Travel Sites and Cancellation Policies

One thing most travel websites have in common is that their cancellation policies are often overlooked. When cancelling or changing their flight plans, people tend to get confused about why they’re being charged.

In some cases, you’re mostly being charged by the airline itself and the service you’re using is simply abiding by their supplier’s rules.

Let’s take a look at some travel websites and their cancellation/change policies.

Expedia – This service doesn’t charge anything for cancelling or changing your flight plans. As long as you let them know about your new plans within 48 hours of the flight’s departure, you’ll probably avoid the airline’s fees.

There are times when Expedia can’t give you a refund. If the supplier imposes a non-refundable rate or fee, they’re required to pass it along.

Travelocity – If you cancel within 24 hours of booking your flight, you’ll get a full refund minus the booking fees. Not all tickets are refundable, however, unless you purchased travel insurance from Travelocity.

Travelocity will present their cancellation terms to you at the time of booking your flight. If you cancel after 24 hours of booking, your ticket will be subject to these terms. A fee of $30 will be charged for changing your flight, in addition to the difference from the old airfare to the new one.

Orbitz – Much like the other services, policies for Orbitz depend on when you cancel or change your plans. They have a 100% non-refundable policy when there’s less than 24 hours until your flight departs. If you make your cancellation one day or more prior, there’s a $25 fee. – Due to the tickets being highly discounted, they’re 100% non-refundable.’s change fee is $200 for domestic flights and $350 for international. Changes should be requested at least one day before departure. When using this service, one should also note that all tickets to Asia and all British Airways tickets are non-changeable.

Priceline – There’s a $30 fee for both changing and cancelling, in addition to any fees the airline might charge. If you choose to select Priceline’s option to “Name Your Own Price,” your tickets won’t be changeable or refundable because of the greater savings you’ll be experiencing.

Hotwire – Due to the already large discounts Hotwire offers on “Hot Rate” airline tickets, those tickets in particular can’t be changed or cancelled. If you want to change a regular-rate ticket, the fee will depend on the airline.

As you can see, there are plenty of options to consider when booking a flight, so choose the one that best suits your overall needs. Think about if any changes seem likely to occur in your flight plans and select accordingly. Of course, since many changes are unforeseeable, you should also consider using a service whose policies regarding that matter appeal the most to you.
Creative Commons License photo credit: sashapo