Reclaiming taxes and service charges on unused flight tickets
The best way to get your money back for unwanted flight tickets is to sell them before the departure date. If your airline allows name changes, you can offer your flights for sale on JumpFlight without a commission.
If you can't cancel your flights and you are not allowed to sell the flight tickets, your travel cancellation still doesn't have to be a complete financial lost. In many cases, it is possible to reclaim some taxes and surchages if you haven't been able to use your flight ticket for whatever reason.
When you book flights, you don't just pay the actual flight price, but also airport and security taxes as well as surchages on kerosine, luggage etc. If you don't use your flight tickets, your airline doesn't have to pay for these facilities/services. Thus, you can ask for a refund for the charges which were never passed over to airports or any other agencies involved in organizing your flight.
The chances of getting a tax refund differ from country to country and airline to airline. Generally, it seems to be easier to get a refund on request in Europe than in the USA and Canada. Some airlines charge an administration fee for refund claims, others don't. Depending on the airline, a refund request can be done by phone, email, or in writing.
If you can't cancel your flight and you haven't found a buyer for your flight ticket, don't miss your chance to get a tax refund. You have to act on your own initiave and make a formal claim, no airline will return taxes/surchages if not prompted by the customer.