- Airlines decided to offer their customers with cancelled flights travel vouchers during the pandemic that could be redeemed up to 12 months later
- Most travel vouchers have expired or are about to expire while restrictions remain the order of the day
The health crisis caused by the coronavirus caused that last year most of the flights and hotel reservations that had thousands of travelers were canceled. As a result, airlines, hotel groups and travel agencies decided to offer their customers travel vouchers that could be redeemed afterwards so that they could enjoy their holidays when mobility was allowed.
Most of these travel vouchers were valid for one year, however, the global crisis is lasting longer than expected and the expiration of these vouchers is coming without travelers being able to use them. And this is where most of the doubts arise about what to do if the validity of your bonus is going to expire. Is this your case?, Did you cancel your flight last year and now you do not know what to do with your travel voucher? Do not worry, from Rastreator we give you the answers you need.
What do I do if my travel voucher is about to expire?
This is the doubt of a large part of travelers. Most travel vouchers were valid for 12 months. However, Covid-19 continues to affect the tertiary sector and many of the travelers consider that it is not yet the time to travel. It is no longer only a matter of health security but, in addition, the restrictions on entry to countries of destination and origin or the mandatory access with tests such as PCR or mandatory quarantine when entering a country do not make it easy.
These are some of the reasons why travelers are not using their travel vouchers and given the impossibility of using these vouchers you should know that the company with which you contract your trip must offer you a solution, either the extension of your voucher, in case it is what you want, or the refund of the amount of the ticket.
How are companies acting?
According to Almudena Velázquez, legal director of reclamador.es: “airlines must make the corresponding refund for the cancellation of the flight to the passenger whose voucher expires, if he decides not to fly or the trip makes no sense in the current circumstances of pandemic and mobility restrictions“.
Iberia has been the first company to offer extensions for the use of these bonds. The company claims that it has extended the validity of all those bons that expired on June 30 by extending the expiration date to 18 months, yes, from the date of purchase. He has also stated that monetary refunds have already been carried out.
But this is not the only airline that has initiated different actions regarding this issue, there are already several airlines that try to extend the expiration date of travel vouchers to prevent the user from claiming the monetary refund. However, this policy is not sitting too well with travelers who feel coerced to extend the validity of their vouchers instead of receiving the money they paid in their day as many claim.
What do users prefer, the bonus or the cashback?
According to several surveys of more than 3,000 travelers, 40% of them preferred the travel voucher instead of reimbursement. However, it is also claimed that many of the airlines did not offer both options to their travelers, but only proposed a travel voucher as the only option so that travelers did not lose their money. Faced with this unique possibility, many of the travelers were forced to accept it.
According to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, seventeen airlines committed an infringement of unfair commercial practices towards consumers or users in relation to art. 7.1 of the Unfair Competition Act, which means that they omitted or withheld information from travellers that affected their informed decision-making.
In short, the traveler has the last word and the final decision is his. While it is true that many of the airlines are offering various options such as increasing the deadline for using the voucher, it is necessary that the user knows that, if he wishes, he can claim the refund of the amount of his ticket.
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If this summer you have decided to travel to any of the places you had on your list for years, you will need to find flights, hotels and rental cars at the best price. The Rastreator travel comparator will help you get the best price so you can enjoy that trip you’ve been waiting for so long.