When Do Each Major Airline’s COVID Travel Credits Expire?
Depending on when you booked, your flight voucher might soon be invalidated
It’s been almost an entire year since the initial shutdowns began in several states across the country with public gatherings being called off, travel bans instated and businesses closing their doors — some of them, permanently. A grim milestone, to be sure. That means it’s also been an entire calendar year since travelers began preemptively canceling flights, a trend that would continue over the ensuing months, even among people who optimistically made travel plans after those shutdowns began.
If you were one of those travelers, chances are you still have some credit stashed away in a travel bank somewhere, and seeing as though we’re still very much in the throes of a pandemic, you may not have given much thought as to how or when you’ll be using said credit. Nonetheless, it may be time to check back on those flight vouchers, as some flyers are reportedly finding that the expiration date on their credit is fast approaching.
It’s worth noting that policies vary from airline to airline, and they’re continually changing as new developments come to light that affect travel. What stands today may not necessarily stand tomorrow. That said, it’s worth having some grasp on how much time you’ve got left to book, so we went ahead and checked with all the major airlines to see how long your credit is good.
Read them and (hopefully don’t) weep.
There are three different forms of travel credit: “Flight Credit,” “Travel Vouchers” and “Trip Credit” — if your flight was canceled for reasons relating to COVID, you should have received “Flight Credit.” It can be used for travel completed by December 31, 2021 if the initial ticket was booked on or before September 30, 2020 and the impacted travel dates were or are between March 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. All other credit, including that which was booked after September 30, is good for up to a year from the date of issue.
Any credit issued on or after March 1, 2020 set to expire on or before July 5, 2021, is now valid through December 31, 2021. Otherwise, credit is valid for a year from the issue date of your original ticket or 30 days from the date of exchange or cancellation — whichever is greater.
“eCredit” issued for tickets booked prior to April 17, 2020, for travel scheduled between March 2020 and March 2021, is now valid through December 31, 2022. If your flight was booked after April 17, you have the standard year-from-the-date-of-purchase to use your credit.
All vouchers that are issued have a 90-day redemption period. Though they can be used on bookings up to 12 months out, they do still need to be redeemed prior to their expiration date.
Travel credit issued into your travel bank between February 27, 2020 and June 30, 2020 is now valid for 24 months from the day of issuance, as opposed to 12. Credit issued after June 30, however, is only good for one calendar year.
“Funds” that were set to expire, or that were issued between March 1, 2020 and September 7, 2020, are now valid through September 7, 2022. Funds distributed after September 2020, though, expire a year from the time of the original purchase.
All credits that have been issued since March of 2020 are redeemable for trips traveled by December 31, 2021, but they must be booked by September 30, 2021.
“Future flight credit” for tickets issued between May 1, 2019 and March 31, 2021, is now valid for travel taking place on, or before, March 31, 2022.
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