AA flight voucher expiring soon, buy refundable ticket and then cancel?

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A friend has an American Airlines flight voucher that is Expiring Apr 2. He doesn't have any plans on flying anytime soon so I suggested he buy a refundable flight with his voucher with a value that slightly exceeds the value of his voucher, then a few days from now he cancels the flight and hope he is reissued a new voucher or something so he gets another year to decide what to do with the voucher.

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This should work unless they've changed their policies. I'd want confirmation from AA before doing it though.

I'm pretty sure every airline has already thought of (and prevents) this type of workaround. I had a similar case with Southwest Airlines where I used a voucher from a previous flight, booked a flight with it and cancelled it. I received a new voucher#, but it had the same expiration date. YMMV, I won't speak as if I have tried it with AA.

Also last I checked, unless you have status with the major american airliner's you're guaranteed to have a cancellation fee tacked on as well.

You won't get a cancellation fee on a fully refundable ticket. I can't say if your voucher idea will work. But try it, and see.

If it doesn't work book a ticket between two cities that your friend wants to go someday and change the ticket later, paying a change fee.

justignoredem said:   I'm pretty sure every airline has already thought of (and prevents) this type of workaround. I had a similar case with Southwest Airlines where I used a voucher from a previous flight, booked a flight with it and cancelled it. I received a new voucher#, but it had the same expiration date. YMMV, I won't speak as if I have tried it with AA.

Also last I checked, unless you have status with the major american airliner's you're guaranteed to have a cancellation fee tacked on as well.

  OP asked about refundable tickets, so there shouldn't be a cancellation fee. However, OP may have to pay a booking fee if no status because you can't book using the vouchers online. Not sure if they'd be willing to waive the fee or if a refundable ticket isn't subject to the fee though.

ETA: You don't have to pay extra out of pocket, you just need to find any flight-doesn't matter if the cost is more or less than the voucher. If your voucher has more than $10 (I think this is the number, but again, confirm with AA) remaining after the cost of the ticket they'll send a new voucher which will be good for a year from date of issue.

It depends on the voucher. The old style ones (given at the airport and printed on ticket stock) enforce the 'travel by' date, usually a year from voucher issue. So buying a ticket won't extend the validity. The only way to be sure is to call AA reservations and ask.

Also, The old-style vouchers act more like tickets than like a gift card. So if you buy something refundable with it, refundable becomes nonrefundable

I called them and they told me that my idea would work but I'm still not sure about it... 

TravelerMSY said:   It depends on the voucher. The old style ones (given at the airport and printed on ticket stock) enforce the 'travel by' date, usually a year from voucher issue. So buying a ticket won't extend the validity. The only way to be sure is to call AA reservations and ask.
  AA actually does (or at least did before the past year's changes) re-issue the voucher with a new issue date. So if they are re-issuing a voucher, you have 1 year from that issue date to travel. The key is finding out ways to get them to reissue a voucher. If the refundable trick doesn't work anymore, another option would be to find a very cheap ticket and book it with the voucher so they send the remaining balance as a new voucher. Obviously you lose the cost of the cheap ticket, but that's better than losing the whole voucher.

ETA: Also, unless you're planning on going to the airport you're cutting it really close. You have to mail in the voucher, so if you're booking an Apr 2 flight, you need to book quickly, and should probably overnight the voucher - obviously this cuts into the value of the voucher, but if you'd be losing a lot of money, it's worth it.

That reminds me, I have a AA voucher from the week of 9/11, it doesn't have an expiration date. Wonder if I can still use it? I forgot all this time, and 90% of my flights are with UA/Delta.

How good are they about extending expiration dates? Have a $400 USAir premerger voucher that expired a year agao

Does anybody know about the same thing with Delta?

Any updates OP? Do you know if that worked for your friend?



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