Dealing with a canceled flight can be incredibly stressful as you try to organize alternative flight options, book a local hotel and begin to wrangle for compensation. The past few years have seen a staggering number of flight cancellations, significant delays, and disruptions and if you are one of the unfortunate victims, you may be wondering whether you should accept cash back or air miles as compensation for your canceled flight.
When your flight is canceled, you are entitled to a refund of air miles or cash back
If an airline cancelled your flight, or there are major flight delays that have disrupted your travel plan, you are generally entitled to a full refund of the price paid for your ticket. But, instead of cash back refunds, you may find that the carriers will offer air passengers air miles. You will however also be entitled to a cashback refund and should make sure to ask for this if air miles aren't the best choice for you.
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What are Air Mile points?
Air mile points are also known as frequent flyer points and can be viewed as airline currency which you can redeem against flight purchases, travel costs, and hotel bookings—depending upon the airline reward scheme.
Which Refund Option is best for you?
Your decision about whether to accept air miles is likely to spend upon your circumstances and current travel habits. Below, we will look at the pros and cons of taking an air miles refund for a canceled flight ticket and whether in some circumstances this might actually be the best option!
When first offered air miles as a refund for disrupted travel plans, your first question is likely to be exactly how much air miles are worth and whether you may be losing out on value compared to cash back refunds.
If you are a frequent traveler and often fly, air miles can be a great option , but these points have more restrictions on them in comparison to cashback and you will only be able to spend, on certain things. So, does it ever make sense for travelers to accept air miles when entitled to compensation?
How much are air miles worth?
How much air miles are worth will of course be one of the major determining factors for your decision. The value of air miles will differ from airline to airline, but generally, you can expect a range of between 1.5 cents to 2.5 cents on the mile.
So, your first step should be to work out whether the amount of air miles you are being offered for canceled flights are worth more than the cashback refund offer. If the air miles end up being of higher value, then you might choose to accept the miles - particularly if you are a frequent traveler.
But when making this decision, you also need to be aware that how much air miles are worth can fluctuate. Airline carriers often make changes to their reward schemes and if you plan on spending points with other eligible airlines, you may find that they are actually worth less.
How much air miles are worth may depend upon the type of flight you book
How much your air miles points are worth may depend upon what type of flight you are going to book. In some airline reward schemes, you will find that air miles are worth more when booking an internal flight as opposed to when you try to book an economy domestic flight.
So, you will need to take this into account too when you are deciding which is the best option for you.
Should you Accept Cashback as a Refund for a Cancelled Flight Ticket?
If you don't travel a lot and want a little more flexibility with how you can spend your refund, then accepting cashback might be a better option. Accepting cash back will allow you to purchase other flights with any airline carrier you choose, and you won't have to worry about your refund suddenly becoming void if you don't spend it within a certain amount of time.
Pros and Cons of Accepting Cash Back
Pros of a Cash Back Refund for Cancelled Flights
- More flexibility in spending than air miles.
- You won't be pressured into spending your refund within a certain amount of time.
Cons of Accepting Cash Back on a Refundable Ticket
- Your refund of air mile tickets may be worth more in total than your cash refund. So, it may make sense to accept air miles depending upon how often you travel.
Pros and Cons of Accepting Air Miles
Pros of accepting air miles for canceled flights
- Excellent choice for those who travel frequently.
- Air miles may end up being of a higher value than cash back.
Cons of air miles Refunds for a canceled flight ticket
- Less flexibility in how you spend your refund in comparison to cashback.
- You will need to spend your refund air miles within a certain amount of time.
- How much air miles are worth can increase or decrease over time as airline carriers adjust their rewards programs.
Summary - Should I accept miles for my canceled flight?
As you can see, there are pros and cons for either refund option, and whether a cashback or air miles refund is better for you will depend upon your travel habits and how much your offered air miles are worth.
Different airlines will offer you air miles which have different values and can be spent with different companies. So, you should always check where your air miles can be spent, and which partner companies accept the points before you accept this form of compensation. You should also check the expiration date for the mile points and whether you are likely to have spent them before this date.
You may however find that your air miles have an excellent value which will end up saving you money on flights you would have otherwise booked in cash. So, if you are planning to book more flights in the near future you need to get out your calculator and work out which refund option will result in cheaper tickets for you!
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