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I booked my canceled flight using a travel voucher; will the airline issue another one?

March 18, 2020
4 min read
I booked my canceled flight using a travel voucher; will the airline issue another one?
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If your travel plans have been interrupted in recent days due to the novel coronavirus disease known as COVID-19, you've probably double and triple-checked whether your itinerary is eligible for a change or cancellation. Airlines have been forced to cancel hundreds of flights as President Trump announced new restrictions on travel to the U.S. Borders around the world have closed and airline routes have been canceled.

Get Coronavirus travel updates. Stay on top of industry impacts, flight cancellations, and more.

Many airlines have announced travel waivers to lessen the burden. In recent days, some airlines have also put policies in place that address award bookings.

But how does the policy work for travel vouchers? Airlines often use vouchers as an incentive for travelers to voluntary bump or to compensate for delays. If you booked your flight using a travel voucher you previously received from the airline, what does that mean for you? We'll update this post as we hear back from the airlines.

Here's what the airlines said.

Southwest

Southwest hasn’t issued a formal fee waiver because the carrier already allows award tickets to be changed or canceled without penalty. Additionally, Southwest will also allow customers to change their flight dates and times at no additional cost.

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"Southwest LUV Vouchers are valid as a form of payment toward future airfare," a Southwest spokesperson told TPG. "Southwest Airlines never charges customers a fee to change or cancel their flight. If a customer’s plans change, or they decide they no longer want to travel, the funds used to pay for their flight can be applied to future travel – as long as they cancel their flight at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled departure. The funds are valid for future travel up to one year from the original purchase date and must be used by the individual named on the ticket."

United

United, which has made news in recent days for updating its schedule-change policy four times, says its travel vouchers will be treated like a regular ticket.

"If the customer has paid for their ticket with a travel voucher and the flight they are on cancels due to the virus, [it] will be handled just like any other ticket," a United spokesperson told TPG. The customer can use the value of the ticket for up to 12 months from the ticket issuance date without a fee."

American

American has previously said it would waive change fees on all bookings for travel through April 30, so long as the new ticket is issued on or before Dec. 31. The updated itinerary must take place within 12 months of the originally booked travel dates.

Its policy doesn't specifically address travel vouchers (or award tickets, for that matter) but an American spokesperson told TPG that if a ticket booked using a travel voucher was canceled, the airline would issue a new electronic voucher.

JetBlue

JetBlue was one of the first airlines to announce a waiver of change and cancellation fees for new reservations. Customers who canceled their flights between Feb. 27 and March 11 were issued a credit to be used later. While JetBlue hasn't specifically addressed travel vouchers online, the airline told TPG that flights booked with a travel bank credit that was canceled due to coronavirus fears would be credited back to the customer's account.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees