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Airline Refund Watchdogs

Typical scenario: The price of your airline ticket goes down, and you want to rebook at the lower fare for a credit or a voucher for future travel. The problem is that most carriers charge a hefty fee for the privilege—upward of $150, and as much as $250 for international reservations. (Exceptions are Alaska Airlines, JetBlue and Southwest.)

Is it worth doing? A free website, Yapta.com, will let you know. After you join the site, click on “Refunds” and enter your flight details or confirmation number. The site will automatically track the fare and, taking the fee into consideration, alert you via e-mail or Twitter if it drops enough for you to benefit from a refund. Then you call the airline to claim your money or, for $15, have Yapta do it for you.

Another way to do it: If you book an itinerary on Orbitz.com, and another customer later books exactly the same itinerary for at least $5 less, Orbitz promises to automatically refund the difference up to $250.

Joan Rattner Heilman writes about health and consumer issues.

 

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