What to do if your airline ticket voucher expires – NBC10 Philadelphia
If you’ve booked or canceled a flight during the pandemic, you’ve probably noticed that airlines have updated their policies for issuing and using vouchers.
Now a number of airline coupons are approaching their expiration date.
Christina Liao is one of those passengers who could be affected by the expiration of ticket vouchers. In December 2020, she booked four tickets on American Airlines. She was planning to take her young children to Orlando in April 2021.
When the family couldn’t get the vaccine in time for the trip, Liao decided to put it on hold.
“American Airlines quickly emailed me saying, âHey, you know, your trip was canceled. Rest assured, your travel credit with us is safe, and come back to us when you’re ready to change reservations, âLiao said.
The email didn’t mention an expiration date for her travel credit. So Liao said he called the airline and learned that it had to book flights and travel by the end of 2021.
But for Liao: that’s a problem. According to her, her children are not yet eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. For this reason, she is not comfortable traveling. She asked American Airlines to extend her travel credits until 2022, but her request was denied.
Seeking help, she filed a complaint with the US Department of Transportation and contacted NBC10 Responds.
NBC10 Responds asked American Airlines what it recommends passengers do if their airline ticket vouchers expire and they are not eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine according to CDC guidelines.
American Airlines responded, âOur policy clearly states that airline tickets have a validity period of 12 months and as such travel credits also have a validity period of 12 months. That said, our team has worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to take care of our customers, including providing additional flexibility to ensure those who wish to change their travel plans have options and time to do so. .
Speaking on Liao’s case, the airline said, âIn this case, we are giving the customer additional flexibility to use their travel credits in 2022. As we welcome travelers into the air, we continue to evaluate our travel exemption and travel credit policies during these uncertain times.
Industry-wide impact on consumers
The issue of expiration of airfare vouchers is not unique to one airline.
“Right now it’s a giant problem, and it will only get worse,” according to consumer group Travelers United.
The group said expiration of airfare vouchers is an industry-wide problem and that it wants airlines to change their policies so that vouchers never expire.
“The president and the transport secretary can just say we make an emergency rule and then we can move forward, âsaid Travelers United chairman Charlie Leocha, adding that if you are denied an extension like Liao , you can file a complaint with the Ministry of Transport.
“I think the more responses we get from the airlines, the more they will change, âsaid Leocha.
Travelers United told NBC10 Responds that they have a meeting with the U.S. Secretary of Transportation in the coming weeks to discuss airline voucher policies.
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