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Not taking an Alaska-Air flight

Bill4728

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So we are not going to go to AZ this weekend . Our flight was really cheap <$120 round trip /person
Alaska Air charges $125 to change or cancel a flight.

Should we just not show up OR do we contact them and let them know we aren't going?

Will Alaska hold it against us for not showing up?

Any advice
 

DaveNV

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I've asked them before about this sort of thing, and I was able to cancel the flight but get credit to use on another flight later on - without a fee. Maybe that's different than cancelling the whole thing? Not sure what the best answer is. I'd call anyway, and ask about options.

Dave
 

isisdave

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And IIRC, Alaska puts the credit back in your "wallet" now, and doesn't charge you the change fee until you actually use it. It's always possible that some future policy change, or some screw-up on their part, may make those funds usable with a lesser fee. Or you might be able to pull them into a higher-priced transaction later.

No-showing will definitely flush all value.

And by the way, they completely waived the fee for a medical-related cancellation, even though they didn't have to. Ask! Really nice people.
 

Bill4728

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So we called Alaska and told them we would not be taking the flights. They didn't charge us a fee but also didn't refund any of the fare. So we are both out the $120 fare but not charged the $125 cancellation fee.
 

10spro

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We had no success trying to reschedule our flight SJC to HNL within 7 days due to medical issue. They said that to reschedule we would actually have to cancel, then re-book at a new fare, and still have to pay the fee. I really think it depends on the clerk that answers the phone.
 

VacationForever

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So we called Alaska and told them we would not be taking the flights. They didn't charge us a fee but also didn't refund any of the fare. So we are both out the $120 fare but not charged the $125 cancellation fee.
The $120 per person airline credit should be available for use within a year from when you first booked the flight.
 

Luanne

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The $120 per person airline credit should be available for use within a year from when you first booked the flight.
And if it's like other airlines the credit is only good for the named passenger. I sure hated when they made that change for SW. You used to be able to use the credit for anyone.
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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And if it's like other airlines the credit is only good for the named passenger. I sure hated when they made that change for SW. You used to be able to use the credit for anyone.
Not true with Alaska. By default, it goes into your wallet. When money is in your wallet, you may use it for any ticketing you do while you are signed into your account. You won't see the wallet funds applied to the airfare until you reach the step where you are ready to pay, when there will be a box to check as to whether or not you want to apply wallet funds. However there isn't an option to select how much of the available wallet funds to use. It will apply the full amount unless wallet funds are greater than the air fare. In that case it will be pay the ticket with the wallet funds, and leave the balance in your wallet.

By default, credits are deposited into the wallet in the account at which the ticket was purchased. If you want to put the refund into a different account, or you want it to go to another person, then you need to request that they send you a credit certificate. You need to specifically request a certificate. That will arrive in your email, with a certificate number. Then you will get a separate email that has the PIN for the certificate. You can then use the certificate and the PIN to put the funds into any Alaska Air account - or even give the certificate and PIN to someone else so they can put it in their account. If you do wind up with the money credited to a wallet and you don't want it there, you can call Customer Service and ask them to reverse the transaction and send you a certificate. That can take several days to happen.

I do this kind of stuff frequently with Alaska Air. I have two portals - one personal and one business - and when I get credits and refunds I need to be sure that they wind up in the proper account. Most of my miles accrue to my personal account, even when I'm traveling on business. So when I cash in miles using a miles + money business transaction (which I do frequently - I seldom fly on miles only), I need to make the reservation in my personal account, but I use a business Alaska Airlines visa card for the purchased part of the fare (that way the transaction winds up in my business ledger). If I then cancel the flight, though, Alaska will put the credit into my personal wallet instead of my business wallet. So I've learned to ask them for a credit certificate instead of posting the refund into my wallet. I then use the credit certificate to put the money into my business wallet.
 
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Luanne

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@T_R_Oglodyte thanks for that information. I've never had to cancel a flight with Alaska, so I didn't know all of this.
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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@T_R_Oglodyte thanks for that information. I've never had to cancel a flight with Alaska, so I didn't know all of this.
No problem. I do this kind of stuff often enough that I've learned how to do it. I'm also picky about keeping a clear separation between business and personal expenses. That served me well when I got an incredibly details IRS audit a couple of years ago. Among many things the auditor was specifically looking for was blurriness between personal and business accounts. That issue got put to bed quickly. The only item that came out of that portion of the audit was that charitable donations I was making via my business were disallowed as business expense and needed to be combined with our personal charitable contributions.

I should also note that deposited wallet funds and credit certificates have a one-year shelf life. In you on-line Alaska Air account you can see your wallet history.
 
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tschwa2

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The $120 per person airline credit should be available for use within a year from when you first booked the flight.
Yes, but they will charge you the $125 change fee to use that $120 credit so it isn't going to be worth it.
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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Yes, but they will charge you the $125 change fee to use that $120 credit so it isn't going to be worth it.
That would seem to be the case. Actrually, I'm pretty sure they impose the cancellation fee at the time the ticket is changed or cancelled. So what you we get as a refund or credit certificate is net of cancellation fee.

+++++

As an aside, waving change fees is one thing that airlines offer to entice customer loyalty. If you fly enough to reach an elite FF status, change fees become waived. If fly enough that with flight miles and mileage bonuses I can reach MVP Gold (40,000 miles) on Alaska Air, and change fees get waived. I have enough itinerary changes during a year during a year for that to save me on the order of $1000 per year. Another thing I can do is set a fare alert for a ticketed flight, and if the price drops, I can cancel and rebook without penalty - it's like the old fare guarantee. That saved me another $500 or so this year.

But if I started splitting my flying among airlines, always going for the cheapest fare, I might save a couple of hundred dollars overall, but lose much more. So if you fly often enough, be sure you are looking at the whole package of benefits you might be able to garner. There's more at play than just the base fares.
 
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