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Changing airlines policies are causing confusion about canceled flight credits

Posted at 7:07 AM, Mar 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-05 09:07:17-05

PHOENIX — Many people who had to cancel trips because of the pandemic have found themselves with credits to use in the future.

But as Joseph Jones found that out, those credits can be tricky to use.

Jones and his husband had tickets for a 10-day Caribbean cruise that was supposed to happen next month. But, Royal Caribbean canceled all cruises through April, which meant he couldn't go.

So, Jones used that money to reschedule the cruise next May, when he believes the cruise line will be fully operational.

His issue is not with the cruise line but with the airline and trying to rebook a flight to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Many travelers are trying to use credits before they expire.

While some airlines have extended expiration dates, it can be complicated and ever changing.

Delta Airlines has extended many credits through December 2022, but there are exceptions.

Southwest Airlines previously allowed unused funds to be converted to points that don't expire, but that has ended.

Jones booked his flights through American Airlines. "I was telling American I don't want a refund, just a voucher," he said.

He would use it for the May cruise date next year. "That person told me all they could do is give me a credit that has to be used before September of 2021. If we didn't use it, then we'd lose it," Jones stated.

But since his cruise is in May of 2022, that wouldn't work.

When we reached out to American Airlines this was its response through an email, "We are reaching out to the customer to discuss their situation as we work with our customers to provide flexibility during this pandemic."

Whichever travel provider you use, if you have a similar issue, contact them. Policies are more flexible because of COVID-19.

If you can't get anywhere, try disputing the charge with your credit card company.

Here's American Airlines full statement:
"Generally, customers who voluntarily canceled their tickets that they had purchased by September 30, 2020 for original travel dates between March 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 retain the value of their ticket as a flight credit which they can use at a later date.

Travel vouchers are issued in several scenarios, such as when a ticket was exchanged for a lower-valued fare or when a customer requested a refund and selected the option to receive the value of their ticket in the form of a voucher.

American also introduced trip credits in August 2020 for customers who may have redeemed their flight credit for new travel and had value leftover to use.

Please visit this website to see more details.