For your travel troubles.

By Michelle Darrisaw
Flight Cancellations Screen at Airport
Credit: Matt McClain/The Washington Post/Getty Images

It's safe to assume that if you travel frequently by air, you're bound to run into occasional flight cancellations or delays due to unforeseen circumstances or inclement weather. However, all is not lost if your trip hits an unexpected detour or, in the case of a cancellation, doesn't happen at all. We've taken some of the hassle out of your laborious airport experience by scanning through the fine print on the refund process from these seven major airline carriers. Here's how you can get your money back quickly and painlessly, without having to bombard customer service.

1. Alaska Airlines

If you don't want to reschedule for a different date, enter your confirmation code or eTicket number, along with your last name, on the airline's cancellation page. To speak with a representative on the phone, call 1-800-252-7522. You can expect to receive a full refund within seven business days if you used a credit card. However, if you purchased a ticket using cash or check, you should be refunded within 20 business days (depending on your bank). All service fees will be waived. You can receive updates on the status of your refund via email at

2. American Airlines

Unfortunately, you won't be able to call or email someone directly, as American Airlines require that you submit a refund request online. Simply, enter your ticket number and last name on the form, and it will be processed for approval. You can expect to receive your money back within one to two billing cycles.

3. Delta

For canceled and delayed flights, you must a submit a Refund Exception Form, instead of the typical refund application. Once approved, you'll receive a refund back to the original form of payment within one business day. However, keep in mind, that the credit may not show up on your bank statement for up to two billing cycles.

4. JetBlue

On the Manage Your Flight page, submit your confirmation code and your last name (or the last name of the passenger) to actually cancel the flight. Although it's a bit tedious to cancel a flight that's already technically been canceled by the airline, it's part of their refund process. From there, you'll receive confirmation of your canceled flight via email, where you can select whether you'd like a full refund or a credit towards a future trip. Regardless of your preference, your request will be processed within seven to 10 business days.

5. Southwest Airlines

First, cancel your flight here. Then call the Reservations Department at 1-800-435-9792 to submit your refund request. Customers can either receive a flight credit or a full refund back to their original form of payment.

6. United Airlines

To receive a travel credit or a refund for canceled flights, you must submit a refund request online. However, similar to JetBlue, you have to physically cancel your flight first by entering your confirmation number and last name on United's Manage Reservations page.

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7. Virgin America

Airline patrons can request a full refund or credit to their Travel Bank by calling 1-877-359-8474. Representatives for Virgin will process all requests within seven business days, if tickets were purchased with a credit card. If you paid via cash or check, it can take up to 20 business days to receive a full refund.