The problem with nonrefundable tickets is that they complicate your choices. Let’s say you are worried about Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, which is an issue on the Arabian Peninsula and, more recently, in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control says this virus kills about 30% of the people who become ill with it, but as of last week, there was no alert or warning from the State Department. If your travels were to take you to that part of the world, you could cancel your ticket but you might not get your money back. Airlines often will waive change fees and sometimes even refund money based on what has happened (winter 2014 was a prime example of this), but they won’t very often refund your money based on how worried you are.
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