Is your airline voucher from a canceled trip about to expire? Here’s what to do

When Liza Schejtman-Bach couldn’t use her flight credits, she thought she would lose them. She’d planned a family trip to Malaga, Spain, earlier this year. Then the pandemic hit, and her airline offered flight vouchers instead of a refund.

“I won’t be traveling anytime soon,” says Schejtman-Bach, a state employee who lives in Hackensack, New Jersey, and has an autoimmune disorder that puts her at higher risk if she contracts COVID-19. 

Her problem may soon become your problem. At the start of the pandemic, a lot of air travelers accepted ticket credits instead of refunds. But those vouchers will expire before long, leaving them with worthless scrip. And the airline gets to keep their money.

“This is a tough one,” says Jeff Klee, CEO of Typically, passengers could get full refunds only if the airline canceled their flights, he says. Travelers who canceled before the airline did had to accept a credit – an expiring credit.

After a two-month fight, Schejtman-Bach disputed the charges on her credit card and received a full refund. But not everyone is so lucky. It turns out there are three flavors of ticket credits, each with its own rules and refund options.

Time is running out to use these vouchers, and that’s particularly true if your airline goes out of business. Fortunately, there are ways to get your money back now.

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