How to use your travel vouchers and credits

Yikes, my voucher is about to expire. Can I increase it?

Most of the important US airlines have extended the validity dates of their upcoming flight credits and vouchers to at minimum Dec. 31, 2021, and occasionally further than that to two-in addition decades from the original ticketing day.

Nonetheless, “Expiration dates and guidelines fluctuate by airline and by what type of voucher or credit history you have,” suggests Keyes. Here’s what the premier US airways are doing, according to Keyes.

On United, travel certificates are valid for up to 24 months right after the date they were issued while potential flight credits for tickets issued between May 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020, are legitimate for 24 months immediately after the unique challenge day. This indicates you need to have to e book by the expiration date, but you can journey right after it.

On American, a flight credit score is excellent for journey inside a single 12 months from the problem day, with the caveat that if your credit history expires prior to March 31, 2021, it can be employed for a travel day by December 31, 2021. A voucher will have to be utilised within just one particular calendar year of problem (the travel day does not have to be in the year).

And on Delta, vouchers commonly need to be employed inside the 12 months. But, for tickets purchased in advance of April 17, 2020, for original journey by March 31, 2021, you can use your voucher for journey right up until Dec. 31, 2022.

Southwest places credits into vacation money which commonly can be applied for a flight that requires put inside of a person yr of difficulty. But for pandemic-era flights, it extended the vacation day to Sept. 7, 2022.

Can I improve my location or change travelers?

“Most airlines address their vouchers or credits like a gift card,” states Keyes. “That signifies you really do not have to re-guide the exact route.”

But switching travelers is a different tale.

“Most airways do not permit you to modify the traveler on a flight credit. It should be made use of by the authentic passenger,” states Pedroni.

But there are some exceptions. “If you have a voucher with American (not a flight credit), you can use it to e-book travel for any one,” states Keyes. “On United, if you have a vacation certification, (not a long term flight credit history), you can do the exact same. On Delta, you can use your voucher to shell out for a further person’s flight, but you have to be ticketed on the exact reservation.”

A plane takes off from Logan Airport.
A aircraft normally takes off from Logan Airport.Pat Greenhouse/World Team/Boston Globe

What if there is a fare variation?

Alas, if the new ticket you are acquiring expenses additional than the price of your credit score or voucher, you will need to shell out the variation at reserving. If the new ticket is lessen, most major airlines will give you the variance again in a journey credit rating.

But not all. There are airways that will only allow for you to use the credit on one new trip, and any unused worth is lost. “This is an vital concern to ask your provider,” claims Pedroni. “If you have a significant worth ticket credit and your new trip is at a reduced charge, you need to look at upgrading so you really don’t reduce that worth.”

What if I’m not ready to guide a flight and my voucher is expiring?

First, there is the uncomplicated alternative. “Simply phone and check with for your expiration date to be prolonged,” advises Keyes. “Airlines have been a lot far more accommodating than typical, but you nevertheless want to proactively inquire.”

If that does not function, you could e-book a flight that delivers totally free alterations. “While you’ll have to spend the difference if the fare rises, you will be equipped to improve dates without having an excess cost and you won’t reduce the worth of your voucher,” claims Keyes.

But a word of caution: Several airlines’ overall flexibility guidelines pertaining to long term improvements and cancellations are established to expire on March 31.

When all else fails, really don’t be concerned to talk to

“It definitely does not damage to call the airline and question for an exception on their current coverage,” states Pedroni. “In some occasions, we’ve been ready to get additional extensions or the means to transfer the credit history to an additional traveler. But these are normally exceptions not the rule.”

So, suitable now, with that airline voucher or credit sitting down in your fingers, log on to the airline’s web page, and study the great print cautiously. “How several credits or vouchers can you use on one particular booking? Can you use it for bag costs and other extras? Can you use them on spouse airways? These are all matters to glimpse for further than expiration guidelines,” states Keyes.


Diane Bair and Pamela Wright can be achieved at [email protected]