Most people look at their air tickets as just a piece of paper and think they will be easily replaced by the airline if lost or stolen. This is certainly not the case nowadays and many airlines will even refuse to issue a new ticket. Southwest Airlines are a prime example of a major airline that does not refund lost tickets.

What you should do to replace your ticket If you lose your airline ticket or it gets stolen, you will need to report it as such right away with both the airline and the local police.

On the day of your flight, go to the airport with plenty of time to spare and show the desk clerk your air ticket photocopy, if you have one, or the ticket reference number. If you have neither, give your name and address. You should then ask the ticket agent if you could have a replacement ticket so that you can fly.

Depending on the airline, they may or may not re-issue tickets. Those airlines that do, will generally fine you for lost or stolen tickets. If this is the case, you will need to buy a new ticket on the spot, and may even end up paying more for it than you originally spent due to price fluctuations of air tickets. You can then try and claim this back from the airline, or, failing that, from your insurance company (if you are insured), being sure to also send off the local police report you filed if you had your ticket stolen.

It really is a pain losing your air tickets. In the end, it costs you a lot of time and effort, even if you get a replacement ticket or a refund, and there is no guarantee you will receive either.

Points to bear in mind for lost or stolen tickets:

  • Treat your air tickets as you would your cash as you may find that the issuing airline, or travel agent, have a policy of not refunding (or imposing a fine) for lost or stolen tickets.
  • Always carry a photocopy of your air tickets separate from the real ones.
  • Keep a note of air ticket serial numbers.
  • Be sure your insurance covers for lost or stolen air tickets.
  • Be prepared at the least to fork out a processing fee if the airline has to re-issue your air ticket.
  • If you purchased your original ticket at a knockdown price, or perhaps well in advance, be aware that you may end up paying even more for the replacement ticket. If this is the case, make sure you request the refund of the higher cost.
  • It can take anything from a month to over a year to claim your money back from the airline as many air tickets are valid for one year.
  • You may get no refund from the airline after purchasing a new ticket if someone decides to use it or cash in your old one – this is, however, unlikely with today’s security measures.
  • Ensure you obtain a police report for stolen air tickets for possible refunds/insurance claims.