United Airlines Will Give You An Extension On Your Travel Voucher

I learned something new this weekend that might help others out in the future.  Apparently, United Airlines will give you a 30-day extension on the expiration date (typically a year from original date of travel) to use up a travel voucher if you’re up against the expiration date.  I saw this Tweet over the weekend:

Travel Voucher

The Tweet led to a separate discussion between Gary (of View from the Wing) and I about deregulation, unclaimed property law and escheatment law, riveting stuff.

The vouchers we’re discussing are vouchers issued by United Airlines, either for a ticket that was canceled or a travel disruption.

I decided to call United to try to confirm Harriett’s experience.  The agent I spoke with on the Platinum line told me that, yes, this was a policy.  He also mentioned that it had been a policy for a couple of years.  It’s a small plus, but a plus nonetheless.

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  1. United doesn’t give you an extension, their ETCs just expire 30 days after their stated expiration date.
    Been this way since the CO days and post-merger UA kept the CO ETC system.

  2. Yes, you can purchase a refundable (no change fee) fare basis ticket using a United Electronic Travel Certificate. The ticket is good for one year from date of issue. Then, if necessary, you can cancel the booking and keep the ticket value for future use. In fact, you can “roll the ticket value over” multiple times if desired – each new ticket is good for one year. I have done this, so I know it works.

    But, after the voucher has expired, don’t ever ask that the ticket be refunded back to the original form of payment.(or let a res agent talk you into a refund). Under the ex-CO system, United will refund it back to the ORIGINAL, already expired voucher. Poof – your ticket value is gone.

    I’m not sure whether res agents have the tools to find refundable fare bases. I use Expertflyer’s “fare information” display. Look for fare basis codes ending in “Y” (such as MAA0AQKY). Another option is to search for “economy (flexible) fares on United’s Web site, and check the rules to ensure there is no change fee.

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