Are you someone who organizes your trip? Read on! In this article, I share how much I get a refund for my flights when canceling my trip to Israel.
As I love traveling, I mostly plan my trips eight to six months prior, mainly booking my airline ticket. The flights are the most expensive on a trip if you can arrange it yourself, it saves you a significant amount.
I liked planning my trips. If you trust the Internet, you can go on a cheap holiday. Of course, there’s a lot of work to do, like the preparation and the research. And the time you spend behind the computer searching for affordable flights.
Use the flight fare finders
Skyscanner is one of my favorites to search for flights – I even installed the app on my phone. I filled in my destinations and travel dates and saved them. And then, I get notified when the prices go down or up. It is one of the best ways to track airline tickets through your phone at any time of the day.
A big disappointment when your trip is canceled
Of course, a disappointment. You have done all the research, and the trip was canceled. Israel has been on my bucket list, and I was looking forward to visiting this holy land in 2023. I planned to visit Israel from Jordan. But after doing some investigations, I went to Lebanon instead.
I didn’t want to undertake going to Lebanon after visiting Israel. Because I would be denied entry into the country if they knew I’d been to Israel. But I already booked a trip to Israel before going to Lebanon.
Sometimes booking a one-way is cheaper than a return ticket
Anyway, I booked two separate tickets from two airlines, because it came out cheaper. And the time was appropriate, departing from Brussels airport in the evening. By the way, I love flying at night to avoid the busiest time at the airport.
Book a flight on the airline’s website
As already mentioned, I use Skyscanner as a fare finder. You see three category prices: recommended, cheapest, and fastest. The grouping of Skyscanner is easy to understand; the recommended is the one I mostly take.
The cheapest is a combination of multiple airlines, which is good if you have plenty of time and want some adventures because this includes long layovers. The fastest is the most expensive ticket, and these are direct flights.
The cheapest airline appears on the first row during the search. If you click on it, it’ll take you to a third-party website where you can book a ticket, but I never do that. I go to the airline website and book my flight with them.
Save yourself from the hassle
Booking straight to an airline’s website saves you the hassle if something goes wrong with your flight. They’ll contact you if there are some changes, delays, or cancellations, which gives you the possibility to re-book or refund the ticket.
Think twice before booking to a third-party websites
If you book through a third-party website, there’s a chance you may lose your money or your flight is canceled without you knowing it – this happens to many travelers. I have no experience booking through a third-party website because I don’t trust them. However, if you used the agency, read the reviews before you book the ticket. Better safe than sorry.
As mentioned, I used two airlines for my trip to Israel. The outbound journey is with Lot Airlines via Chopin Warsaw, Poland, and the inbound flight is with Turkish Airlines via Istanbul, Turkey.
With disruptions in Israel, I’m panicking because it is just three weeks before my trip, and my flight has not yet been canceled. Initially, I annulled my inbound flight with Turkish Airlines to get a partial of my money, which is better than losing the complete amount.
Should you wait for the airline to cancel your flight?
Yes. The airline knows if it’s safe or not to fly if there’s a war going on in a country. Be aware if you voluntarily cancel, change, or request a refund, Turkish Airlines holds 62 euros service fees. The nice thing is the amount reimbursed in just three days to my credit card.
Three days after I nullified my inbound journey, I was relieved to see an email from Lot Airlines that they canceled my outbound flight. They offer to reschedule the trip on another date, change the route, get a refund, or take the voucher for one-year validity. For the safe side, I choose for a refund.
Dealing with non-refundable hotel booking
Due to expensive accommodation in Israel, it forced me to book a non-refundable hotel to save money. I’m trying to get a refund, but I am afraid I will lose the entire amount. Usually, I never book a non-refundable room, but the lodging in Jerusalem was hideously high-priced, which didn’t leave me an alternative.
I learned my lesson this time…who thought that the situation in Israel so suddenly changed? It is a different story in Tel Aviv due to abundant offers on accommodation. I could book a room without payment obligation and cancel the room 24 hours before arrival. On Booking.com you have some options. However, once you choose the non-refundable room, there’s no way to get out of it, you have to contact the owner of the property to get your refund.
Not all tour operators are 100% refundables
I have a limited time. You can call me a freak traveler; if I have a few days off from work, I use it to visit new places. And I’m someone who wants to see as much as I can. In places like Israel, there is so much to see, so I arranged a tour online, which I usually don’t do in advance. Anyhow, this was refundable with a deduction of 5%, which was reasonably okay.
To evaluate the whole thing, if you have an upcoming trip and the situation suddenly changes in your destination like in Israel, you should wait until the airline cancels your flight if you want to get your money back. The anguished about my ticket, I’m too fast nullifies my return flight… I really don’t have patience, lol. If I’m going to Israel, it will be a last-minute trip no more planning in advance. Another thing I have learned from this trip is never again to book a non-refundable room. You learned always from the experience. After these occurrences, it didn’t stop me from planning my trip for 2024. Again, I booked one-way tickets.