I booked tickets to go from LHR to LAX, hoping to go to San Diego Comic-Con this year.
However, I hadn't appreciated that it might be impossible to get a ticket for SDCC, so I booked in advance.

As you might guess, I didn't get a ticket for SDCC so I'd like to cancel the tickets; however, Expedia haven't been helpful, telling me they can only move the dates (and only within a year of the booking date, so I can't use them for Comic-Con next year) or cancel them and refund me only the tax - £100 of a £1200 ticket.

BA just referred me back to 'the travel agent'. I bought "cancellation insurance" from Expedia when we got the tickets, but I've been told it doesn't cover this situation.

What can I do in this situation?

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    Take a vacation to LA? Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 18:37
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    What are the cancellation terms on the ticket? The cheaper the ticket, the less flexible it is, ranging from cancellation penalties to completely non-refundable and non-exchangeable.
    – jcaron
    Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 18:48
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    Expedia has your money, this isn't something BA can handle
    – Calchas
    Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 20:19
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    For the last BA ticket I bought from a Travel Agent, the travel agent spent a couple of minutes explaining the change fees, refund conditions, when the ticket would stop being refundable etc, and got me to confirm I was happy with those. They also offered to look up a more expensive more flexible ticket if I needed it. It seems to me that either your issue is with your Travel Agent (Expedia) for not doing the same, or with yourself for agreeing to those inflexible conditions when you didn't mean to. Nothing to do with BA here!
    – Gagravarr
    Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 12:31
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    @rhialto There is a 142 GBP tax for longhaul departures from the UK (or 71 GBP if you are in economy class), plus around 40 GBP of airport fees. The rest of the stuff in the taxes/fees/charges box is not a government tax nor an airport fee but a carrier surcharge.
    – Calchas
    Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 22:43

1 Answer 1


It is normal that airlines never return your money; the best you can hope for is to be able to rebook for other flights on other days, within a year. Most airlines takea fee for that too, but some don't.

I think the best you can get is rebooking the flights within the 365 days, which could also be to another location, and you would do that with the airline. If you don't need/have to fly at all for the next 365 days, you could be able to transfer them to another person (a friend or relative), but that is at the airlines goodwill. You are not officially allowed to sell them to strangers (but be aware that the airline can't know who is your friend and who not...). This would loose some money of course, so it's only a partial recovery.

In a nutshell, airlines follow the Ferenghi rule of aquisition #5: Once you have their money, never give it back.

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    This isn't correct - if you book a fully-flexible ticket, you can get the money back either in total, or minus a small admin fee. Others allow refunds before flight for a moderate fee, eg a few hundred dollars/euros. All depends on the kind of ticket you booked (flexible, inflexible, semi-flexible etc)
    – Gagravarr
    Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 12:26
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    Note that not all will rebook to a different destination, even if they allow date changes. I had this with some United tickets recently - they wouldn't let me switch to a shorter and notionally cheaper flight, so I ended up rescheduling the original ones and booking a connecting flight back to my new destination... which might also be an option for the OP! Commented Feb 27, 2016 at 10:38

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