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Loyal Alaska Airlines flyers know they can get some of their money back if their flights decrease in price — but that experience will soon change. Starting Sept. 1, 2018, flyers will only have a limited time to request a refund if their flight price drops.
» Learn More: Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan: Your Complete Guide
Under the old policy, flyers could request a refund or credit if their flight decreased in price anytime before departure. This policy will remain in effect for all flights booked through Aug. 31.
Starting on Sept. 1, flyers will only have 24 hours after booking to claim a refund. After purchasing a flight on the Alaska Airlines website, flyers can search for the same itinerary and class through other online travel agencies, such as Priceline or Expedia. If the price drops by at least $10 in the 24-hour window, flyers can request a refund for their flight.
» Learn More: Does your credit card offer a price-drop guarantee?
How this affects your next Alaska flight
The good news is that if the price drops, Alaska flyers can still get some of their money back. But actually getting that money back won’t be an easy process.
To successfully request a refund, the fare must exist on a different website and be published within 24 hours of booking. The price must also drop by at least $10, which shouldn’t be hard to find if the flight price drops at all.
If you can’t find a cheaper flight within 24 hours on another website for the same destination and ticket class, then don’t expect to get a refund.
» Learn More: Find the best airline credit card for you
How to get your money back
Despite the change, there are other ways to make sure you always pay the best price for your next Alaska Airlines flight. Travel insurance might be able to cover some cancellation fees if you find a better deal. Here are some easy ways to make sure you aren’t stuck overpaying for your perfect itinerary.
For cheaper flights found on AlaskaAir.com: Unfortunately, if you find a cheaper flight on Alaska’s website, you won’t be able to request a refund toward your current flight. But under federal law, you can cancel your flight within 24 hours of booking without any penalties. Therefore, it’s possible to cancel one flight and book a cheaper one.
For cheaper Alaska flights found on another website within 24 hours of booking: If you should find an Alaska flight on another website for the same exact itinerary, departure and ticket class, you can apply for a refund on the Alaska website. If they can verify the price drop, you may get a refund for the difference of $10 or greater.
For cheaper flights and hotels booked through an online travel agency: Many online travel agencies have built-in customer protections in case prices drop. CheapTickets offers a best price guarantee for flights booked within 24 hours: If you find a lower price on the same flight, not only will you get the difference, but also an additional $50 in credit. Orbitz offers similar protections. If price is your biggest concern when booking, consider using an online travel agency before going to the airline website.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: How to snag credit card rewards flights in peak season How to choose an airline credit card 5 ways to save money and nab last-minute flight deals