Requesting Alaska Air Cancellation waiver of fees

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Mar 11, 2017
West Coast
In January we booked air on Alaska Air to Mexico for April 2017. My brother was diagnosed with mesothelioma earlier in the year (2016). Up until recently we shared responsibility for the care of our elderly mother who has began showing signs of dementia. Bottomline, my brother's health has began to deteriorate and I am now the only care provider for my mother. I want to spend as much time with my brother as possible and I must care for my Mom as well. I need to call AS and cancel our flights. My question, do I just cancel the reservation by phone and ask the customer service rep if, under the circumstances, they can waive the cancellation/change fees which I believe are $125 p/p and the seat upgrade charges of $120. Right now, I'm so stressed and depressed I wish I could just say to heck with it but, it's too much money for us to watch go down the drain. I hope you can give me some advise on how best to handle the situation.

Thank you so much.


Neil Maley

Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Dec 27, 2014
New York
Did you buy travel insurance? Some would cover this. Your seat upgrade charges you most likely will not have refunded but you could ask for the cancellation fees. It never hurts to ask - the worst they can say is no. You must realize they get thousands of stories like this every day from folks that did not buy travel insurance and they can't possibly honor every one - that is why they sell insurance.

They probably cannot do it when you call to cancel but you might be able to use our customer contacts to write them after you cancel. BTW - when you cancel you will have to rebook within one year of the date you purchased the ticket, not the travel date so be sure you keep that purchase date in the back of your mind.

We have information how to do this here:

I am very sorry that you have to be going through this and I can certainly understand why you want to cancel.


Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
San Francisco
I'm so sorry to read your story, Deede. You should first check any travel insurance that might be included in your credit card. Neil has given you the right advice ... cancel the res and calendar the date to create a new trip before 1 year is up from the date of your original purchase. Actually, I believe that travel needs to be completed before 1 year, but you might check that on Alaska's website. While it probably won't happen, you could request the cost of the seats be included in the credit. One of my colleagues is very familiar with Alaska Air, and hopefully she will be chiming in here shortly with a few extra details for you.

When you are ready to rebook, use our Company Contacts to write a short, polite email asking for an exception to their cancellation fee rules. I would also request the extra $ you paid for the seats. Why not? Submit your letter to customer service, wait a week and then submit to the executives, one at a time, waiting a week between each submission. I'm sure that I don't have to remind you to insure the new tix. Good luck, I hope things settle down a bit for you and you can get away for a much-needed break.