I’ve always thought that once you book your flights that’s it – unless you’re travelling on a fully-flexible, refundable ticket, you can’t expect to get your money back if you want (or need) to cancel, and if you want to make a change – to a name, a date or a destination – then you have to be prepared to pay a hefty fee.
So I was pleasantly surprised today to discover – as a result of booking tickets with British Airways through my brother and getting the dates confused – that a few airlines, BA included, now have a 24-hour cooling off period after you buy your tickets, which enables you to rectify any mistakes free of charge. For example, our tickets were booked for two weeks earlier than we wanted to travel – one phone call later and our travel dates had been switched to the ones we’d actually meant to book, with no extra charge. (It is worth noting in this case that if the flights you want to change yours to are more expensive than the ones you originally booked you will have to pay the difference.)
Obviously, it’s much better, not to mention less stressful, to get your flights right the first time, and do remember that not all airlines offer this grace period, but it is worth knowing just in case you do suddenly have that moment of panic when you realise that something is wrong. And it’s a good reminder to check your booking confirmation as soon as it comes through, so that you can catch any mistakes or problems in time to make use of this benefit.
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