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Beware of fare rules before you book cheap air tickets!!!
Why buy a refundable fare?
With refundable fares generally pricing out somewhere between two and four times the cost of non-refundable fares, you might wonder who is buying them and why. Despite the high cost, refundable fares remain attractive to certain travelers:
1. Businesses — Many companies still prefer to purchase unrestricted airfare for greater flexibility when travel is booked in advance. Meetings and priorities change (sometimes at the last minute), and it’s worth the added cost for employees to be able to make changes and cancellations without hassle. Also, as part of their agreements with airlines, some larger companies agree to only purchase unrestricted airfare in exchange for a discount.
2. Other travelers with unpredictable schedules — People with certain life circumstances may benefit from having refundable airfare, especially when purchasing at the last minute. You might have to plan travel around the events with uncertain dates or the needs of a sick relative, for example. While it comes at a cost, refundable airfare gives flexibility to those who need it most.
3. Award Travel Enthusiasts — Refundable fares generally earn bonus redeemable miles and elite-qualifying miles. While the bonus is hardly worth the added cost in general, it’s not a bad strategy for reaching elite status toward the end of the year, or for earning miles toward a specific award if the price difference isn’t too high.
4. Anyone looking for an upgrade without status — a refundable, unrestricted ticket (also known as Y-class) can put you at the front of the line for an upgrade. And several carriers even offer instant upgrades when you purchase a full-fare ticket, assuming upgrade space is available.