Using or extending travel credits so you won’t lose them

Jan 11, 2024, 10:25 PM | Updated: Jan 12, 2024, 7:04 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Over 13 million people flew out of the Salt Lake City International Airport in 2023 without a hitch, but public records show that at least 779 flights out of Salt Lake were canceled.

By law, the airline must dole out refunds or travel credits when the flight is canceled. The thing is, many credits do expire, so you’ll want to keep track of them.

“It is in your best interest to, even once or twice a year, just go do a quick search in your emails and ensure that you don’t have anything left on the table,” said Katy Nastro, a travel expert with airfare deals website, Going.com.

She suggests setting calendar reminders of when your travel credits expire because there’s no set rule.

“They vary,” Nastro said. “Airline to airline may have different sorts of policies around travel credits – what they allow and what they don’t allow.”

Delta’s eCredits usually expire one year from when the ticket was bought. JetBlue gives you a year from when the credit was issued. But you only get three months from Frontier, while Southwest credits never expire.

But if your credits are close to expiring, Nastro says to try calling customer service and simply ask for an extension.

“Sometimes you get a really nice agent that’s able to help you reissue that travel credit if it’s kind of close to when it’s expired by,” she said.

If that doesn’t work, another potential workaround is using your credit to book a refundable flight you won’t take.

“Cancel that ticket. Get that travel credit back, reissued, so then you have extended that travel credit’s life,” Nastro explained.

But she cautions that will not work with every airline, so check the airline policy first.

By law, you’re entitled to a full refund if an airline cancels your flight on you. Airlines often try persuading folks to accept their flight credits instead. You don’t have to accept those from the airline or a rebooking. If you want a refund, then they must give you one.

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Using or extending travel credits so you won’t lose them