I never cancel trips… so I’ll book things that are non-refundable on occasion, since the savings usually end up being worth it to me. Well, for a recent trip planned with a friend, something came up and he is unable to go. I went into Damage Control Mode to salvage as many points and miles and as much money as possible.

Cancelled Trip

Part 1: Salvaging Money and Points from a Cancelled Trip: Hotels

Part 2: Salvaging Money and Points from a Cancelled Trip: Flights

Part 3: Salvaging Money and Points from a Cancelled Trip: Summary and Lessons Learned

Flights: 3 bookings.

1. For me only, flights on Southwest booked with points from Detroit to Baltimore.

Cancelled with full refund. I fly this route pretty frequently, so these points will get reinvested into a future flight.

2. Flying Blue Promo Awards (technically non-refundable) booked from IAD – CPH, ARN – IAD for a total of 50,000 Flying Blue miles (transferred from Amex Membership Rewards) and $534.10.

Cancelled with full refund. It was easy to get KLM to agree to refunding the taxes and fees, all that took was a call to their customer support. I don’t know if it is common policy to do that or not, but I expect that it is for any cancellation reason. Getting the miles refunded was a bit more of a hassle. First I tried ‘Hang Up, Call Back.’ No luck. One customer service representative I talked to said that I should use the Contact Us form on their website, but it was ultimately the Twitter Team that was able to confirm that with a doctor’s note the miles could be refunded for the person with medical reasons for not travelingYMMV. I was able to get a doctor’s note as well, so all miles were refunded.

3. Budget flight booked on Norwegian CPH – ARN

Out $142.40 from a non-refundable fare (2 people + 2 checked bags).

While I was making all of these phone calls anyway, I decided to call Southwest to see if I could get any compensation out of them because of my diverted flight a couple weeks ago. They offered me a $100 voucher right away. I probably could have pushed for more, but I didn’t. I probably wouldn’t have ever gotten around to doing this because life has been a little hectic over here lately, so I am essentially counting this as a +$100 toward the lost costs of this trip.


  • 9,600 Southwest Rapid Rewards
  • $5.00 to Southwest
  • 50,000 Membership Rewards Transferred to Flying Blue Miles
  • $534.10 to Flying Blue
  • $142.40 to Norwegian


  • 9,600 Southwest Rapid Rewards
  • $5.00 from Southwest in Voucher Form
  • 50,000 Flying Blue Miles
  • $534.10 from Flying Blue


  • $-142.40 due to non-refundable Norwegian tickets


  • $100 Southwest LUV Voucher