A friend and I were looking at flights to Japan from our home city for a week or so back leading up to this year's Black Friday. Typically flights range from $1000-$1600 round trip, however during this period they were fluctuating in the $650-$800 range.

One day prices seemed particularly low, so friend and I called and went to book online simultaneously. Their purchase was submitted literally seconds before mine, and upon submitting mine a warning that the price had increased $100. In my deal-chasing greed, I figured I would wait up to an hour given we had been watching prices fluctuate all week around this range. In hindsight, this was the worst decision- the extra $100 for a week long trip was negligible and even with the $100 was still an exceptionally good deal. Prices have since increased to >$1000 with no signs of decreasing and my friend is essentially waiting for me to eventually bite the bullet and book my ticket.

I don't want to pay this much for the trip, and I have been monitoring the price in hopes it will eventually fall again (which I believe it may). My friend would obviously prefer me to go and I can't imagine they would be thrilled in having to go alone - but they would.

Since I may not end up going, what is the etiquette for cancelling with my friend?

  • 2
    Did you tell them right away that you seem to have "missed" the deal?
    – Damila
    Dec 16, 2019 at 20:37
  • We were in a call together at the time. I suggested waiting the hour to see if it would drop and there was no argument although they aren't the type that would have pressured me into buying it.
    – Jay
    Dec 16, 2019 at 21:00
  • 1
    Are they able to cancel the flight for free? Dec 16, 2019 at 21:17
  • No, they would be out the cost of the ticket.
    – Jay
    Dec 17, 2019 at 16:06

1 Answer 1


I had this situation with a romantic partner. I told my ex-girlfriend (when we were together) that I would go with her and her friends on an expensive vacation - I was expecting a bonus at work. For weeks she became more and more excited about how I was coming. Things at my workplace changed, and I didn't receive any bonus. I simply couldn't afford to go on the trip. My ex-girlfriend and her friends had already booked many things for me, and I somehow had to tell her and her friends that I couldn't come. I was so nervous about bringing it up that I waited too long. When I finally told her, she wasn't very upset, but she was disappointed that I waited so long to tell her. She said that if I were honest about it sooner, she would have understood. By the time I told her, it was too late to get a refund on many activities. I wish I were honest sooner.

The sooner you tell your friend, the sooner the tension will be cleared. If you tell your friend sooner, maybe your friend can get a refund, or maybe he/she can adjust to the idea that you won't be there. Honesty is important, and if this is a true friend, it is much more important than the silly mistake you made.

  • Hi coach, welcome to IPS. And thanks for taking time to answer old posts. There are some guidelines on this stack, that you may not be aware of, and that require answers to be more than thoughts or "try this" solutions. They must be backed up by data and/or experience. You might want to edit your latest posts to help future readers and avoid possible DV. Thanks
    – OldPadawan
    Mar 5, 2021 at 6:03
  • 1
    I will be sure to at least include how I can relate my experiences to the predicament in the question. Thanks for the information. Mar 6, 2021 at 0:01
  • Hey Coach, I think you misunderstood a little. Take a look at this meta post : On this site, we don't just ask you to include that you had to do something similar before, but also include how you did that thing, noting any similarities/differences between your situation and the one described in the question, and then also let us know the results. Or, like the blog post on good subjective sites likes to say: Don't just give a recipe, let us know how the cookies turned out!
    – Tinkeringbell
    Mar 6, 2021 at 13:35
  • I can see you wrote a bunch of answers, and already edited most of them, that's great! I still think you can improve most of them a bit more, by including what you did under the circumstances, and how that turned out for you. Right now, it's mostly 'this was my situation, and here's what I think you should do', without much that tells us how that exact approach you're suggesting turned out for you or someone else. That said, welcome to IPS, and if you like, drop by our Interpersonal Skills Chat sometimes... we're a weird site with lots to learn, and may be a bit easier on you than comments! :D
    – Tinkeringbell
    Mar 6, 2021 at 13:40
  • I'm editting them right now to include what you've asked. Please advise. Mar 7, 2021 at 7:02

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