You can get your money back, but only if you pay more. That’s the way airfares work, and have since Air Canada led the airline industry off into the unbundling of fares and services. AirTran offers refundable fares and Southwest does as well, both in the higher fare categories, but some low-fare airlines were a tad slow to adopt this facet of fares, in part because they had long held that low fares were, by definition, not refundable. That began changing when JetBlue decided in January that it would offer fully refundable fares in a bid to get more corporate and business travel. Businesses travellers like refundability because it means that when their plans are changed at the last minute, they can get their money back. Comes now Virgin America, which says it will make refunabilty the centrepiece of a new fare class it is calling Main Cabin Select. (Above is the main Main Cabin.)
This fare type is slightly different: VX will allow passengers to transfer tickets to someone else, and a no-show, or someone who doesn’t cancel or rebook, automatically becomes a credit good for a year. Main Cabin Select was first announced in late July, but VX delayed its actual rollout. We wonder if there wasn’t a technological glitch, since the new fares are only available through the Virgin call center and not on its website. Virgin’s Abby Lunardini says the airline just wanted to wait until it was ready to roll out some other features – including the announcement that VX was finally ready to let frequent flyers members of its eleVAte loyalty program redeem their points.