Cancel a Flight for an Airline Voucher? 5 Things You Need to Know
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Cancel a Flight for an Airline Voucher? 5 Things You Need to Know

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So, you canceled your upcoming flight for a travel voucher in return. Trust us: You’re not alone.

Airlines are handing out these vouchers and credits for future travel like candy. All the major carriers are offering them for flights scheduled through May as travelers stay home to combat coronavirus. And by all accounts, travelers are taking them in droves.

Looking for a refund instead of a voucher? Here’s what you need to know.

But what now? How do you use them? What strings may be attached? Here’s what you need to know to make the most of them.

 


 

1. Each Policy is Different

If you haven’t canceled your flight for a voucher yet, be sure to do that first.

Every airline handles these policies somewhat differently, so make sure to read our guide with all the major airlines’ change and cancellation policies. Generally speaking, you can change any flight scheduled through May for free – or cancel for a voucher. The same policy applies to any ticket booked in March and early April for any future travel.

And if you get a voucher, most airlines handle them basically the same: That voucher will be good for a year from the date that you originally purchased the ticket. And you have to travel by that date – not just book a new trip before then.

Thrifty Tip: Not able to take a new trip in that timeframe? Keep reading for some advice on how to try for an extension.

You can use these vouchers towards any flight – not just rebooking the exact same trip you canceled. And in most (but not all, with United) cases, you can use the voucher multiple times until you use up the entire balance.

 

2. Check That Your Voucher is in Your Account

Once canceled, you need to know the policy of the airline you’ve received a voucher from. And to make matters more complicated, each airline tends to call their vouchers – credits to use towards future travel – something different.

This is how you can use vouchers from the three major U.S. carriers:

American eVouchers:

  • Find your eVoucher number and PIN number by clicking on the link sent to you via email or from the customer service agent that processed your cancellation.

 

Delta eCredits:

  • Your unused tickets will appear as eCredits within My Wallet within 24 hours of completing your cancellation.
  • You can also view your eCredits by going to delta.com/redeem and logging in.
  • If your reservation did not include a SkyMiles number at the time of booking, you will need to locate your 13-digit ticket number beginning with 006.
  • Important: Delta will typically issue eCredits separately to each passenger booked on the reservation, rather than issuing one large eCredit to the person who initially booked the flights.

 

I recently canceled one of my Delta flights. Here’s where’ you’ll find the eCredits in My Wallet (be sure you’re using a desktop computer rather than the Delta app):

delta voucher
United travel certificates:

  • Find your certificate code from the customer service agent that processed your cancellation, or in your confirmation of cancellation email.
  • If your travel certificate starts with code TCVA, you can redeem your certificate at the time of payment for a new flight.

Having trouble locating that voucher or credit? Send a direct message to your airline via Twitter

3. Know How to Redeem Your Voucher

Once again, the major airlines handle this differently. Here’s a look at how you can use each of them.

American eVouchers:

  • Find your eVoucher # and PIN # by clicking on the link sent to you via email or from the customer service agent that processed your cancellation.
  • You may use up to eight eVouchers at one time.
  • If the total price of the ticket exceeds the value of your eVoucher(s), you may use a credit card for any remaining balance.
  • When you’re ready to book a new flight, search and select the new flights as normal. Then, enter both the eVoucher number and PIN on the payment screen.
  • eVouchers are redeemable for flights operated by American Airlines, American Eagle, and Oneworld carriers for flights originating from the U.S., Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Learn more about American eVouchers.

 

Delta eCredits:

  • Delta eCredits can be applied as payment toward the cost of a Delta ticket, taxes and fees.
  • You can use up to three eCredits per passenger.
  • Your unused tickets will appear as eCredits within My Wallet within 24 hours of completing your cancellation.
  • You can also view your eCredits by going to delta.com/redeem and logging in.
  • If your reservation did not include a SkyMiles number at the time of booking, you will need to locate your 13-digit ticket number beginning with 006.
  • Learn more about Delta eCredits.

You can see your eCredits in My Wallet or at delta.com/redeem. Select up to 3 eCredits.
delta voucher

Once you have your eCredits selected, click “Continue” at the bottom of the page and you can search for a flight to apply your eCredit to.
delta voucher

United travel certificates:
  • If your travel certificate starts with code TCVA, you can redeem your certificate at the time of payment for a new flight.
  • When you reach the Payment page, select “United payment types.” You will see an option to redeem a travel certificate. Enter your certificate number or PIN and select “Apply”.
  • Learn more about United travel certificates.

 

4. Use it Or Lose It

This is likely the most important thing you need to know about airline vouchers: They expire. 

Generally, vouchers are valid for one year from the original date that you booked your initial ticket. However, in this extenuating circumstance, the policy isn’t very clear. Be sure you know the airlines’ policy and when you need to use your voucher by. You can also find your voucher expiration date in your account, like the Delta eCredit example here:
voucher

Here’s what the three major U.S. airlines state about voucher expiration dates:

American: It’s not fully clear if the change policy also applies to canceled bookings with vouchers issued, but American says if you change your trip or cancel to rebook later, “Travel must start by Dec. 31, 2020 or within 1 year of date the ticket was issued, whichever is earlier.” Read American’s policy here.

Delta: Again, the distinction between the change policy and cancel policy isn’t very clear, but Delta states: “You can cancel and/or change travel by December 31, 2020, or your ticket expiration date.” I recently canceled a booking for March I had booked in December 2019 and received a voucher that expires Dec. 30, 2020. Read Delta’s policy here.

United: With United, if you cancel a flight eligible for free cancellations, you can use the voucher for travel up to 12 months from the original ticket issue date. United also states: “For tickets issued on or before March 2nd, new tickets must be reissued on/before Dec. 31, 2020 or 12 months from the original ticket date, whichever is earlier.”  Read the full policy here.

Can’t travel within those timeframes? We’ve seen some reports that airlines will grant an extension to give you longer to use up that voucher or credit. Slide into your airline’s DMs on Twitter. It never hurts to ask – nicely!

 

5. Use Our Flight Deals to Rebook for Cheap

Depending on which airline you’ve got a voucher for, this could mean you’ve got eight months or less to use it toward a new trip. Want to make your voucher stretch further? Take advantage of the cheap flights we find to rebook a new flight for later this year!

For domestic flight deals: We post the best flight deals we find within the U.S. here each day, and share them on social media and in our free daily newsletter. All flights can be booked directly with the airline.

Looking for international flight deals? Join Thrifty Traveler Premium! Our Premium members get instant email alerts of the hottest deals we find. All flights can be booked directly with the airline.

Here are a few common questions in regards to rebooking:

  • You do not have to rebook for the same destination. You can use your voucher for any flight!
  • Apply one or more vouchers towards a new booking.
  • If your voucher doesn’t cover the full cost, pay the rest with a card (just like using a gift card).

 

Bottom Line

Don’t let your travel vouchers go to waste! Be sure you know how to find, redeem, and use your airline vouchers before they expire.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

7 Responses

  • Hi Friends,
    We have two flights in late May on Finnair, return in early June. Finnair canceled all flights until June 30. Per email they encourage us to get a voucher, valid until Nov. 30!!), no refunds. The voucher should be applied for on their website, no email possible, long lines for phone in. We are unsure how to proceed. Since the airline canceled flights up to June 30, we should be refunded. Do we start with the airline, contesting a voucher, should we contest the reimbursement through our credit card (which seemed to be the best solution?). Are you aware of other possibilities?

    • If your Finnair flights depart/return to the U.S., you are entitled to a refund. Start with the airline’s customer service and tell them you would rather get a refund as legally required by the DOT.

  • We had booked flights from Minneapolis to Berlin through Delta(KLM) for April 8-18th. We recently received an email from KLM that our one leg of our flight going to Berlin was cancelled. If they cancel some or all of our flights is it possible to get a refund rather than a voucher? Considering there was two legs to get to Berlin and then two legs to get back from Vienna, should we wait till they cancel more of the legs? KLMs message said we could get a voucher for the cancelled flight, but I was thinking if they cancelled it we would have the option for a refund.
    Any advice?

  • My wife and I were suppose to leave April 2, 2020 for a three month trip throughout Europe. For obvious reasons, we cancelled the trip on March 10th, 2020. A portion of our trip included two flights on Aegean Airlines, to fly in June 2020 from Istanbul to Athens and another flight Athens to Rome. Since we are not going to Europe in 2020, we tried to cancel or even get a voucher from Aegean Airlines. They will give us a voucher good for one year from the “date we purchased” our tickets – which expires December 4, 2020. We would be willing to accept vouchers for travel from our original travel date which is June, but December does not work. Do we have any recourse? Also, please note: Aegean Airlines are very difficult to work with.

    • I would continue to ask nicely for an extension on the vouchers. Airlines are starting to go out of their way to play nice with passengers rather than get forced into providing refunds.

  • we are looking at options for our Seattle flight in June that we booked with Chase points through Alaskan airlines. We are having a hard time understanding the difference between the “MyAccount” deposit versus the “credit certificate”? Any advice would be appreciated!

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