Ask LH: What Can I Do With An Unchangeable Flight?

Dear Lifehacker, I recently bought a flight ticket return from Brisbane to Newcastle in anticipation of a concert but unfortunately missed out on tickets. Since Jetstar (and a lot of low cost airlines) don’t offer refunds, what suggestions do you have on ways to try and not lose out completely on the cost of a ticket? Thanks, No Ticket No Cry

Picture by tripletrouble

Dear No Ticket,

As you’ve no doubt already discovered, sale fare Jetstar seats don’t have many useful options for changing after the fact. And the terms of carriage actually expressly prohibit transferring your booking to someone else:

You must not give or sell your Booking to anyone else to use. A Booking is not transferable to another person. If someone else presents themselves to travel on your Booking and we discover that that person is not you, we may refuse to carry that person.

With that said, Jetstar’s commitment to automation means that it’s entirely possible to board a flight without ever dealing with a human being. If you check in using kiosks at both ends and only have carry-on luggage, the odds of anyone realising you’re not the person named on a booking are pretty low, especially if you’re the same gender as the original ticket purchaser. So you might be able to sell the ticket to someone else.

A quick search on eBay shows up several people trying to resell Jetstar tickets, so it doesn’t seem like the airline heavily tries to stop this kind of trade. With that said, there is still some risk involved, since the terms make the fact that you’re not supposed to do this pretty clear, and you might end up being exposed if a flight is heavily delayed or there are other problems. As such, you might have to discount the original price to account for that. But trying to sell it at least gives you a chance of getting some of the money back.

Have readers got any other suggestions on how a fare like this could be reused? Share them in the comments.


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