Using Airline Vouchers from 2020

We had bucket list travel booked for 2020, which, unfortunately, we had to cancel. The airlines provided a credit or voucher of some sort for a future trip. Using these airline vouchers from 2020 turned out to be a bit of a jigsaw puzzle. I figure many of you are in the same boat, so I wanted to share our experience. I hope it helps.

We had flights booked on United, Frontier, and Alaska Airlines. United and Alaska Airlines were generous in their credits or vouchers for future flights. They gave us an extended window to travel.

Frontier Airlines

Frontier was the least flexible. Their time frame was only a few months, so we just lost our money on that one. Fortunately, Frontier was the cheapest by far. I guess the adage holds true in travel. You get what you pay for.

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines issued a credit certificate. This flight was originally from Anchorage to King Salmon. The booking deadline on the credit was Dec. 31, 2021.

Using this certificate was pretty straightforward. There was only 1 hiccup. It could only be used on an Alaska Airlines plane. While one can book a flight from many cities, some segments are on a partner airline which did not work with the certificate. So, we used this certificate to book a flight from Dallas to Seattle in summer 2022 which probably means we end up driving to Dallas.

United Airlines

We had 2 flights booked on United Airlines in 2020. The tickets were to Anchorage and Miami. The result was 2 different types of vouchers: a flight credit and a travel certificate.

The United voucher situation was trickier. The first issue I encountered was that the date restrictions changed at least 3 times without any alert. (So, if you have credits on United, recheck the dates.)

The second issue was that the flight credit rules were different from the rules for the travel certificate (per the United agent).

If needed, we could add money to flight credit to cover a future flight but not the travel certificate. And I had to work with an agent to cover the remaining cost. Their website wouldn’t let me do it on my own.

The third challenge was that the travel certificate (originally for Anchorage) could be split into 2 future flights under a couple of conditions. The 2 flights had to cover the same people, and the amount for the 2 flights had to be less than the original tickets’ cost.

I made the Anchorage airfare cover 2 sets of flights in 2022 by looking at United hubs and strategically picking the dates. We chose Denver and Newark.

I used the Miami flight credit to cover a multi-city flight in late 2021 to Philadephia and Boston. Here is when I had to work with the agent to add some money.

Are you confused??? Me too!!! However, now that it is settled, I am SUPER excited about these upcoming adventures!

Do you have airline vouchers from 2020 to use? I hope you can plan an awesome trip that you’ll remember for a lifetime. Hopefully, the process will go smoothly. But just in case… May the Force be with you!

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