I'm an Indian. I'm planning to book a journey from Mumbai to Johannesburg, South Africa and back (conference visa). I looked at refundable tickets, while they are priced higher, they give you half your money back, for instance if the to and fro flight costs INR 40,000 they give you INR 20,000 . But this is if you are cancelling for some reason.
What if you have to cancel because your visa application or the transit visa application got rejected. As far as I understand the procedure is :-
a. Buy airline tickets
b. Apply for Visa
c. Wait between 1-6 weeks to get update about your visa application, for both visa and transit visa (although transit visa should be shorter I guess.)
d. If visa is granted then move on to planning other things about the trip.
Now in case, if the visa application fails (for whatever reason ) what recourse does the traveler have ?
Are there any airlines who are better understanding than others about this situation ?
In non-refundable tickets, I guess that all is lost or is there some way to save money there too.
Lastly, I read travel insurance can help in this case. How does travel insurance help in the above scenario ?
Edit :- One of the pre-conditions of getting the visa is
Proof of a Valid Return or onward ticket or purchase of ticket. This is from http://www.vfsglobal.com/southafrica/india/pdf/Form_DHA_84_230216.pdf