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It never hurts to ask for a refund

In a perfect world, airline ticket prices would follow some kind of fathomable logic because in reality, it can be kind of complicated for the average traveler. Who wants to contemplate the economics of competition, price buckets and the exact time of day that airlines change their fares -- when all you want to do is visit Grandma in Albuquerque?

Some people may enjoy that sort of thing, but for everyone else, there might be an easier way to get the best deal -- if you're willing to call up and ask for your money back, says the Frugal $ense winner for the month of January, Brenda Miller. Congratulations, Brenda!

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January's Frugal $ense winner: Brenda Miller

Brenda Miller of Vallejo, Calif., won $100 for submitting the following tip:

Adjusted airfare refund
If you book a flight far in advance of your departure date, monitor the price of your exact flight. If the price happens to fall below what you paid prior to your departure, contact the airline and ask for a refund on the difference you paid.

My last trip to Hawaii resulted in a $120 refund, which turned into additional spending money!

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  Brenda Miller
s

Bankrate: How often have you been able to get a refund of the difference in ticket prices?

Brenda: So far I've done it twice. When I book my ticket, I monitor the airfare right up until the day the plane leaves. I had some resistance from customer service on the second occasion because they had cancellation or change policies. I reminded them that I wasn't canceling or changing. I just said that had I known that the best fare would be now, I would have booked it now. And they had no policy against it.

Bankrate: So, it's just one of those things that you never know until you try?

Brenda: Right, just ask and stick to your guns. Especially with the economy the way it is, everything is high-priced and with the cost of fuel, the airlines can be pretty resistant to giving money back.

Bankrate: And how often do you get to go to Hawaii?

Brenda: I've only been there about three times, but my husband and I go to Florida every year where we have our second home. We're going there this August, so now I'm monitoring airfares. I haven't bought just yet.

 
 
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