May need to cancel a flight. I have a dilemma what to do. Where should I start?

I have a friend I am due to visit in under 2 weeks in Oklahoma on 16th November. Just yesterday she told me that her and her husband feel they don't really have the money to be going out sightseeing and eating out and things like that with me when I visit for various reasons.
I have known my friend about 15 years and we have met each other most years since then, visiting places together. She's been to the UK and Ireland to meet me and I've been out there to the USA to meet her. 

Anyway, because of some work payments they were expecting they now won't receive until December after I leave, it will leave them on a tight budget which will restrict them from travelling to places to show me around and eating out and doing other things.

Therefore, because I would be staying at their home during my stay, they said I would need to decide whether to still visit and be happy with just being at their home for most days or to try to cancel or postpone my trip until next year maybe Spring or Summer when they have built up their funds again.

I booked my flight on 10th September through a website called Check N Fly paying on a Credit Card.
I bought airport parking 4th October and travel insurance 12th October.

If you were in the same situation as myself, would you still travel and possibly be bored because your hosts are low on money from going out places with you?

Or would you cancel or postpone your flight for a later date?

And who do I contact first to try to get a refund if I have decided to not travel on 16th November? The airline (American Airlines)? Check N Fly? The credit card company? The travel insurance company?

Would I even be entitled to a full or partial refund of my flight/parking/insurance under these circumstances? And if so, what percentage am I likely to receive back if I cancel as soon as I can?

Hope to hear from others to see what they would do in the same circumstances and what I should do for the best to try to cancel or postpone my flight and try to get a refund.

Thanks.
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Comments

  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Posts: 16,193
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    Unless you have open tickets you will lose the money you have spent on them.
  • TELLIT01
    TELLIT01 Posts: 16,245
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    edited 3 November 2023 at 8:26PM
    Travel insurance won't pay out as the flights are available. It will be treated as a 'disinclination to travel', and that is not covered by insurance.  Credit card company won't help either.  Your only route to any refund is the company you purchased the flight through.  Was the flight booking flexible or non-refundable and/or no changes permitted?  If non-refundable etc I'm afraid you can kiss you money goodbye.  You may be able to get your parking costs back but that also depends on the type of booking you made.  Cheapest tends to be non-refundable.
    Could you afford to rent a car for part of the time you are out there and take them out as a thank you for all the time you have spent in their home?
  • brymbo76
    brymbo76 Posts: 39
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    I think some changes are possible with the flight but I don't know about a full refund or postponing it by 6 months or so.

    To be honest, despite me visiting the USA several times over the years, I've never tried hiring a car and driving in the USA or any country for that matter in the world where they drive on the right. I'd be too unused to the pedals and indicators on a car where the steering wheel is on the left. Some of those Interstates would also scare me with how many lanes they have and with people undertaking and overtaking. I would need a SatNav anywhere I go too. Taxis would be too expensive.
    So I may be best to cut my losses and cancel and wait to visit my friends when they have saved up enough for us to travel more next year.
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,267
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    If you couldn’t get the money back on the flights you could go off visiting places on your own. With regards to food you could buy some special things and help them cook them at home?
    And what about free things to do that you could do together? You don’t have to just sit in their house just getting bored. It’s about seeing people and enjoying their company and you can do that without spending a fortune.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • brymbo76
    brymbo76 Posts: 39
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    I will certainly be speaking to them tomorrow and asking if there are things to do for free that aren't too far away to get to.
    At the moment though my initial thoughts are to cancel and see about making plans for 2024.
  • Voyager2002
    Voyager2002 Posts: 15,225
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    I would suggest that you go and enjoy your visit, picking up the bills for outings with your friends. After all, they are giving you somewhere to stay (so you save on hotel bills) so it would be polite to treat them.


  • soolin
    soolin Posts: 71,865
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    edited 3 November 2023 at 11:13PM
    brymbo76 said:
    I will certainly be speaking to them tomorrow and asking if there are things to do for free that aren't too far away to get to.
    At the moment though my initial thoughts are to cancel and see about making plans for 2024.
    Are you happy though with Losing your money, wouldn’t it be better to go and do a few local things rather than lose everything? 
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the eBay, Auctions, Car Boot & Jumble Sales, Boost Your Income, Praise, Vents & Warnings, Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning , UK Holidays, Days Out & Entertainments boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know.. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing [email protected] views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
  • I think if I can talk it all over with them and we agree that there are things we can do which won't be a drain on them and their money and I don't mind treating them to some meals out and a visit to somewhere touristy then maybe I won't have to cancel it completely.
    I will see what they saw when we do a video call this weekend.
  • SiliconChip
    SiliconChip Posts: 1,273
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    brymbo76 said:
    I'd be too unused to the pedals and indicators on a car where the steering wheel is on the left.
    Of all the things you need to worry about when driving in the USA these are not issues, the pedals are in exactly the same place as in a right hand drive car (and it's almost certain there will only be two as you're unlikely to be offered a car with a manual gearbox) as are the indicators.

  • Pollycat
    Pollycat Posts: 34,480
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    brymbo76 said:
    I think some changes are possible with the flight but I don't know about a full refund or postponing it by 6 months or so.

    Before deciding to cancel, I'd check exactly what changes you are able to make with your flight.

    You haven't booked direct with the airline so even if the airline offers changes, there's no guarantee that the 3rd party you have booked with will allow the same changes.
    Or they may charge you for a change that would have been free if you had booked direct with the airline.

    You might find that American Airlines won't engage with you as you are not their customer.
    Check N Fly are AA's customer, you are Check N Fly's customer.
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