With the first anniversary of the Coronavirus being declared a pandemic just one month away, the topic of travel credits, and their impending expiry dates, has been at the centre of many people’s thoughts of late.
Although vaccines are beginning to be rolled out around the world, we’re still in the early stages of managing this crisis and unrestricted travel still feels like it’s a world away.
On February 25, Qantas announced that it and Jetstar were preparing for a resumption of international flights as of October 2021. Whether or not we’ll see that become a reality remains to be seen, but in the interim, if you have travel credits that are on their way to expiring, what can you do?
Can you ask for an extension on your travel credit expiry date?
While this is going to vary depending on the airline you booked with, there are some that allow for extensions. Qantas has announced that it has extended credit vouchers for bookings made on or before 28 February 2021 to enable travel until 31 December 2023. The same applies to Jetstar. For bookings made on or before 20 April 2020, Virgin Australia has offered Future Flight credit – these are valid for travel up until 30 June 2023 but must be booked by 31 July 2022.
Your best bet is to contact the airline directly and check out their policies.
What if I just want a refund?
This would depend on the conditions of your original ticket as well as that of your travel voucher. If you have this option available to you, be sure to request your refund before the credit expiry date.
Am I able to use my travel credits across multiple flights?
In some cases, yes.
Qantas states that “If your original booking was made on or before 28 February 2021, your Flight Credit can be used across multiple future bookings, provided there is credit remaining”. So, if you’re divvying up the value of an international flight ticket across a number of domestic flights, that is an option for you.
Virgin Australia’s policy is similar. The website reads:
“Travel credit can be used over multiple bookings, and any residual amount remains valid for use until 31 July 2022.”
Once again, it’s always best to double-check with your specific airline as rules around travel in these times can be complicated. And remember that date change cost changes and booking fees may also apply.
What else can my voucher be applied to?
Again, this is going to vary depending on who you booked with and the restrictions of your voucher. However, there are a number of airlines, as our friends at Business Insider have reported, and according to Virgin Australia’s terms, that will allow you to use vouchers for added extras. That would mean options like upgrading your ticket, purchasing checked luggage and grabbing yourself lounge access (as a few examples).
There is also the option to use your travel credits to purchase travel for someone else. As with every other option, this will not be the case everywhere, but it is a possibility with some airlines so take a look and see if it works for you.
All in all, be sure to stay across your expiration dates and do your best to put those credits to good use if you’re able to. Because once they’ve expired, there’s little chance you’ll get them back.