In some countries you need to show accommodation and airplane ticket before applying for a visa, so I thought what to do if one applies and then finally visa itself is rejected. Is it possible to get a refund giving reason as "visa being rejected"?

  • So, in the case of by default non refundable ticket, there is no chance for a refund due to the special case? @Midavalo
    – user126483
    Jun 8 at 15:28
  • 2
    What country are we talking about? Many countries on the contrary very explicitly tell you NOT to buy tickets until you have your visa. Beyond that, there's no universal rule. Each airline may or may not have such provisions, you would have to check their terms & conditions.
    – jcaron
    Jun 8 at 15:32
  • Schengen visa country , it is required on the apps @jcaron
    – user126483
    Jun 8 at 15:32
  • Which country exactly are you applying for, which country are you applying from, what is your nationality, and what type of visa (standard C visa I suppose?). I just checked what France says for applications from Tunisia for instance, and it says "Réservation du billet aller-retour ou itinéraire". This is far from requiring you to buy a ticket. Likewise for the hotel it says "réservation d'hôtel" which in this case is even simpler.
    – jcaron
    Jun 8 at 16:03
  • 1
    It is simply not 'a special case' - it's pretty normal. Why should the airline care - and pay - for your problems? They are a business.
    – Aganju
    Jun 8 at 16:37

2 Answers 2


If you are buying something that you know you may need a refund for, and the vendor sells two versions of it, one refundable and one not, you must buy the refundable one even if it costs more. You cannot buy the non-refundable one and then explain that you have a special circumstance you can't control. The airline certainly can't control it and isn't responsible for it. They aren't going to refund your nonrefundable ticket just because you want them to.

That said, careful reading of the terms and conditions may help you find an airline whose specific terms and conditions include that they will refund it if you don't get your visa. This answer to a related question lists some but more importantly tells you how to check for yourself.

But the refundable version costs more money! Yes it does. Perhaps, if cheaper tickets are still available when you get your visa, you can refund the expensive one and buy the cheap one. Or perhaps you can look at the extra expense for plane tickets as yet another way needing a visa makes travel more expensive for you. It's not fair, but it is reality.

But first, double and triple check that you truly do need to book tickets. Since many people book refundable tickets and cancel them if they don't get the visa, this requirement is really more "you have a few thousand dollars you can tie up for a while" more than it is "you are committed to this visit" and many countries have dropped the requirement as a result. I know you're sure: I also know many people have been completely sure about countries that in fact do not require plane tickets to be pre-booked. Check again. Also check whether it needs to be just "booked" (something a travel agent can do for you without you paying for the ticket) or actually paid for and issued. Reading the fine print will help you.

  • It’s for cases like this where having credit cards help. Book a refundable ticket or hotel then cancel after obtaining your visa. Done that numerous times Jun 8 at 18:16
  • How does credit card make things different than debit here? I don't quite understand @AugustineofHippo
    – user126483
    Jun 8 at 22:25
  • 2
    @Aplateofmomos because it means you may well never have to hand over actual money: the ticket booking, visa application and issuance, and ticket refund, hopefully all happen within a single card billing cycle, so the money is purely notional.
    – MadHatter
    Jun 9 at 1:11
  • Now that I read it again I feel this answer is really condescending. I feel it is unreasonable to assume after the text i wrote and first comment under my post if the question was about refundable and non refundable ticket. The question is not to explain what are the obvious choice but rather if this additional possibility exists. At least after the edit it sends to a more related link but OP...
    – user126483
    Jun 9 at 7:24
  • I'm not trying to be condescening but to be realistic. Refunds and other business policies are not based on your wishes but on those of the business who sell them. This is easy to forget. Many services come in only one version and refunds must be negotiated case by case. Plane tickets are different. A reminder of that is not condescending, in my opinion. I'm glad you find the link useful. Jun 9 at 12:41

In case you really need to get a ticket up front, you have a few different choices here.

  1. Buy a refundable tickets. This may or may not be a good option, since these are often very expensive (compared to a regular ticket).
  2. Buy a fully refundable ticket and cancel it as soon as your visa has been issued. These tickets tend to be very expensive. Make sure you fully understand the terms and conditions of the ticket. Not all tickets that are marketed as "refundable" are fully refundable for cash for any reason. Also make sure that the Visa application isn't tied to this specific flight (which would be unusual)
  3. Buy a throw away ticket. Buy the cheapest ticket that meets the Visa requirements and just let it lapse.
  4. Buy the ticket you actually want to fly and hope for the best. That depends a bit on your details and what the likelihood is, that your Visa will be delayed or denied
  5. Try travel insurance. That's rarely a good idea: most insurances do NOT cover Visa problems so you would have to go for a "cancel for any reason" insurances which are a) ridiculously expensive and b) cover only a part of your cost.

there is no chance for a refund due to the special case

Generally no. Visa's and proper documentation to enter the destination country are responsibilities of the passenger. All airlines state this clear in their terms conditions that you have to agree to when you buy the ticket.

  • Suppose I cancel the booked ticket and hotel, would it be fine to book something else earlier for accomodation and ticket and visit Germany? I can't seem to find what exactly is the policy on this anywhere.
    – user126483
    Jun 8 at 16:35
  • Relevant: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/68165/… (Though of course the rules may have changed from years ago, but the general way to check the ticket conditions still holds true)
    – xngtng
    Jun 8 at 16:49
  • #2 would probably constitute some form of immigration fraud, as might #3.
    – Vikki
    Jun 9 at 2:23
  • @Vikki in which case I am proud to say I have committed immigration fraud at least 50 times. Demanding fully paid tickets is an unreasonable request and should be addressed such tactics as book and cancel! Jun 9 at 10:01
  • @Vikki: this would only be "fraud" if the rules clearly state what changes to the itinerary are allowed and which ones aren't. To the best of my knowledge no such rules exist and the assumption that no changes at all are permissible seems very unreasonable. The OP has every intention to travel to the country. This is just a work around for a stupid catch-22 scenario
    – Hilmar
    Jun 9 at 12:23