Can I get a refund if I change my flight?

I surveyed my subscribers this morning about their hopes/plans for future travels (more on that later), but one subscriber had a very good question along with her answer:

Great question Sharon!

There are a few variables involved with your question.

Your two best bets for being guaranteed a refund is to cross your fingers and hope the airline changes your schedule or cancels the flight altogether.

If the airline makes the change:

Cancelations:
If they cancel your flight, most airlines will offer a credit toward future flights. However, you are not required to accept that. They might not make it immediately obvious, but if you don’t want to spend hours on hold, you can usually find a place on the airline’s website to request a refund for canceled flights And this holds true – even for “non-refundable” flights.

Significant changes:
If the airline makes a significant change to your flight schedule, you are also entitled to a refund in full. (Airlines vary on what they consider a “significant change”, and that amount of time varies between 30 minutes and 6 hours.  If you find out that your airline’s schedule has been changed, it’s always a good idea to look at their change/refund policy and insist on a refund if the change was significant enough. That way, you can take your money elsewhere if a different airline has a better deal.

When you make the change.

The good news:
In reaction to Coronavirus issues, nearly all airlines have started offering extremely liberal change policies. If you decide not to take the trip you booked,  you will most likely be able to change your flight with no fees or penalties whatsoever.

The bad news:
Although most airlines aren’t charging fees if you want to make a change to your schedule, you will have to pay any difference, if fares are higher for your replacement flight. But don’t worry – when you search for flights using “The Triangle of Travel” – that shouldn’t be a problem. (Two of the “corners” of the triangle of travel are to 1) go where the deals are, 2) and be flexible.) Here is another post covering my concept of “The Triangle Of Travel” in more detail.

When you make the change (vs the airline making the change) – Most airlines are only offering credits toward future travels vs giving cash refunds, so if in doubt about whether travel restrictions will be lifted, it’s best to book it as far in the future as possible.

Tips

Given the uncertainty about when/where we’ll be able to travel, be sure to check each airlines’ change policies in advance before booking any flights.

If at all possible, we recommend booking directly with the airline. That way, if you have to change or cancel, you don’t have to deal with a third party to get your refund.

Your options are a lot better if the airline changes your flight than if you change it. So if you’re thinking about changing or canceling a flight, be sure to look up your airlines’ individual change/cancel policies, and wait until as late as possible to make that change. It’s a bit like a game of “chicken”, but it’s well worth waiting to see if the airline changes or cancels your flight.

 

“I refuse to fly Spirit Airlines”

We got this email from a subscriber who wished to cancel her premium trip-alert subscription with us.

Although all subscribers can cancel any time with no questions asked, I thought I’d address her feedback in case you have similar concerns yourself.

  1. We certainly understand that not everyone likes certain discount airlines, but here are a few things to consider that (that are in addition to being able to fly somewhere round-trip for as little as $19:
    1. Airlines are EXTREMELY competitive, and many times when a discount airline like Spirit, Frontier or Southwest drops fares to $19 or $39, other airlines often drop their fares as well. It doesn’t always happen, but we’ve had countless amounts of subscribers who were able to snag a direct flight on Delta, United or American for the same (or very similar) price as what we initially published from a competing discount airline.
    2. Sure, basic coach seating on Frontier or Spirit is… pretty basic, but sometimes – You can upgrade to business class seats (which include free bags) for less than what it would cost to check a couple bags. And lemme tell ya – their business class seats are worlds different than their coach seats.)
    3. Discount airlines are only about half of the fares we share. The other 50% are larger carriers like Delta, United, American & sometimes even Virgin.
  2. To clarify – We publish business-class fares with every trip we share. (See screenshot below) Not all business class fares are as discounted as much as the coach fares, but many are. In fact, I just went to lunch with Brooke (our director of support), and she was contemplating whether to book her 22nd JGOOT-inspired trip. It was DIRECT round-trip flight to Rome for $400 in coach, or $900 in lie-flat business class.  (For the record – $900 is less than what most people traveling “the traditional way” pay for a coach flight, and a business-class flight to Rome is normally $3000 to $8000.)
  3. If you ever decide that “The JGOOT Way” of travel isn’t a fit for you, the best way to request cancellation is to reply to the most recent email you received from us. We respond to all premium member requests by the next business day (including written confirmation of cancellation). But if you email us directly without replying to your member-only email, your request will be lumped in with hundreds of thousands of free subscribers and we can’t promise how quickly we’ll be able to confirm your cancellation request.

Happy travels!

Joel

PS – We realize “The JGOOT Way” of travel isn’t for everyone, but if you’re a subscriber having doubts – the single best thing you can do to see if it is a fit for you is to check your trip-alerts every day – whether planning a trip or not.

It really is that simple. Open your trip-alert emails every day for 2 weeks. You’ll be surprised at how often a $30 or $50 flight inspires a trip to visit a friend, or how often a $200 or $300 flight that normally costs over $1500 per person inspires a vacation most people wouldn’t even contemplate until retirement.

 

Sample Trip-Alert with Coach and Business-Class Fares:

Can’t find the prices we’re finding? Watch this video.

I get multiple emails a day from people stating that they can’t find the same prices we’re finding – sometimes within hours of us sending the alert.

Although sometimes the prices do go back up that fast, most times – they’re still available for at least a few days.

Here is a quick video covering how to find them.

Happy travels!

–Joel

PS – No time to watch a video? Here is a blog post with more detail.

Travel tips from our awesome subscribers

Photo credit: Amirul Siyaidi

We’ve got the most awesome travelers in our JGOOT Facebook community. I asked them about their favorite travel tips, and I got huundreds of great ones, I thought I’d share just a few of them here.

Happy travels!

–Joel

PS – Are you a part of our free Facebook group? In addition to video travel tips and a place to discuss your travels with others, we often give away travel discount cards, restaurant discount cards, and occasionally even vacations! Follow us here and join in on the fun!

Saving money tips:

Safety tips:

 

Preparedness tips:

 

And finally, a couple of tips all travel addicts need to keep in mind as we addictively check so many destinations off our lists.

 

Awesome community, eh?

You should see the discussions in our private member-only Facebook group! It’s full of thousands of super-savvy travelers and is dedicated exclusively to sharing the most guarded secrets to traveling on points.  You can join us for as little as $8/month.

(If you’re already a member, you can find your invitation at the bottom of any daily trip-alert email you receive.)

 

“Sorry, this just seems like a scam”

For every one “Thank You” email I get from a paid subscriber, I probably get ten from free subscribers who simply don’t believe the prices I say are possible.

Here is one of my more polite replies from a skeptical free subscriber this morning.

If you’re like Regan, I understand.  The JGOOT Way of travel is not for everyone.

That’s why I openly share how you can do what I do for free.

Yes, The JGOOT Way is different.

Yes – if you want to travel for 50% to 98% less than everyone else on the plane – every time you travel – you MUST start preparing a MINIMUM of 4 months in advance.

Yes, there is a learning curve (that can be learned via my free blog, Facebook page, and free youtube channel without ever upgrading to my premium trip-alert service.)

Once you get past that learning curve – you will have the knowledge and tools to spend 50% to 98% less than everyone on the same plane as you.

Every single time you travel.

For the rest of your life.

BUT…

If you’re not willing to set aside everything you know about traveling “the traditional way” to learn a slightly different way of travel (operative word being “learn”)…

Traveling for 50% to 98% off every time you travel simply isn’t possible and there is no sense continuing to fill your inbox with travel tips from me.

There is an “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of every email you receive from me.  No hard feelings if you use it.  I promise.

The best way to save big on lodging (that is overlooked 90% of the time.)

Today’s blog post was inspired by a question I get asked almost as often as “Can you give me a price quote for flights to _______“?

(And just as a reminder – Price quotes require a middleman paid on commission which defeats the purpose of this site. Commissions would significantly drive up the cost of the trips I help my subscribers find themselves.)

Unfortunately, it’s too late for Joe, but all the more reason to write this blog post for you.

Want to know the best secret to substantial hotel savings when traveling?

It’s so simple – you won’t believe it.

Sometimes (as in the example below) it can even mean FREE lodging with no groupons, gimmicks or tricks.

Ready?

Use Kayak to book on a major site like Travelocity or Expedia, and book your hotel at the same time you book your flight.

Why?

Because they know you’ve already got your wallet out to book the flight.

(They also know you’re a savvy shopper, and before you book with them, you’ll probably go straight to the airlines and they won’t get a dime in business.)

If they don’t get your business for the lodging right then and there – they probably won’t get it at all either  (for the flights OR lodging.)

The best way they can close the deal right then and there? Massive discounts.  Discounts so good, in fact, it will be nearly impossible to find as good a rate by booking your air and lodging separately – even if booking straight through the airlines, and straight through the hotel.

Here’s how you can test this theory yourself:

  1. Pick a destination. ANY destination and look up the price of a flight there (and multiply that price by the number of passengers)
  2. Now, pick a couple nice hotels in that location during those dates and note the total cost of that hotel. (Make sure it’s at least 3 nights because that’s what it takes for the bundle-discounts to kick in.)
  3. Make note of the total cost of flight(s) plus hotel if you booked them separately.
  4. Look up the “Package” price of booking the flight and hotel together, and subtract the TOTAL cost of the flight.
  5. Odds are, you’ll save 30% to 50% on the hotel by bundling with your flight vs. booking them separately.

Here’s a random example:

Flight to Greece: $1019 round-trip (And let’s assume 2 passengers)

(Note that I’m NOT saying that flight price is a good deal. Far from it in fact. This is just an example to demonstrate the power of bundling your flight and hotel.)

2 passengers = $2038 (For the flight alone. That’s robbery! But I digress.)

Now, let’s look up hotel prices during those same dates.

$938 for the week. Not bad!

 

We’re now at a total of $2976 by booking flights at one time, and booking lodging separately.

Here is where the magic happens. See that little link called “Packages”?

Below is an example of why you should ALWAYS click it (even if you weren’t planning on booking a hotel yet.)

 

Let’s not forget that the package prices are per-person, and my example is for two people.

So…

$918 X 2 = $2036

By itself, that’s about a 30% savings vs booking them separately.

But when you look at the price for two flights alone ($2038) vs the price for two flights plus 7 nights ($2036), your 4-star hotel is FREE.

Granted, the numbers don’t normally work out this well, but you can expect to regularly spend 30% to 50% less on your lodging by booking it with your flight vs hunting down a flight deal, and then trying to find a deal on your hotel separately.

PS – On a tight budget?

Remember how flights alone were $1018 per person?

Check out this per-person price for flight plus 7 nights at a budget hotel.

(In other words – whether you stay at the budget hotel or not, you just knocked nearly $300 off of the cost of your trip (PER PERSON) by simply bundling a cheap hotel with your flight.)

The moral of the story?

Always, always, ALWAYS check for flight plus hotel prices. Sometimes (like in the example above), you’ll find loopholes that mean the equivalent of getting paid to book a hotel along with your flight (even if you don’t use the hotel.)

The above strategy works for any trip you find yourself “the old fashioned way.”

Imagine the savings if you used this strategy after finding a 50% to 90% off flight via your JGOOT premium trip-alert service.

Happy travels!

–Joel

 

 

 

Can I pick my own dates?

For every time I get this question, I’m sure there are 1000 more subscribers wondering the same thing, so I’ll just post my response here.

Hi Noah,

It’s closer to the latter. I share the 100 to 150 deals a month with my premium subscribers that I’ve determined to be among the cheapest .1% of trips on the internet. You can choose from those, and usually play with the dates to make them work with your schedule.

  • I have subscribers who have over 500,000 frequent flyer miles pay for my service because I ONLY send them deals that they would be better off paying cash for and saving their frequent flyer miles for far more expensive trips. (If interested, this blog post may help explain that further.)
  • I also have several pilots who are subscribers because they’d rather pay for one of the trips I send them with cash and be guaranteed a seat – than risk spending all day hoping to get on a free stand-by (AKA “non-rev”) flight during their family’s valuable vacation time.
Most trips can be adjusted to fit your needs, but it still requires that you think a little differently than how most people. (In fact, if you want to pay less than what most people pay – you HAVE to think differently than them 😉
You can find out more about my philosophy at jgoot.com/faq and jgoot.com/blog.
I’d recommend starting with the blog post entitled:  This site is not for you if…
Happy travels!
Joel

Bad news & good News

I get this type of question all the time.
Unfortunately, the downside to only looking for travel deals that are 50% to 90% off is that
1) They don’t last long when they show up and
2) You have zero control over when they’ll show up again at those prices.
When you need to get somewhere specific and would settle for the best price you can get, our site might not be the place to find your trip. We only share trips when we find them at 50% to 90% off, and the odds of those trips fitting with a specific itinerary are very slim.

Here are two free strategies that will help instead.

Can’t view the above video? Click here.

Strategy #2:

Don’t have the patience or flexibility to wait for a good price? Plan well ahead and try this even cooler trick.

When you’re not pinned down to a specific place/time and are ready to be INSPIRED to travel:

  • to any of the 48 states where you can visit friends or family for under $100 (sometimes as low as $29 round-trip)
  • to any of the hundreds of exotic destinations with white-sand beaches in Mexico/Caribbean (and often Hawaii) that are $100 to $400…
  • to any of the beautiful countries in Europe, Asia, or South America between $200 and $600…
  • to Africa or Australia for as little as $400 or $500…
…I’d love for JGOOT to be your muse.

If you don’t mind me giving you one last travel tip:

If you’re thinking about trying my premium trip alert service out, don’t try and wait for the perfect time to upgrade. 
The risk of missing out on a perfect trip that will save you $2500 by booking it 6 or 8 months in advance is far greater than the twenty or thirty bucks you’ll save by waiting until you’re ready to plan your next trip.  Don’t take it from me. Take it from the thousands of subscribers who have asked me for help after it’s too late.
Either way, I hope this post will help you to start traveling a little more affordably.
Happy travels!
–Joel

“Do you have business class flights?”

Here’s another question I get all the time.

Good news! Every single trip we share has both coach and business class prices (and when the coach prices we find are discounted, the business class prices are typically discounted too. (Check out the $1001 business class price in the Jamaica example below.)

Whether you need business class prices, different lodging options, or a different number of passengers, all you need to do is:

  1. Click the link to the trip that interests you in your email (or on our website)
  2. Look for the appropriate link.
  3. Click it.

Once you do that, you’ll be on Kayak.com and you can play with the options as you see fit.

Have further questions? Click any of the video links in the trip-alert and we’ll show you what to do.

Still have questions?

Try my FAQ page, Youtube Channel, Facebook Page, or blog.

STILL have questions after that? Email my awesome support team at “support@jgoot.com“.

Happy travels!

Joel