How NOT To Redeem An American Airlines Paper Travel Voucher

Filed Under: Advice, American

Recently my friend/blog reader/contest winner/fellow accidental fetish bar goer/RTW companion Andrew B was sharing a rough experience with redeeming a travel voucher. He’s a smart guy, and pretty savvy when it comes to travel, so it’s a bit surprising he’s having this much trouble. He offered to share his experience to help others avoid similar mishaps.

My friends tell me about bad decisions they make while drunk. For me, poor judgment does not require alcohol. To wit, here’s my latest series of questionable life choices that cost me 500 bucks in travel credit.

Sometime in January, I received a $500 voucher from American Airlines for volunteering to take a later flight. I felt like a lottery winner (or a blog contest winner).

When I was ready to redeem the voucher, I called reservations. I told a very nice agent which flights I wanted. They priced at a couple hundred dollars. The agent told me I would need to mail the voucher to the airline. She gave me the mailing address to send the voucher to (as well as some magic words I needed to put on the envelope). I followed her instructions closely and dropped it in the mail the next morning.

This whole thing seemed a little odd to me. In an era where I can cash a check by snapping a photo of it and find casual sex partners with the swipe of a finger, why do I need to mail a paper voucher to some P.O. Box in Florida?

You can probably guess what happened next.

Weeks passed and I didn’t hear a peep from American about my reservation, and it didn’t appear on my AAdvantage account online. I called and was told that they had no record of any booking, or of my voucher being sent to them. I unfortunately did not retain a copy of the voucher or ask the reservations agent for the Record Locator number of my reservation.

Letters and phone calls to the airline have gone nowhere (which is, coincidentally, the only destination I can reach using my voucher now).

One of the planes I won’t be taking with my now non-existent voucher

Don’t be like me. Here’s how to make sure you don’t inadvertently forfeit an American Airlines paper voucher.

  • Treat the voucher like cash — or like your firstborn child. Don’t misplace it, don’t let it out of your sight, and for God’s sake, don’t leave it alone in a hot car while you run errands, even if you leave the windows open a crack.
  • When you’re ready to redeem the voucher, go to an American Airlines ticketing desk at your nearest airport. This way, there is no chance that it’ll get lost in the mail.
  • If you must redeem a voucher by mail, follow the agent’s instructions to the letter. Ask the reservations agent for the Record Locator number associated with your reservation, and write it down. Send the voucher using a trackable method and retain your proof of delivery. Make a photocopy of the voucher or take a picture of it with your phone.
  • If you happen to see me in public, run the other way. Seriously. I’m bad luck.

Feel free to use the comments to tell me how dumb I am. Go ahead. I deserve it.

Has anyone redeemed a paper voucher from American? How did it go?

  1. We live and we learn. I’ve done some silly stuff during my travels. I can’t help to laugh when I think of the rookie mistakes I made in the past! But those are all vital trips people should keep in mind 😉

  2. I’ve done that dozens of times in the past and never had any trouble. I’d bet $20 that both the voucher was lost in the mail or misplaced by AA *and* the agent who created the pnr forgot to suspend the ticketing deadline indefinitely. So your booking auto-cancelled.

    Items lost in the mail are very rare. Guess his number just came up.

  3. It sucks to deliver it in person due to the additional booking fees at the airport. Unless you’re EXP.

  4. I redeemed one at DCA with no trouble, except that they did not honor the fare prices shown online. They claimed that the online prices are “internet specials,” and I ended up paying about $100 extra for my ticket. So maybe you really only lost $400.

  5. I agree that the paper voucher process is inexcusably outdated. But I’ve used it five or six times with no problem. I’ve noted the record locator in a cover letter, of which I’ve kept a copy. But I’ve just used regular mail to send them in, and they’ve all been processed without a hitch.

  6. Writing your name, PNR and departure date on the envelope is key. They sort them unopened by departure date and work on them in order.

  7. That sucks. In 2008 I was flying every other week from DCA to TUS and picked up quite a few vouchers. All mailed using normal USPS no delivery confirmation methods and never had a problem. Must be super bad luck for you.

  8. Sorry to hear about your experience Andrew B. Hope the voucher turns up soon!

    I am surprised AA has such a dinosaur system for voucher. Years ago I got a UA voucher for the same reason as Andrew B. It was easily redeemable online at UA website. And if the ticket was less than the voucher value, you could use the remaining value at future bookings too.

  9. I tried to use a $100.00 AA evoucher on line. It was expiring July 7, 2015, so I booked a RT flight on the 787 for May 7, 2015, for $117.00. My voucher had a number and pin. I thought it took it as I paid for the res, but when I got my cc bill it had not taken off the $100.00. Wrote AA customer service several times from April 19, 2015 to August 1, 2015. After going around in circles, with AA web services, AA refund department and AA customer service, I finally got a real live person to call me back! and she reissued the evoucher with an additional year on the expiration date. I’ll be real careful the next time I try to use it. Thanks for your learning experience. AA should have a record of giving you a voucher on a certain date connected with a certain flight and what the number was. They should also be able to see if it was used, otherwise, it could be copied and used multiple times. Did you explor that with them?

  10. I redeem a ton of vouchers that get issued due to schedule/flight changes, and I love in Chile, so many times the cost to FedEx them to the US is almost as much as the voucher itself. I cannot understand how they are still working with this paper system. I understand that many companies want to make redemption of things like this as difficult as possible and thus discourage their use, but it just doesn’t seem right.

  11. I used an AA paper voucher this way: made a reservation online and put it on hold. Then went to the nearest airport (YVR) AA check in / ticketing desk and applied the voucher to the reservation, paid the balance by credit card. Easy.

  12. You are not dumb – AA’s voucher system is hopelessly (willfully?) broken.

    The mitigating steps you describe would not be necessary if the process worked correctly.

    Due to flight cancelation, I requested vouchers in Jan. After multiple follow-ups, I received the paper vouchers 10wks later. I booked new flights and sent in the vouchers (I kept a copy) as you describe above. After 4 wks with no update, I had to call up, and luckily they were able to process over the phone based on my ticket numbers (48hrs before flight). Then I was to get the unused balance of $900 back. I asked for the voucher number which I noted. The voucher never arrived, but as I had the numbers I could follow up – several times. Finally in late July and after much complaining by me, I got an email saying they would refund the balance to my credit card sometime in the next 2 billing cycles.

  13. That’s why I don’t sell anything on ebay.

    If you don’t know the voucher # and did not take a photo of it with yourself, how do you even know it wasn’t already stolen and used.

  14. Sorry for your misfortune. Your advice to go to the nearest AA ticketing office is good to know. I’ve redeemed a few of these and another thing to keep in mind about redeeming these vouchers is that I believe they require a 21 day advance booking, otherwise will not hold the itinerary while waiting for the credit voucher. By heading to an AA ticketing office perhaps the advance purchase requirements are different.

  15. I think the whole AA paper voucher system is ridiculous. I had one for $400 that took 8 mos to use. Because the restrictions were crazy, you couldn’t use it toward seat fees, upgrade fees, taxes and so much more. When I received it I was excited thinking I would use it toward a trip overseas. . But of course it can’t be used toward the taxes (which are often a few hundred dollars), only the base fare. Other airlines use evouchers or have voucher numbers so you can enter it online booking. Why AA is in the dark ages on this. I personally think they hope people forget abt them and don’t used them. I live in NYC and fortunately there is an AA ticket counter near Grand Central Station so I could go in person to book my flight. However, when I was offered an $800 voucher from Delta recently, I had a choice of voucher on Delta or gift cards. I took $800 worth of Amex gift cards!

  16. AA still lives in the Stone Age. I had to reach out to them to solve an issue my parents had when flying with them in paid business class (flight delay due to mechanical problem, missed international connection, did not get a hotel or any food, had to buy clothes since they did not get their luggage, etc…) and the only way to do it was by sending a letter or an email to AA Customer Relations. Well, the problem is that there is no way to reach out to that team other than by letter or email and after more than 30 days I sent them all the information all I got was an automated email with a protocol number that they received my case. Thus, no phone number, twitter, etc… and now I have no idea if and when they will reply to me with their response to my inquire. That is why I never volunteer myself to take another flight and get a stupid voucher. Once I am at the gate I am in the mood to travel so no matter what they offer me I will take my original flight.

  17. Wow wow wow. Not to rub salt on wounds but at delta when i get a voucher i have it on my skymiles account/vouchers in the matter if seconds. Im a rebell and i actually tear up the voucher right there once i see it on account. I had countless vouchers for the past Ten!!! Years at delta never used the paper voucher. Obe trick Delta sneaked in during the past 5 years that you can onlybyse ONE voucher at a time. About seven-eight years ago i remember i just checkmarked multiple vouchers in screen to pay for about $2000 ticket with no problem. Not any more.

  18. I could not complaint! AA always has a wonderfull service for Executive Platinum members! As I am foreigner, living outside USA, I could not use electronic vouchers. They always change the evoucher for paper voucher, and I redeem them by mail or at the office. Sometimes takes a little longer to redeem them, ( until 3 months), because they issue the tickets in order to the closer dates of flights. They always were very clear to me,regarding the process: 1) made a copy ,2) attach the original to your itinerary and write all the numbers and codes at the enveloped! 3) Send it by confirmation mail!
    If you do not made a copy, and do not have any registration of your mail, if the voucher is lost, I think that is your fault! you could not blame the company!

  19. I’d say you’ve suffered enough. But think this through — what if the flight you didn’t get to take was hijacked? And your life partner was on board? And you were a career Special Forces soldier? I’m thinking screenplay, somebody like Bruce Willis only younger and somebody like Halle Berry. Millions. There’s a role there for Steve Buscemi, too. Lots of violin music. And when the credits roll at the end, some janitors move a desk and the voucher letter falls to the floor. Overseas receipts. Action figures. Lunch boxes. Congratulations, you lucky dog!

  20. We had a similar experience in January of this year. Having the good fortune (due to overbooking?) on our AA return flight to HKG, AA was offering $1000 vouchers for folks willing to give up their seats and fly the following day. I was hesitant, but my wife (having the much more financially sound mindset) quickly convinced me. We were travelling with our little one and that would amount to 3 vouchers for all of us (plus food vouchers and a free night’s stay nearby). Once I de-stressed a bit (and had the vouchers in hand) I relaxed and we had an awesome family night on AA’s dime.

    Jump to a few months later and it’s time to book our annual flights stateside for the winter holidays. So I went through the exact same process as Andrew, only being in Hong Kong, I had to mail them to an AA center in Florida. It was an odd experience to be sure, as Andrew points out, because we live in this day and age of digital info and yet here I am on the phone (well Skype actually) and dealing with airline bookings by mail.

    I was particularly concerned at some of the warning information on the vouchers, which stated ‘Void if total value exceeds USD 1000’. Since we had 3 vouchers I wasn’t sure I’d be able to use all three on a single booking. A bit of googling though and I learned that this statement is a limit on voucher value (to prevent fraud), thus no single voucher itself can be more than $1000.

    I mailed the vouchers as per instruction and used an expedited tracking mail service from the Hong Kong post office (mistake, as I will explain). Then I waited…one week, two weeks, a month. I kept checking the AA site, which had listed the reservation as unconfirmed. We want back to the post office to check on the tracking, and were told that the tracking by HK service does not work once it gets within the United States (facepalm).

    Now I did have the sense to make scans of the vouchers, but just as I was about to call AA (around 10 weeks after the initial booking), the confirmation came through and my CC was charged with the amount reflecting the vouchers. (After reading @Alberto’s post above, I guess this timeframe seems about par for the course).

    Now that flight is still four months off, but the value was certainly worth the backchannel and drawn out nature of getting things done.

  21. Andrew, I’m sorry for your loss and expensive lesson, but I love your sense of humor! Thanks for sharing your hard-earned wisdom and wit.

  22. Thanks for the comments/feedback, everyone. @Mike, your comment made my day. But please, no Steve Buscemi — he’s just too weird-looking.

  23. Also AA vouchers get mailed to a different address now, before it was Milton FL (near Miami) now it’s Pensacola FL (NW part of state).

  24. Got a $1000 paper voucher earlier this year for a VDB at DFW to HKG. Redeemed it earlier this month by mail. As others have noted, it’s simplest to prepare the reservation online, put it on hold, then phone Reservations with the record locator. I confirmed with the agent (after she called the rate desk) that my voucher type means most of the taxes would NOT be charged — this is a neat secret that makes these vouchers slightly more valuable than cash. Mailed in the voucher with USPS tracking and electronic return receipt, but the ticket wasn’t issued until three days before the flight. (Had to call in once, and was told to wait because they process the envelopes in order of departure date.) Still waiting on them to mail back the remaining value…

  25. Sorry for your loss. Live and learn!
    We got two $800 US Air vouchers once for being bumped from a USAir flight MUC to TPA. As it turned out, $800 would not buy us a return ticket on USAir from TPA to MUC in off-season (Feb.). The whole operation cost us an additional $600 p/p with no chance to upgrade to business class. We have since refrained from jumping for a bump/voucher, especially when we have the FF miles sitting in our accounts. For us this was also a Live and learn situation.

  26. We also just had a horrible time trying to redeem AA gift certificates that we got from our American Express Platinum cards. We decided to go the certificate route so we could use a status upgrade (also a hassle because at that point, we couldn’t use the upgrade on code shared flights). We spent hours upon hours figuring out which flight to take. We then spent hours on the phone booking and when they went to finalize it, couldn’t because we are departing out of Europe and in some small, fine print (that they didn’t even know about before their system wouldn’t allow us to go further) it says that to use the certificates, it needs to originate out of the US!!! Headaches galore.

  27. Find it hard to believe Corporate AA has not taken notice of this stupidity with their system. I hope they take better care of their plane engines.

  28. Sitting at an aa ticket counter after having mailed in my voucher with a copy of the voucher. I have told them what the reservations phone # said…that they can’t locate the reservation or the original voucher, so I booked again via phone number and brought a copy of the voucher. The ticket counter states they can’t help because they need the original. What a friggin bait and switch from aa. Insane

  29. I am running into a similar problem with AA. Received three travel vouchers for my family on a return flight from England. Mailed in the vouchers to apply toward future travel. AA called to say that those weren’t valid vouchers but “copies of vouchers”, so they would not honor them. (They said an actual voucher would look like an airline ticket. Umm, I haven’t seen a paper airline ticket in 15 years. I’m not ever sure what that means.) I followed their instructions to the letter and have not received my original voucher back.

    I suspect very strongly that they are intentionally keeping this an antiquated process to discourage redemption. (Why not just do gift cards like every other major corporation?) I am also considering legal options to leverage AA to make good on these vouchers.

  30. I am going through the same thing now!
    It has been an absolute nightmare and now I have been on hold for 45 minutes.
    American Airlines is the absolute worst!

  31. Tara Maey Petrie: What ended up happening in your case? Please share with us how you were able to redeem the voucher(s) you got for getting bumped from a flight, whether you had to pay taxes, etc. Thanks!

  32. This happened to me with $2200 in credit 🙁 Was about to drive to Boston overnight to get on my flight to Hawaii with my girlfriend, until I found out THE NIGHT BEFORE that our tickets weren’t booked at all – no record – nothing.

  33. I just got my vouchers (3500 US$) by mail, an unregistered mail to Hungary.
    What if it’s lost?
    Our Hungarian post is not so reliable.
    I am very interesting how I can redeem them.
    It’s still not clear if I can pay also the taxes with them, most YQ.
    Any experience anyone?

  34. I only redeemed a voucher once by mail. Fedex’d it to AA, 6570 Caroline St – Suite B, Dept 109, Milton, FL 32570-4778. Took awhile to get the mailing address from reservations but with Fedex there was a record of them receiving it and who signed for it. My cover letter cover the voucher amount/date of issue and the locator for the flight(s) I wanted it to apply to. No problem at all. When I made the res, I put on hold and then called AA and they put a longer hold, pending receipt of voucher.

  35. Honestly, the policy seems designed to facilitate the loss of vouchers, so that there will be a certain percentage of funds American Airlines doesn’t have to honor. There is no earthly reason that paper vouchers need to be mailed anywhere. It’s technologically bizarre. This is the same airline that already charges $150+ to change a reservation. Then if you repurchase a flight that’s less than your original flight, your “refund” is issued as a voucher with the most inconvenient terms that anyone could conceive. How is it possible that booking a plane ticket can be a weeks long process? I am fully committed to boycotting American Airlines when my voucher funds are used.

  36. A bit late in posting (it’s been over a year!) but I have also gone through this tortuous process, took over 9 months for AA to even answer my emails in which I asked, where is my ticket or the voucher I sent to you? I had names of reps who promised action, case numbers, everything. No results whatsoever UNTIL I TWEETED about all the bullcrap I was being given. Within 48 hours AA had resolved everything, mailed a replacement voucher out (to replace the voucher that went missing AND the ticket they said they had mailed me, but I had never received).

    Advice: Tweet your problems. You will get answers.

  37. If it makes you feel better, American Airlines sent my paper voucher to someone else. That someone was nice enough to take a trip on me.

  38. Best advice I was given on redeeming them (from an AA agent) was to book and pay for the flight, then take the voucher to an agent. Did mine in an Admiral’s Lounge, but don’t see any reason why a ticketing agent anywhere else wouldn’t be able to do the same. Refunded the full cost of the initial ticket purchase. Charged me the difference between the voucher value and the fare. Was a relatively simple process.

  39. exact same thing happened to me last September when I booked flight for November. told to send to Pensacola office. I complained relentlessly and they sent me a new voucher but only after I had to pay full pop for the November flight. Now about to use my new voucher… Live in Canada so not easy access to AA office. suggestions?

  40. I have not been able to use my voucher. I sent it in once, they sent it back. I tried redeeming online, they never responded. I just sent it in again, and was told I can’t use it because it was reported as lost/stolen and that voucher number is no longer valid. UNBELIEVABLE!! I am beyond frustrated.

  41. I’ve filed a complaint for my Feb trip – flight cancelled, next flight delayed & rude crews.. etc.
    Thus, I got a Travel Voucher of $100 as compensation. My original purchase was in USD, so I believe the compensation should be in USD too.
    When I book for my next trip now in March and called to apply the voucher over the phone. They insist I have to pay according Canadian site in CAD as they can’t charge the remaining balance of US$25-ish with my Canadian Credit Card.
    More ridiculous is – the Travel Voucher will be treated as CAD100.00 !!!!
    I have to pay CAD80-ish. They said it is how it works ….. Unbelievable !!!!
    After my brother called & provided with his American Credit card for USD25-ish, AA requests the paper Voucher to be mailed back WITHIN 12 DAYS and TICKET WILL THEN BE ISSUED. Again, it is how it works !!!!!! NO GOOD REASON can be provided !!!!!
    Poor Company Policy – Poor Customer Service – NO MORE AMERICAN AIRLINE !!!!

  42. Here is the latest on how to use eVoucher directly from the aa website. It says DO NOT Take them to a ticket counter:

    “… eVouchers are redeemable online at or by calling American Airlines Reservations. eVouchers cannot be redeemed at airport ticket counters or travel agents…”

  43. @Chris, I believe you are speaking about an e-Voucher. The ones many of us have are not “e”lectronic vouchers, but look like 1980s paper airline tickets, on hard card stock.

  44. I had the same experience with American Airlines last night. I had a voucher for $622; the instructions read to either go to the AA office or call. I called on deadline, had all my flights chosen, and ticket agent then told me that I was supposed to mail it in, and now it’s 10PM on the deadline, long after the USPO is closed. He then told me what I could have done given my proximity to an airport. I replied, “Yes, but, there’s a phone number listed on the voucher for redemption.” Over the course of the phone conversation, he reminded me 2-3 times that I had a year to redeem this. “Yes, but, that’s not the point here.”

    In light of recent events with United, I don’t think any airline should be inviting bad PR. This all seems like a built in deterrent to people using vouchers thereby releasing American from their responsibilities.

  45. My name is Khail Parris and I am an attorney investigating airlines that pull this bait and switch on its passengers. If any of you would be interested in sharing your story please send me an email at [email protected]. I would love to speak with you and hope that we can put an end to this.

  46. Yes, it is a scam. The voucher has a phone number specifically listed for redemption, so a reasonable individual would assume these could be redeemed over the phone.

    Probably a deliberate bait and switch to reduce redemption costs.

    I had a flight a week out that I wanted to book. So I try to redeem online. No dice. I call the redemption number, the agent tells me I have to mail it in 3 weeks ahead of time or drive to the airport in person. My chosen flight is less than 3 weeks away and I am 2 hours from an airport, so I have to lose the voucher or lose almost a day of travel and gas, etc.

    If they can redeem the mailed in voucher, or do it in person, they can obviously do it with a photo or a scanned and emailed copy.

    Of course none of this is explained when I accepted the later flight. Clearly a bait and switch. Disingenuous of American Airlines at best. Borderline fraud at worst.

    My flight dollars will be spent with Delta or United from here on out whenever possible.

  47. Redeeming an AA voucher after volunteering your seat makes you wish they had just gotten the police to drag you off the plane against your will instead with a bunch of cellphones recording it.

  48. A lesson that most don’t know until it’s too late: a voucher means a one time use of up to $500. So, if your flight is only $200 and you use your voucher, your voucher is now only worth $200 and that’s it. It is not a gift card.

  49. Jeff, in my experience that is not always true. I used a $500 voucher against a $331 flight and although it took a while, I did receive another voucher for the remaining $169. Now, I probably won’t use that voucher since who would put themselves through the hell of using one twice. It may depend on your persistence or the person who you deal with or they may issue different vouchers with different rules.

  50. Well atleast all of you got the voucher. They keep not sending mine. I have to sign affidavit after affidavit and this is 2 times. Once is a a fluck 2 times — someone is stealing them. I think maybe I will get it by 2020

  51. I went through almost half of the comments and I experienced everything that was mentioned.

    So long story short is AA is not genuine enough to really help their customers. Even though it’s your money they will make you work such a way that people will forge to use it.
    Great service AA!

  52. This cracked me up! Googled about this issue after receiving the exact “magic instructions” you’re describing. She’s telling me what to do on the phone and I’m thinking “Are you f*cking crazy?! You must be confused.” I guess this is really how they want us to redeem them??? LMAO.

    Good advice to head to the nearest airport. I’ll do that instead.

  53. I took a VDB a couple of weeks ago for a $300 voucher. Imagine my shock and chagrin when I was issued a paper voucher at the gate which expressly said, “NOT USABLE ON AA.COM” What is this, the 80s?

    I wrote an email to AA customer service to complain and was offered an exchange of the paper voucher for an electronic one. Took a few days, no need to mail in the paper voucher or anything equally ridiculous.

  54. I know this is from a few years ago and the process has not changed very much at all. I redeem all the time without issue. The trick I have learned is to book the flight you want so it is in your account, put it on hold and then call to have them log the voucher and put the reservation on indefinite hold. They will take your credit card for the balance but you have the Record Locator. You won’t be charged until the vouchers are processed and then your ticket will no longer say “PENDING”. If it says “ON HOLD” 15 minutes after you talk to the agent call back and confirm everything was done correctly with the vouchers as it should switch to “PENDING” once they log them. it will stay in the status until the vouchers are done which always makes me freaky nervous as it can sometimes be the day before the flight.

    I have found that mailing can be simpler because the agents many times don’t know how to redeem a voucher and it usually takes 2-3 of them at the counter to figure it out. I had 5 vouchers one time to use on the same PNR and I thought they were going to pass out. The flight was over $2K and in the next week – the vouchers totaled $1500 so, yes, I waited for them to figure it out and got all the receipts.

    Instructions to mail are ridiculous but I had someone explain it to me.
    – Your flight date on the outside of the envelope under your return address is to let them sort the mail so they prioritize processing by departure date.
    – They need 2 weeks before your flight to get it done and it usually takes that long.
    – New this year (2018) is putting a piece of paper in the envelope with the vouchers with FLT #, REC LOC, NAMES OF ALL PASSENGERS

    I make sure to type everything and print it as my handwriting is awful. My secret sauce is that I send the perfectly prescribed envelope inside a FEDEX envelope so I have proof they received it. It is worth the $8-9 for FEDEX when you are redeeming enough $$ on the voucher.

    Seems like there should be a better way – like maybe keying in the ticket #, issue date and amount from the voucher, which are all unique, on the payment screen and once you redeem it can’t be used again.

    Hey, they track my luggage all over the world now on the app so progress has been made on some things in the last 5 years or so.

    Happy flying!

  55. I volunteered to be bumped off a flight earlier this year. I just tried to book a flight on, held the flight for free for 24 hours. I called the 800 number on my voucher to confirm the flight. I thought I was smart taking a photo of my voucher on my phone at the airport in case I lost my voucher. Well I lost my voucher, so I might try to print the photo and mail that in to see if that works? The Customer Service Agent said that I could email customer service and request a new physical voucher. Has anyone had any luck getting a voucher re issued?

  56. I recently volunteered to take a bump this spring on an American Airlines Flight. When I got bumped i thought I was pretty smart taking a photo of my voucher at the airport in case I lost the voucher. I just went on found my flights held the flights for free for 24 hours. I called the 800 number on my voucher to book. Then the agent told me I have to mail in the voucher. Well I lost the voucher. I told the agent I took a photo of the voucher can I print that out and mail it in? She said no, but I can email costumer service to re-issue a voucher. Than I could mail the reissued voucher in. Has anyone ever had any luck getting a new voucher reissued? That might be the last time I fly American, I am sticking to Delta where you can sign up for an Amex voucher from your phone while your stuck at the airport.

  57. I have completed this process 3 times with American Airlines. I always get a tracking number, but the one time I decided to not get a tracking number, I was told that my voucher was never received 2 months after sending! I called reservations and was scolded for not taking a picture of making a copy of the outdated paper voucher American enjoys distributing. I went through this process of trying to locate my voucher for 2 months! 2 inquiries later Customer relations, which took a month to get a useful, human response, I was issued my voucher as an electronic voucher. Then miraculously, the same paper voucher that American Airlines NEVER RECEIVED was sent back to my home with an official form from American Airline, specifying that I requested the voucher be returned! Sorry that happened to you. We live and we learn, thanks for sharing!

  58. I don’t think there is a question but that this is a scam by American Airlines. This exact thing happened to me. Book a flight online with nothing but a record locator (that turned out to have a 2 hour expiration time) and an address to mail in the paper voucher. It’s a great deal for AA since you don’t discover a problem until days before the flight should happen when the ticket price is over double the original price. They are happy to re-book you with a credit card and you have to go to another “customer relations” department without a phone number to get your voucher reissued (I made a photo, but trusted the mail). They win triple. If we could find the way the vouchers get “lost in the mail” I would think this would be a worthy class action suit.

  59. Previous comment said book a flight online but should have said “on the phone”.

  60. I was researching this topic today and found this page. I called AA and spoke with an agent named Rose who first said to mail the voucher in, I told her I wasn’t comfortable with the mail system and she said “You can book the flight on and come to any airport ticket counter to complete the purchase”. When I asked about any remaining balance, if any, she said “A new voucher will be issued that is good for one year from the date of the new ticket”. So…that’s what I was told. Happy Travels and be safe!

  61. Hello,

    When I received my voucher, I was also told to redeem in person which I did, and received another paper voucher. At this point, I was pretty annoyed (because I’m lazy) and I reached out to customer service via e-mail to request my voucher be converted into an E-Voucher. Looks like this is something either the flight attendants don’t know or do not relay.

    Anywho, LPT, just reach out to support via e-mail because they definitely have the ability to convert it. Saves you some time and effort from mailing.

  62. I was recently on a flight ready for departure (almost at the runway) when the captain announced he had been asked to return to the gate, there I was “asked” (it wasn’t an option) to give up my seat and was later (two month later) offered two options, by this I mean I had to write to customer service and also complaint to the department of transportation since the original complaint (with AA) was never answered, $1100 cash (check actually) or $1400 in a voucher. I was a little undecided as to which way to go since I live in England, but going through the comments has made me realise that the check is going to be a better option. Here is an excerpt from an ongoing email communication: “Federal regulations set the amount of compensation that is due for denied boarding compensation, the regulations do not require that we provide a voucher as an option instead of the check. However, most airlines will do so as it is more to our advantage to offer flight credits rather than cash.” I guess next time ask specifically for a check.

  63. In the Time of the Coronavirus, I’m sure there will be a lot more questions about this process.

    I had booked flights to New Orleans for JazzFest for late April. The Festival was cancelled and AA will not give a refund. Instead they will offer a Transportation Voucher option. There is no penalty here as you get the full value of the ticket. The Voucher is mailed to you as it’s a paper document. It has a date on it and some control/ticket numbers and it says it’s valid for one year from the date of issue.

    I called AA Res to determine the process for use. Ann told me I could make my reservations in advance to get the benefit of lower air fare and then either mail the transportation voucher or bring it to the Airport for ticketing. The ticket value is then valid for one year from issue date if you intend to cancel and use it again.

    Mailing the Voucher sounds like rolling the dice at the Craps table in Vegas.
    Since I’ve never been that lucky, I would opt to go to the airport. Maybe early on a Sat or Sun morning when it’s not busy.

    When I asked Ann about the paper process rather than electronic, she said “Oh, I’m sorry sir, that’s just the way we do it”

    I told her that was a lot of info on the AA website about the use of the EVoucher but NOTHING about the use of the Transportation Voucher.

    Ben, sorry for the bad luck but your experience has allowed the rest of us to be educated.

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *