It may happen that you purchased a flight ticket a few days or months in advance of your business or holiday trip, however, you have suddenly fallen sick and are unable to fly. Here is how to get a refund if you are too sick to fly. Now, there may be several questions flowing through your mind, like how will the airport or airliner react to this? Will they give you a refund because you are sick and can’t fly? Are they going to charge a penalty, and if so, how much?
Although it is very rare that a passenger may have to cancel his/her flight due to an illness or other medical reasons, the airliner is prepared to handle such situations. That is why, you will often find that airlines have quite lengthy policies with regard to flight reservations, cancellations, refunds, and other services.
In this guide, we are going to provide you with solutions on how to get a refund if you are too sick to fly and whether you are liable to pay a penalty for canceling your trip.
Why Does It Matter?
When you are sick, it may not be worth flying since, the lives of other passengers on the same flight could also be at risk, especially if you are suffering from an infectious disease. Even if you have a slight fever or flu, and your body temperature is soaring at 100.4 °F, you should decide on canceling your flight and postponing your travel when you recover.
If a passenger is suffering from a disease that can be spread easily, then he/she should contact the airline or airport (depending on where you purchased your flight ticket from) as soon as possible and inform them to have their flights canceled. Also, if possible, refund the fare with or without levying a cancellation fee.
As you already know, the current outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has created enough tensions throughout the world. The contagious disease has cost millions of lives and thus, airports and airlines are taking the best precautions to keep their crew, staff, and passengers safe.
How a Passenger is Affected When He/She Cancels Flight Due to Illness
You booked a flight two days, weeks, or even months in advance, leaving only the final preparation left as the days approach your travel. But, your travel plan seems less likely because you are not in great shape and looking to cancel or postpone your flight.
Whether it is a domestic or international flight, airlines in the US have put in place certain regulations in their policies, which can be good or bad news for travelers. Most domestic airlines may not allow you to make changes to a flight without penalty if you are sick. But making a call to customers is still worth it.
American Airlines states that its non-refundable tickets are not refundable, however, it reviews requests for refunds, and may grant refunds or waive change fees on a case-by-case basis.
Southwest Airlines, known for its no-change fee, states that its customer relations department can consider refunds for a non-refundable ticket with documentation from a doctor. It’s on a case-by-case basis, which is an exception to their price rules.
Delta Airlines confirms that it enables its customers to make the right decision. Whether a sick customer wants a refund or a change, that’s not a problem. They also claim that their team will work with people individually. Their policy requires that you provide contact information for your doctor as well.
How to Request a Refund If You’re Sick and Can’t Fly
If you are feeling unwell and want to cancel your flight because of a medical reason, and at the same time, want to avoid paying cancellation fees, here are a few important things to consider.
(a) Read the fine print or contact your airline to assess whether or not a documented medical emergency is enough reason to waive the cancellation fee.
(b) cancel your flight at least 24 hours in advance.
(c) Be in touch with your doctor so that he/she can vouch for you.
(d) Ask your doctor to provide you with a medical note written on a letterhead. The note should ascertain your condition and if you are deemed unfit to travel.
(e) Provide the airline with as much information as possible about your medical condition and also try to do a follow-up check on the process of waiving your cancellation fee.
You will find that these are outlined somewhere in the booking process, and describe exactly what is and is not allowed when it comes to canceling your flight. You can also print them out right when you book your reservation, particularly if you bought a ticket through a temporary sale (fare rules can be tough to dig up later on). These will come quite handy if an airline informs you that it cannot refund your fare or waive a fee, but the fare rules state differently.
Your Airline’s Customer Service Can Assist You
When you need help with canceling your flight schedule and availing refund, you can contact your airline’s customer service to assist you. They can be contacted via phone, e-mail, live chat, and social media platforms, like Twitter and Facebook.
We have also provided the customer service toll-free numbers of major passenger airlines in the United States, whom you can contact to cancel your flight and refund your fare for the reason you are unwell to fly.
Alaska Airlines Customer Service: +1 800 252 7522
Allegiant Air Customer Service: +1 (702) 505 8888
American Airlines Customer Service: +1 800 433 7300
Delta Airlines Customer Service: +1 800 455 2720
Frontier Airlines Customer Service: +1 801 401 9000
Hawaiian Airlines Customer Service: +1 800 367 5320
JetBlue Airways Customer Service: +1 800 538 2583
Spirit Airlines Customer Service: +1 855 728 3555
Southwest Airlines Customer Service: +1 800 535 1305
Sun Country Airlines Customer Service: +1 800 359 6786
United Airlines Customer Service: +1 800 490 2021
Wrapping Up – How To Get A Refund If You Are Too Sick To Fly
The next time you plan on booking a holiday or business trip, consider getting a travel insurance plan as well. The right plan will reimburse you if you get sick. Just double-check before you purchase it.