Delta has just set a new standard among US airlines when it comes to voucher validity… at least for a limited time.
Airline vouchers have been a hot topic
One major point of frustration for consumers has been the way that airlines are issuing vouchers to customers when they change or cancel flights. Airlines are doing everything they can to avoid providing refunds, given that airlines are largely in a cash bind.
Whenever possible airlines are trying to get customers to accept vouchers, even when they would technically be entitled to a cash refund.
One of the major issues with travel credits is that generally speaking, most are valid for a year from the date the ticket was issued. If a ticket was issued in May 2019 for travel in April 2020, and if you had to cancel, technically that ticket may only be valid for about another month.
Delta makes vouchers valid for 24 months
Historically credits from past Delta tickets have expired one year from the date of ticket purchase, but for now Delta will be providing some relief. This applies to select tickets, including:
- Those who have tickets booked as of April 3, 2020, for travel in April or May of 2020
- Those who have existing eCredits or canceled travel from flights in March, April, or May 2020
Those passengers can use their travel credits from any changed or cancelled flights through May 31, 2022, giving them at least two years to use their credits.
New tickets purchased between March 1 and May 31, 2020, can be changed without a fee for up to a year from the date of purchase.
This is a smart move on Delta’s part. If airlines want to encourage (or even force) passengers to accept vouchers, then they need significantly greater validity than they’ve had in the past. Having ticket credits valid through May 31, 2022, seems much more reasonable than having credits only valid for a year from the date of issue.
I think American Airlines also deserves some credit with regards to vouchers. While vouchers expire after a year, American is anecdotally offering a 20% bonus to those accepting a voucher over cash.
On the other end of the spectrum, Frontier Airlines continues to require passengers to apply credits within 90 days of cancellation, which is outrageous…
Does airline voucher validity impact whether or not you’d be comfortable accepting that rather than cash?