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Here Are Some Surefire Ways To Get A Refund From An Airline

By Kelsey Marie

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Traveling to new destinations can be exhilarating, life-changing and also stressful — especially when you run into problems with an airline.

Whether your flight is delayed, your luggage is lost or you receive bad customer service; a stressful experience can put a damper on an anticipated vacation.

It can seem like a hassle to get your money back from an airline but it’s something you should never shy away from.

Here are ways to get your refund from an airline:

Be Prepared To Act Fast

It’s imperative that you reach out to an airline’s customer service as soon as an issue arises.

So, if you’re on a plane and hear that the plane is having technical difficulties, you should be ready to make moves ASAP.


For example, Dan Miller, founder of family travel blog Points With A Crew, spoke to Life Hacker about a time he was on a plane that had a mechanical issue.

“As soon as the flight attendant announced that we were going to de-plane, I shot up from my aisle seat. Even though I was in seat 17D, because I was prepared, I had cleared 10 rows by the time anyone else had even started getting out of their seats!”, he recalls.

Miller’s quick action got him to be second in line to speak with the gate agent.

If you’re not able to secure a spot in the front of the line or able to hear an announcement in time, you can still get on your phone and call the airline’s customer service ASAP.

Miller tells Life Hacker, “I was already on the phone with customer service while I waited in line.”

Take More Than One Route

You don’t have to only take one route when dealing with an airline.

It’s perfectly fine to contact an airline via phone, email and in person to get what you need.

Susan Shain, a writer, tells Life Hacker that while waiting to speak with a gate agent, “I’ll use GetHuman to find the best phone number and then call the airline, too. Sometimes I’ll get through more quickly that way.”

Use What You Got

If you have perks, use them — especially if you have access to airline lounges.

Gary Leff, founder of InsideFlyer forums and View From The Wing blog suggests, “agents in the club lounge may be the most helpful, and have shorter lines, at least with the largest U.S. airlines. So if you have access head there if it’s anywhere near you.”

Find An Alternative

While waiting in line, start looking up other options to get to your destination.

Leff tells Life Hacker, “if you can suggest exactly what they can do for you, so much the better. Search as though you’re going to buy a ticket, and suggest options if the agent doesn’t offer you anything you like.”

It’s also important to know your passenger rights prior to flying, so you can receive all of your benefits.

“If you’re involuntarily bumped from a flight, don’t settle for a voucher. Chances are the airline owes you cold, hard cash,” says Shain.

Be Nice

Being nice to customer service agents can take you a long way.

“When speaking with an agent, always, always be kind. They didn’t cause the crappy weather or wish for mechanical problems, they’re just doing their job,” says Shain.

Get A Second Opinion

“If the first person doesn’t give you what you want, move on the next person,” says Leff.

In other words, don’t give up until you get what you want.

If All Else Fails, Tweet Them!

Often times your issue can feel as though it’s not getting resolved.

“If I’m not satisfied with the service I’ve gotten from the gate agent or calling, that’s when I’ll take to Twitter. I find that airlines magically get way more responsive as soon as you air your grievances publicly.”

Keep in mind to remain nice while Tweeting.

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Kelsey Marie

Kelsey-Marie is an NYC girl who currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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