Can you cancel a ticket after you’ve checked in? You know, because something very, very important came up?

I started to write some allegedly amusing intro, but it wasn’t flowing, and it wasn’t amusing, and for once, I just feel like answering the fucking question (thanks, readers!) in the comment from a couple posts ago, about my loungey day at Newark airport, without writing War and Peace. Let’s go!

Yup. You can cancel your ticket after check-in, by calling the airline, or, if they have a responsive social media team (meaning Delta, not United), via Twitter DM — just shoot them the cancel+refund request with your locator number, and wait for their response. I guess you could also cancel with a customer service agent the airport, if you a) can look them in the eye, and b) still stand up straight.

Delta, in fact, used to have an “un-check-in” button right on their web site, and I assumed that if you used it, you could then cancel a flight. I rarely fly Delta, so I don’t know if it’s still there, especially now that they’re doing involuntary automatic check-in, plus they just had a web site redesign featuring, as modern web designs do, pointlessly large fonts. Anyway, one of you Delta people can tell me if it’s still there. Or maybe one day, when I’m bored, I’ll just find out for myself.

4 thoughts on “Can you cancel a ticket after you’ve checked in? You know, because something very, very important came up?

  1. AJ

    Are you speaking specifically to refundable tickets?

    I know most plebeian economy flights only have the 24-hour no-BS cancellation. After that, you’re SOL.

    Reply
    1. Ivan X Post author

      Yeah, this won’t make you any less SOL if you bought a nonrefundable ticket (whether Econ or Biz) and you’re outside the cancel window. It’s just saying that a) it’s still possible to cancel after you’ve checked in and b) Delta and United always offer a full refund within 24 hours of purchase, even if you buy a ticket less than 24 hours before departure. (American, JetBlue, and I think Alaska do not; the DOT only mandates that airlines offer full refund within 24 hours if the ticket was purchased more than 7 days out.) The combination of A) and B) can be useful info if you are trying to access something that requires a boarding pass, like, say, a lounge.

      Reply
  2. Alpa

    huh.
    so if i bought a refundable ticket, let’s say international business class for this example, on the day of a flt, check in, walk around air-side for uh, the views, i could then leave and cancel the ticket for a full refund within 24 hours of purchase?
    on delta and united, and possibly on other airlines.
    huh.

    Reply
    1. Ivan X Post author

      Uh huh. The views from EWR were amazing!

      You could buy a refundable ticket on any airline, I would think. (I mean, I’d first read their T&C, or ask, to make sure refundable really means refundable, of course.) With Delta and United, you could alternatively buy a non-refundable ticket or award ticket, but still be covered by their 24-hour refund policy.

      Reply

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