Airline tickets are similar to negotiable documents. Because of this, refunds can be difficult to obtain if tickets are lost or stolen.
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This can be compounded if you are in a foreign country and the language barrier becomes insurmountable. Airline offices may not be located in the city you are spending your holiday in, funds may not be readily available to re-purchase a ticket, and time may be of the essence.
Many passengers believe that air tickets can be replaced as easily as traveler?s checks just because the reservation is in the computer, but that is not the case. Your ticket number may be shown on your credit card receipt or travel agency itinerary. If it is not, jot down the number on a sheet of paper and carry it separately from your ticket. Bring it with you on your trip. If the ticket does go astray, the airline can process your refund application more quickly, and perhaps issue an on-the-spot replacement ticket, if you can give them this number.
You should report a lost ticket immediately to the airline that is shown as the issuing carrier at the top of the ticket. You may be required to repurchase a ticket in order to continue your trip. If you no longer meet all of the restrictions on your discount fare (e.g., seven-day advance purchase) the new ticket may cost more than the old one did. In that event, however, it is generally the higher fare that is eventually refunded, as long as you don’t change any of the cities, flights or dates on your trip.
Once the airline establishes that you actually bought the ticket, they will begin processing your refund application. There is often a waiting period of two to six months. If anyone uses or cashes in your ticket while the refund is pending, the airline may refuse to give you your money back.
Finally, there is a handling charge that the airline may deduct from the refund. All in all, getting a refund or replacement for a lost ticket is a lot of trouble, and there’s no guarantee you’ll receive either one.
Ensure that you make a copy of your ticket (the back page), and store it in a safe place. At your hotel, keep your ticket in the in-room safe or at the safe behind the check-in counter. Never carry your ticket around with you while you are out sightseeing, shopping or dining.
Prevention is the key to a hassle free vacation. So, the best advice is-don’t lose the ticket in the first place.