4 min read

Making the Most of Unused Tickets For Corporate Travel

Making the Most of Unused Tickets For Corporate Travel

Learn how to maximize the value of unused tickets for corporate travel and save on travel expenses.

What are Unused Tickets?

When you buy a plane trip, you’re buying a ticket, usually a nonrefundable ticket. Most of the time, you take that trip and use that ticket – but sometimes you don’t.

Say your meeting gets canceled so you cancel the trip for the meeting. You get sick and can’t travel so you cancel your trip. You get the idea.

Well, that ticket wasn’t used, so it becomes unused – an unused ticket. In corporate travel, there are lots of plane trips and thus tickets purchased, and some portion of those trips – 10-20% on average – get cancelled with the tickets becoming unused tickets.

That unused ticket is a credit that’s valid for some period of time (usually 12 months after it was purchased, though Southwest Airlines tickets never expire), you can apply it towards a new trip for the same traveler on the same airline, reducing the amount you owe for the new trip. (Your first trip costs $200, you cancel that and have a $200 unused ticket, then you purchase a new $300 trip with that $200 unused ticket applied – you only owe $100.)

Understanding the Impact of Unused Tickets on Corporate Travel Budgets

Unused tickets can have a significant impact on corporate travel budgets – if they're used effectively. If unused tickets expire, the money spent on them is essentially wasted. But if they are managed and used, companies can save a lot on future trips – AmTrav customers save 10% on airfare!

What Makes Unused Tickets a Challenge for Corporate Travel?

Two things make unused tickets a challenge for travelers and corporate travel administrators: keeping track of unused tickets, and applying (or exchanging) them to save on future travel.

If your travelers are booking on their own or you’re booking for them on airline websites, it’s up to them or to you to keep track of any unused tickets – and they pile up fast. Manually keeping track of dozens or hundreds of tickets in a spreadsheet is no fun for you, and a waste of time for your busy travelers.

On the other hand you might have a corporate travel agency and corporate online booking tool, they can help track unused tickets. But many don’t do a good job keeping accurate records of which tickets were used, meaning you can’t rely on their reporting.

Then manually applying tickets, it’s incumbent on you or your travelers to remember and figure out how to apply those unused tickets – remember that you have a ticket, track down the ticket information, then apply that ticket. Not easy, not a great use of time.

Or you have a corporate travel agency and corporate online booking tool, but the online booking tool doesn’t let you apply unused tickets online, so you have to remember that the unused ticket has to be applied, call the travel agency and pay them extra instead of being able to apply your unused ticket online.

What a pain!

Wait, Can I Just get Refunds on my Unused Tickets?

While most tickets purchased are nonrefundable, there are also refundable tickets that should just be refunded to the original payment. Travelers can request refunds on refundable tickets wherever they purchased tickets, travelers and administrators can request refunds through their corporate travel platform if they use one.

And nonrefundable tickets can become refundable, for example if they’re canceled within 24 hours of purchase, or if the flight is significantly delayed or canceled – those too should be refunded. These rules are complex but travel management platforms are expert at handling them, another reason to hire a travel platform for help with your unused tickets and corporate travel.

Additionally, an effective travel management company may be able to work with airlines on your behalf, not only to get money-savings corporate deals, but also to request refunds. Read on for more about how AmTrav Relationship Managers help with this.

Benefits of Working with AmTrav for Unused Ticket Management

AmTrav is a corporate online booking tool and travel agency in one, allowing your whole team to book, manage and track bookings – and save big with unused tickets.

First, with AmTrav, bookers and travelers can easily cancel and change their trips online or on the AmTrav mobile app, the way they want to today. No need to call if they don’t want to.

Second, AmTrav tracks every ticket purchased through AmTrav, whether your traveler flies on the ticket or cancels it and makes it an unused ticket. AmTrav’s unused ticket report tracks every unused ticket for your company, letting you know the value, who it belongs to, when it expires, if it belongs to a former employee, and more. You can set up alerts to remind travelers to use their unused tickets, and this tracking reflects the latest ticket status so you can confidently report on and save with your unused tickets.

Shopping - Air checkout unused applied2

Third, AmTrav makes it one-click easy to apply your unused tickets when booking flights and save 10% on your total airfare spend. Travelers are automatically shown their own unused tickets then can apply those unused tickets with one click at checkout – online, on the AmTrav mobile app, or with an AmTrav Travel Advisor if they prefer. No need to call a travel agent, the way other corporate travel agencies require. Coordinators and Administrators booking for others can see the travelers’ tickets and apply their unused tickets with one click too.

Learn more about the benefits of AmTrav's one connected platform

See how AmTrav makes friction-free business travel a reality:

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(Little more detail: bookers can apply all unused tickets online – not just some – including multiple tickets on a booking, like an American unused ticket for an American portion of a booking and a Southwest unused ticket for the Southwest portion of the booking. All online or on mobile, no need to call if you don’t want to.)

Not only that, but AmTrav’s all-employee Travel Advisors and Relationship Managers are ready to help. Travel Advisors can assist with name changes, transferring a valuable unused ticket credit from one traveler to save on another travelers’ trip (if possible with the airline).

And Relationship Managers can help with strategizing to use your unused tickets, requesting refunds, applying your airline programs to get refunds, taking advantage of unique opportunities like United Airlines' unused ticket refund offer, and more.


Unused tickets are at once really valuable and a gigantic pain – if you don’t have an easy way to manage them. The best practice with unused tickets is to make it easy to track and redeem your unused tickets, which is what you get with AmTrav. Book a demo today to see AmTrav’s software and service platform for yourself:

AmTrav can help your business save big with unused tickets

Schedule time to talk with one of our travel experts.



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