The more you travel, the more likely that an airline will have to issue you an airline voucher due to an inconvenience such as overbooking a flight or losing your luggage. Travel vouchers vary depending on the airline, but if you’re lucky, you could end up hitting the jackpot with a free flight in exchange for giving up your seat on a flight and killing time in the airport.
Like anything else, airline-issued flight vouchers often come with a list of rules and restrictions, so before you accept a travel voucher, keep these questions in mind.
Am I Getting The Most Out Of The Airline Voucher?
If an airline overbooks a flight and volunteers to take a later flight are nowhere to be found, don’t be afraid to negotiate the voucher compensation. Ask to extend the expiration date, see if you can fly on blackout days and request for more than what the airline is offering.
Is The Voucher Transferable?
If you know you won’t need the voucher anytime soon, see if you can use the voucher to buy a ticket for someone else. Most airlines will only allow the voucher to be used by the person that received it but inquire with the airline to be sure.
What Happens If I Don’t Use The Entire Amount Of The Voucher?
Want to use that $600 voucher on a flight that’s only $400? There’s a good chance that you’ll lose that remaining $200. Ask to see if you can use the entire amount of the voucher for more than one flight or see if it’s possible to get your voucher in smaller increments.
Does The Voucher Cover The Entire Ticket Price?
This is when reading the fine print will come in handy. Some vouchers require you to still come out of pocket for fees and taxes, and others even require you to foot the bill for the pricey fuel surcharge. Make sure you know exactly what your voucher really covers.
Should I Take Cash Instead?
Depending on the situation, an airline may have to shell out big bucks for involuntarily bumping a passenger from a flight. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation:
“Bumped passengers who experience short delays on flights will receive compensation equal to double the one-way price of the flight they were bumped from, up to $675. Passengers experiencing longer delays on flights will receive payments of four times the one-way value of the flight they were bumped from, up to $1,350.”
An airline voucher can be an added incentive to take one more trip or see one more destination, just be sure you have all of the right information before you trade your time for one.