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Mind your vouchers

Big article in WSJ today about travel vouchers given out last year approaching their expiration date and what to do about that. It's behind a paywall so can't share a link, but here are some highlights of their advice:

Calendar the actual dates (duh). Carefully read the terms on each voucher. "Beg for mercy" from mean airlines. Complain to the US Dept of Transportation if you were forced to take a voucher instead of a refund (this seems to be a big issue with international airlines). "Game the system," meaning pay to extend a voucher or put it towards a shorter trip and get a new voucher for the unused balance.

I would add, if you have a lot at stake, contact consumer reporters in your area at newspapers or TV stations (you know, those 7 On Your Side and I-Team types). They love a juicy big bad company mistreating a poor defenseless customer story. You could also try a national reporter like Christopher Elliott. It's amazing how in these stories when the reporter contacts the airline, hotel, cruise line, etc., the next day they suddenly decide to make the consumer whole purely by coincidence.

Apparently another tactic is to use Twitter to reach different areas of the company and hashtagging your heart out.

Posted by
2204 posts

If this is useful to anyone, this week American updated its policy and vouchers due to expire this year between Jan 1 and May 31 have automatically had their expiration date extended to March 31 2022.

Posted by
5640 posts

Not exactly on topic, but I found that Hotels.com extended the validity of "free nights" to December 31, 2021 -- we earned two nights on a December 2019 trip.

Posted by
2709 posts

British Airways has already extended their vouchers into 2023.

Posted by
186 posts

Just received an email from United extending my vouchers through 31 March 2022. I suspect other major carriers will also push back to that date; however, prudence dictates checking it out with your particular carrier.