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How one can spend the airline vouchers that you simply received for cancelled flights during Covid

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Sometimes it feels as if you would like a PhD in gobbledygook to unravel the labyrinthine rules of travel vouchers.

Each airline seems to have a subtly different system, and tour operators will not be significantly better. Once you begin assessing whether a voucher will be used, you discover that every one kinds of travel limitations appear to apply. Then there are the expiry dates — that are easy to overlook — and the actual fact you possibly can’t change your mind later and get your money back as a substitute. 

Given the pitfalls, it will be higher to just accept a refund than a voucher. I’d much moderately have money in hand, which airlines and operators are legally required to produce inside 14 days. Nevertheless, for individuals who have already got vouchers, listed here are some suggestions.

From BA to Wizz Air, each airline seems to have a subtly different system in the case of how and when travel vouchers will be used 

EASY BET EASYJET

At easyJet, vouchers are valid for 12 months and are non-refundable. This implies it’s good to make a booking inside a 12 months of receiving the voucher, however the dates you depart and return will be outside of this era.

Watch out to regulate the dates inside which you possibly can travel, though, as they do shift. For instance, earlier this 12 months the deadline was February 2023, but now it’s the tip of September 2023.

And easyJet recently relaxed rules for vouchers that expire between March and October 30 — these are all now valid until the tip of this month for travel until September 30, 2023.

CHECK THE RULES: See ‘disruption vouchers’ at easyjet.com.

VERDICT: Cheeringly flexible.

VIRGIN BACK ON TRACK

Virgin Atlantic vouchers for cancellations before June 24 of this year can be used before their booking expiry dates for travel until the end of December 2023

Virgin Atlantic vouchers for cancellations before June 24 of this 12 months will be used before their booking expiry dates for travel until the tip of December 2023

For cancellations before June 24 this 12 months, Virgin Atlantic was offering travel vouchers, however it has since dropped them altogether.

Now when flights are cancelled, customers will receive refunds or the possibility to reroute or rebook at a date of their convenience (as is now also the case at BA).

For individuals who have already got vouchers, these will be used before their booking expiry dates for travel until the tip of December 2023. Conveniently, they can be transferred to other people, but they will not be refundable.

Regarding any future cancellations, Virgin says its ‘refund timetables have returned to normal’ and apologises for previous delays.

CHECK THE RULES: Visit the page ‘In case your flight has been cancelled or impacted by changes to our schedule’ at virginatlantic.com.

VERDICT: Decent validity.

REASONABLE RYANAIR

Ryanair's Covid-19 travel vouchers can be redeemed for cash at any time

Ryanair’s Covid-19 travel vouchers can be redeemed for money at any time

WHAT ABOUT REFUND CREDIT NOTES?

Tour operators legally had to offer refunds inside 14 days of cancelled holidays through the pandemic, but owing to cashflow problems, Refund Credit Notes were introduced to avoid mass bankruptcies. As of September 30, these notes are not any longer ATOL-backed. They will expire, but terms and conditions vary. Visit which.co.uk for information.

Its popularity could also be for tough rules, but Ryanair’s voucher policy seems fairly straightforward, though, as ever, it’s essential to read the small print.

Covid-19 travel vouchers were issued for disrupted flights before November 2021. They’re valid for a 12 months but will be prolonged one time for 12 more months.

Each voucher has its validity period written on it. They can be redeemed for money at any time.

For flights disrupted after November 2021, the refund might be credited to your ‘Ryanair Wallet’ in your online account. Once there, it may be used to book flights or be cashed in.

CHECK THE RULES: Go to the ‘refund hub’ at ryanair.com.

VERDICT: Good, but regulate the small print.

MUDDLE AT BA

Confusingly, British Airways offered two different voucher types through the pandemic: eVouchers and Future Travel Vouchers.

The primary type, eVouchers, are non-refundable and valid for travel until September 2023. They will be redeemed at any time up until then.

Future Travel Vouchers (FTV), provided through the early days of the pandemic, are not any longer being issued, because the airline’s online system had a blip and didn’t recognise their codes for bookings.

Refunds have been offered to all FTV holders. British Airways has now stopped issuing all types of vouchers for cancellations, reverting to pre-pandemic refunds or rerouting and rebooking.

CHECK THE RULES: ‘Using your voucher’ at ba.com.

VERDICT: Might be simpler.

WISHY-WASHY WIZZ AIR

Hungarian airline Wizz Air has a Wizz Credits system into which customers can opt to place money from cancelled flights, moderately than ask for a refund. Once the cash has been modified for credits, nonetheless, no refund is feasible.

Credits often have a two-year validity, but expiry dates vary so customers must check these. After that date, the credit will vanish from the account.

CHECK THE RULES: ‘Refunds and compensations’ at wizzair.com.

VERDICT: Confusing information on voucher deadlines.

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