Refund/Credit on Non-Refundable Flights

Wondering what people's thoughts are on this.. Bit of a long story but here goes..

Had a weekend trip planned to head up to Sydney (from Melbourne) for a function starting at 8:30am Saturday morning. Booked flights on SkyScanner about a month ago and got a Tiger flight Melb —> Syd (departing today - Friday) and a Jetstar flight Syd —> Melb (returning Sunday).

Get a message this afternoon saying my Tiger flight was cancelled because of bad weather. Tried to call Tiger to see what was going on and as usual was on hold for over an hour with no response. Rocked up to the airport and was told that they would offer a full refund on the flight or reschedule but the next available Tiger flight to Sydney was Sunday afternoon (later than my return flight..). So obviously we got a refund and looked at options to get to Sydney.

Given the time we needed to get up to Sydney, our options were limited. Discussed possibility of driving at night however cost to hire a car one way was very expensive ($500+), catching another flight with another airline however cost was over $300 one way and the next available flight that was offered was 10:30am next morning (and therefore I would miss my function). And so after everything we decided it would be best to just not go.

Unfortunately this meant that I would also have to forfeit my return flight from Sydney to Melbourne which was booked under Jetstar. So we tried to get a refund but obviously given their policy on non-refundable flights we were rejected on several occasions over the phone, live chat and in person at the airport.

What are everyone's thoughts on this, I feel that if I cancelled my Jetstar flight, they would just resell it to someone else at an expensive price meaning they would have pocketed both my money and the poor person booking a last minute flight. Has anyone successfully got a refund/travel credit on a non-refundable flight ticket (and if so what routes did you take in order to do so). Or am I being a sook and should just cop it on the chin for booking a budget airline.


  • +15 votes

    you want a refund on a non-refundable ticket?

    • +1 vote

      haha exactly my thoughts. The answer is already in the title.


      Imagine if airlines started refunding non-refundable tickets, people like you might sue them for misleading advertising!

  • +1 vote

    Ever thought of travel insurance? Pretty cheap for domestic trips…


    they would just resell it to someone else at an expensive price meaning they would have pocketed both my money and the poor person booking a last minute flight

    Assuming that it would sell at such last minute. Not their fault, no different to change in mind returns in retail.

  • +5 votes

    You can't expect airline B to refund you because of an issue you has with airline A.
    Perhaps had you booked the entire return journey with the same airline they might have extended some goodwill.

    Let's face it though, you booked two separate flights with two separate airlines (no loyalty points there or incentive for either airline to go out of their way for you), for the cheapest, full of restrictions, terms and conditions tickets (rather than more costly flexible ones).

    You rolled the dice here and lost. Learn, move on and try not to hold a grudge to airline B. Really isn't their fault.

  • +2 votes

    Was getting an XPT Train from Southern Cross to Central an option you considered?
    With a Friday departure at 7:50PM and arrival in Central Saturday at 06:54AM it would have been a plan and allowed you to make your return flight post-conference.


    I agree with pretty much what everyone else has said, but I'll to throw in my 2c.

    Unfortunately, if airlines did offer refundable tickets for a lot of their flights (for no additional charge; or on a 'by default' basis) people would cancel their tickets willy nilly (as an aside; I like this word, I think I shall use it more often, along with malarkey and poppycock), this is usually why they charge more for the flexible tickets, or perhaps don't offer refundable tickets as a matter of course.

    Trust me, the airline has done the math; they're betting against the vast majority of people not cancelling their flights when they purchase flexible fares. For the people who might have a flexible ticket, where terms can be altered, they charge a premium to offset loss in the event that the ticket is changed last minute. You're paying them to take that risk.

    As spackbace has said, in this instance, you can offset the risk of the non-refundable ticket with travel insurance. It might help to think of the airline providing you with limited insurance on an alterable ticket for a higher fee.

    The circumstances are irrelevant to the terms of the fare that you purchased through Jet*, and it's not that I don't sympathise with your situation because I do but you have to understand that the industry operates in a certain way and you must make allowances for that. Hope for the best, plan for the worst.


    I have got the airport taxes portion back on a non refundable international ticket before, which is a small part of the ticket but at least something.

    I read somewhere it was a possibly so i called about it. I'm not sure if airport taxes on domestic tickets are much at all but read all your ticket and the fine print.


    Did you pay with a platinum credit card? Maybe you had flight insurance?


    Nah didn't have insurance given it was pretty much a 1 day trip.
    Oh wells, I'll cop it on the chin and hope for better luck next time.

    Thanks for everyone's input :)

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