The constant dilemmas about what to do with tickets you cannot travel on

So, here is a story of two trips that I have coming along. One in June with United and the other in July with British Airways. At the moment I am facing challenges with both, which many other passengers are facing. Let’s talk about them in order:


Ticket: Upgraded with UA PlusPoints and flying London to Norfolk, VA.

Booked: Pre-COVID

Challenge: The Presidential Decree means that I will no longer be admitted to the US, as I have been in the UK in the 14 days before travel. Chance of this being lifted and being able to travel – about 0% I fear. There are no suggestions that the US President is considering allowing people back in the US.

Options: I’ve been hanging on hoping that United might make flight changes allowing me to cancel and secure a full refund. With a week until travel, this looks unlikely. I’ve checked with United and my option is a future flight credit, valid to March 29 2022. No change fee but I have to pay any fare increase. Or lose the tickets. Not much of a choice here really.

I am still waiting for a refund on a ticket from 5 weeks ago which was able to be refunded due to a greater than 6 hour schedule change.


Ticket: Mixed First and Premium Economy ticket with BA from London to New York, JFK.

Booked: Pre-COVID

Challenge: Well one of the original flights is cancelled, but if I accept an alternative flight then British Airways won’t offer a refund later on, even if the Presidents Ban is still in place. This creates a huge dilemma – I want to confirm the new flight but I don’t want to lose the chance of a refund.

Option: Cancel now, and lose a great fare. Confirm a new flight, but lose the right to a refund. Wait until nearer the date and if the Ban is lifted, actually travel.

I’ll probably leave it as it without a confirmed return as it lets me get back the cash.


Are you facing dilemmas over what to do with your unusable tickets?


  1. Egyptair is not cooperating with US citizens and Legal Permanent Residents trying to leave Egypt going to USA!

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