DROWNING IN UNUSED AIRLINE TICKETS? WE CAN HELP
by Rebecca Gavin, on April 20, 2020
Among the thousands of challenges that we’re all facing right now is the staggering amount of unused airline tickets. As trips are canceled, many of you are racking up large numbers of credits with multiple airlines, to the tune of 18,000 of them (and counting) across all of our clients. We’re here to help you manage those credits and we’ve added some new capabilities that will make it easier.
First, some context: the airlines are hurting for cash right now and so they’re trying to avoid paying out refunds. The general airline COVID-era policy is that canceling a booking will get you, not a refund, but a credit for a future flight.
We know having money tied up and split across a large number of airline credits is causing financial and/or logistical difficulties for you. So this is what we’re doing to help:
Refunds Over Credits
We are proactively reviewing all canceled bookings to determine if there is a loophole or other opportunity to get a refund on an exception basis. Honestly, most of the time there isn’t, but in some cases, with some airlines, we’re having success. We’ll keep trying.
Enhanced Unused Ticket Report
We have also enhanced our Unused Ticket Report (in the Travel Reports section on a2b) to take into account airline “waiver” policies. Most tickets for travel during this time qualify for waivers of the typical change penalties and/or expiration dates. The airlines are changing these policies on an almost daily basis, usually for the better. We’ve built a database to keep track of them and we’re continually updating it. The Unused Ticket Report will give you a real-time view of all credits you have available, factoring in any waivers that apply for the penalty, credit value, and expiration date. You don’t have to keep up with all the individual airline policies yourself, we’re doing it for you.
New Streamlined, Self-Service for Unused Ticket Credits
Even better, when your travelers are finally ready to travel again, they’ll be able to easily apply their unused tickets by themselves, without having to contact our travel advisors. Penalty and expiration date waivers will be automatically factored in. All they have to do is go through the normal process on a2b to book a flight. During checkout, we’ll show them all the unused tickets that they have. If they know which one they want to use for the exchange, they can select it; otherwise, they can select all the credits they’d be willing to use and we’ll figure out the best one, taking into account the credit value, how soon it expires, and the cost of the new ticket.
Need to Move a Credit to Another Traveler?
One final point: many of you are concerned that airlines only allow unused tickets to be exchanged by the same traveler. What if that traveler no longer works for you or won’t be travelling for a while? If that’s the case, let us know. We have relationships with the airlines that we can leverage on your behalf and we’ll do our best to work something out.
We know you have a lot on your plate right now, both personally and professionally. We’ll continue to be here to help you navigate these challenging times, so please reach out anytime we can help lighten the load.