Airlines will frequently reimburse you at least partially for any changes, cancellations, or bumps you have in the form of vouchers or travel credits that you can apply to another trip. Nowadays, the largest American airlines provide passengers with a level of freedom never seen before.
Major US airlines eliminated change fees on nearly all of their flights during the worst of the outbreak. Travelers can still take advantage of this flexibility by rebooking or changing their current bookings when costs drop. As long as they purchase a main cabin fare or above, they can even keep the difference as a credit or voucher. This flexibility is lost on basic economy fares.
However, it’s not always easy to use these coupons or ecredits to create a new travel reservation. As a passenger, it is your responsibility to ensure that you receive your earned vouchers and know when and how to spend them. They’re most likely wagering that you won’t remember to use them at all. All airlines refer to their credit offerings differently; some name them Southwest LUV vouchers, United future flight credits, or Delta eCredits. All of them ultimately serve the same purpose, though: They serve as money for your subsequent travel.
An airline voucher or travel credit: what are they?
A travel credit or airline voucher is similar to a gift card or coupon that the airline issues and can be used for future travel reservations. Usually, the price of a flight can be deducted from the coupon or travel credit. When you decide to cancel your flight, the majority of airlines will refund your money in the form of a travel credit or voucher that is equal to the cost of your ticket.
However, be advised that if an airline cancels or significantly alters your travel, they may attempt to convince you to take a coupon. Travelers, however, are entitled to a complete cash refund under US legislation. Airlines such as Delta will allow you to keep the difference as a credit or voucher if prices drop and you choose to switch to a less expensive itinerary. As long as you’re reserving a main cabin fare rather than basic economy, most airlines have eliminated change costs permanently, making this much simpler than it was before the pandemic.
How then do you use these coupons and credits after you’ve obtained them?
A voucher or travel credit should be on its way to your airline account as soon as you cancel your ticket or click “purchase” to rebook your less expensive tickets. But it’s not always like that. Recently, Delta has only been providing new Delta credits via email rather than automatically adding them to a traveler’s online account. and forcing you to read the content from bottom to top to locate it.
A Brief Overview of Delta eCredits
Travelers who choose to change their Delta flight for whatever reason are given Delta eCredits, which they can use to offset the cost of a subsequent Delta ticket. If you have a main cabin rate or higher, you can cancel your flight for an eCredit equal to the face value of your original ticket because Delta no longer charges change or cancellation fees for those fares. Additionally, you can receive an eCredit to cover the difference in price if you switch to a less expensive flight.
However, there is a $99 to $199 fee to receive an eCredit for the least expensive Delta basic economy prices. Accordingly, travelers who cancel a basic economy ticket on Delta will receive an eCredit for the trip they were unable to take, less the cancellation cost. If the cancellation fee exceeds the original ticket’s value, they will not receive any credit at all.
Recall that basic economy fares on Delta no longer qualify you for SkyMiles or credits toward elite membership. Without your intervention, any eCredits you receive from Delta usually appear in your account under “Certificates, Vouchers & eCredits” within 24 hours, sometimes even sooner. Currently, however, Delta may only issue a new Delta eCredit by email, hiding it at the end of a long and otherwise uninteresting confirmation message, rather than instantly adding it to a traveler’s online account.
How to Exchange Your eCredits for Delta
These days, redeeming your Delta eCredits is a lot simpler. You should be able to choose to pay using eCredits when you’ve selected your flights and are prepared to check out, provided that you’re signed into your SkyMiles account and your eCredits are saved there. Up to five eCredits can now be used simultaneously with Delta.
To access your available eCredits, simply click the “Use eCredits” button under the payment area. When you choose the credit or credits you wish to use against your flight, it will begin to operate immediately. You’ll just need to pay the difference if your flight costs more. If the difference is less, Delta will give you a fresh credit. It’s not possible to rebook a vacation for you and a friend or even the entire family with Delta eCredits because they aren’t transferrable.
Understanding American Airlines Travel Credit
Travel credits are available from American Airlines in three different forms: trip credits, flight credits, and travel vouchers. You can reserve flights using any of these. You’ve probably been given a “Flight Credit” if you willingly modified or canceled your flight. Flight credits are not redeemable for seats or baggage, nor can they be applied to award reservations or be used to plan another trip on American.
As previously stated, it’s critical to be aware of expiration dates. A year is the expiration date of flight credits, and you have to take the trip, not simply schedule it. Another thing to keep in mind is that flight credits are only usable by the person who first purchased the ticket; they cannot be transferred or applied to another person’s reservation.
You can log in to your AAdvantage account to view your available flight credits in your wallet. If not, you can use your ticket and confirmation numbers to check your canceled trip, and you should be able to see the flight credit. “Travel Vouchers” are also available from American. They can be used to arrange travel for anyone, but they are only redeemable for flights, just like flight credits.
All you have to do is plan a trip before these vouchers expire—they expire one year after they are issued. On the other side, “trip credits” are usually awarded as payment, a refund, or if you’re switching to a less-priced ticket. Trip credits can be utilized, just like travel vouchers, to reserve travel for many people, but you’ll need to give them a call.
If you have an AAdvantage account, the majority of trip credits will show up there. Additionally, American will email you the trip credit number, which you will need to have on hand in case you choose to use it to reserve a different ticket.
Usage Guidelines for American Airlines Travel Credit
It’s not as easy as it should be to redeem your American Airlines certificates and credits. You ought to be able to select “Add a Flight Credit” or “Add a Trip Credit” from the payment screen when you book a flight. You must have your confirmation number, ticket number, and trip credit number on hand to redeem flight credits.
You will need to give an agent a call to utilize more than one flight credit at once. In the interim, you can use up to eight trip credits for an online reservation; but, you will need to give them a call to use them for another passenger.
Choose “Other forms of payment” from the payment screen to redeem a travel coupon. To redeem a travel coupon, you need to provide a number and a PIN, which should have been sent to you via email. Vouchers can be used to arrange travel for multiple persons and up to eight vouchers can be used at once.
Understanding United Airlines Travel Credits
Future flight credits and trip certificates are the two categories of travel credits offered by United Airlines. If you need to cancel your trip or switch to a less expensive ticket, United Airlines will give you a “Future Flight Credit.” Additionally, United, like the majority of airlines, has permanently eliminated change costs for any bookings made for more than a basic economy ticket.
Travel on United, United Express, and partner-operated aircraft can be arranged with future flight credits. You can use your future flight credits to upgrade your seat when you book your ticket, unlike some airlines that only offer travel credits. The credits must be booked AND used for the trip by the date they expire, which is typically one year from the date of issuance.
If a passenger gets bumped off an oversold aircraft or offers to give up their ticket, United occasionally issues what the company refers to as a “travel certificate.” With one exception, you can use these coupons to book future travel in the same manner as future flight credits: you just need to schedule your trip before the voucher expires; you don’t have to take the trip before then.
The normal validity period for future flight credits and travel certificates is one year from the date of issuance; however, to redeem a future flight credit, you must book your flight and travel before the credit expires.
Using Your Travel Credits on United Airlines
You can choose “Travel Credits” as an option after deciding on your new United flights. All of your available travel credits should be visible if you are signed into your United MileagePlus account. When you tick the box next to the credit you want to use, the money will be added instantly to your purchase. Do not possess an account? On the payment page, you may instantly check your credit balance and add it to your shopping cart.
Multiple credits may be used on a single purchase with United, but they must be of the same kind. It is not possible to combine travel certificates with future flight credits. The majority of future flight credits are exclusive to the passenger to whom they were granted, meaning that they cannot be transferred. Conversely, anyone can reserve a trip using a travel certificate.
Southwest Airlines Vouchers and Flight Credits
When it comes to travel credits, Southwest has some of the easiest to understand. You can use what the airline refers to as a “flight credit” to book another Southwest flight if you choose to cancel your original flight or downgrade to a less expensive fare. Changing or canceling your flight doesn’t cost anything.
What’s the best aspect? About Southwest airline credits, there is never any “use it or lose it” pressure because they never expire.
Go to your Rapid Rewards account’s Payment section to view the flight credits you have available. If you don’t have an account, you can still see your travel credits by using the Check Travel Funds page and entering the six-digit confirmation number from your booking.
How to Use LUV Vouchers and Flight Credits on Southwest
- Once more, the procedure is quite simple.
- On the payment screen, while making a reservation, you will have the choice to apply a flight credit or LUV coupon. You may combine both flight credits and vouchers, up to a maximum of two per use. Credit card payments or other approved payment methods are required for all charges.
Does Your Voucher Work with Another Airline?
The quick response is in the affirmative. With your voucher, some airlines let you book flights on a different airline that is one of their partners. Because they are all members of the Oneworld airline alliance, you can use an American Airlines voucher, for instance, to buy a journey on British Airways or Iberia. As a general rule of thumb, you should be able to utilize it as long as it can be booked through the airline that issued the voucher or credit.