees. Pretty sure travelocity can sell both.

I am in the unfortunate situation where I have an elderly parent who is near the end, in SC and I live in Boston. I regularly visit using nonrefundable tickets but I may have to change plans at any time. I can't tell my Mom that my flight out is for Tues AM, when my Dad has an emergency surgery for Tues PM. I'm staying.

What I'll say is that everything is negotiable. USAir refunded 2 x $1000 "nonrefundable" tickets to Cabo a few years ago that I had bought for my parents..when his probs started.

Some agents have charged a change fee and given a credit for my original ticket. Some have waived any fee. It's really different each time.

While they are called non refundable, the usual policy is to credit you back what you paid for the ticket. Charge a change fee...and any higher price on your new ticket..if it is higher.

#7 Evelyn

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 11:00 PM

i am translating this as "use a travel agent".

this is for an international visitor to the college who will be unable to apply for a visa until 10-14 days before the trip. if we wait till after the visa is in hand to buy the tickets the prices will likely be very high. so i'm wondering if it is better to pay a higher price now for a refundable ticket and make sure we get the dates we need.



Just be aware that the TA will charge you for booking the ticket (as will the airline if you do a phone booking-unless you have Elite status with them). Then another fee for cancelling the ticket. You're pretty smart (hatred of SEC football aside :P ). I would suggest looking at Kayak or whatever, picking the itinerary and reading the fare rules. If you have any questions after that, then call the airline to clear up them up. Just give them the fare basis (which will look something like 'VLAP1US2'), and tell them you are not sure yet when you are traveling, and you just want to make sure the routing you are looking at is fully refundable to your cc and there is no penalty for cancellation. Once you've got that, book it yourself on whatever site you choose. Or, if you still feel uncomfortable after that, then use the TA.

#8 mongo_jones

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 11:43 PM


i am translating this as "use a travel agent".

this is for an international visitor to the college who will be unable to apply for a visa until 10-14 days before the trip. if we wait till after the visa is in hand to buy the tickets the prices will likely be very high. so i'm wondering if it is better to pay a higher price now for a refundable ticket and make sure we get the dates we need.

I suspect it won't make a difference price wise

I'm sort of surprised there isn't enough travel going on related to your school that you don't have a corporate travel relationship.


it's really a mom and pop outfit. i had to figure most of the j-1 visa stuff out on my own too. i'll take a look on kayak tonight. if it seems like it is going to take more time than i have right now to figure it out, i'll call the travel agent in town.

my annoying opinions: untimely whisky reviews and occasional cultural commentary

 


facts are meaningless. you could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
~homer simpson




#9 Rail Paul

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 12:09 AM



i am translating this as "use a travel agent".

this is for an international visitor to the college who will be unable to apply for a visa until 10-14 days before the trip. if we wait till after the visa is in hand to buy the tickets the prices will likely be very high. so i'm wondering if it is better to pay a higher price now for a refundable ticket and make sure we get the dates we need.

I suspect it won't make a difference price wise

I'm sort of surprised there isn't enough travel going on related to your school that you don't have a corporate travel relationship.


it's really a mom and pop outfit. i had to figure most of the j-1 visa stuff out on my own too. i'll take a look on kayak tonight. if it seems like it is going to take more time than i have right now to figure it out, i'll call the travel agent in town.


That sounds like it has the makings of a business for you, Mongo. Understanding the ins and outs of the J-1 visa etc process is worth money for many people and institutions. Avoiding the nonsense and knowing exactly who to call inside passport services, consular clearance to get an OK stamp on a piece of paper is worth some money.

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