When do JetBlue’s vouchers expire? Whenever it says they do

Christopher Parypa / Shutterstock.com
Christopher Parypa / Shutterstock.com

JetBlue is one of only a few airlines that issues flight vouchers when a fare drops after you book it, and if you use a service like Yapta, you can get notified when the price of your ticket falls.

But is the voucher worth anything? That’s what Jerry Gershner wants to know — and if I agree with his interpretation, he’d like me to help him fix it. I’m not sure if I do (or if I can) but maybe you can help me sort it out.

Here’s what happened to him: A few weeks ago, he booked JetBlue tickets for him and his wife.

“One day after I purchased these tickets, the fare dropped by $50,” he says.

He called JetBlue, which issued two $50 vouchers. So far, so good.

Two weeks later, Yapta notified him of another fare decline — this time by another $111.

“Once again, I called JetBlue and once again they cheerfully issued both of us an additional credit,” he says.

So where’s the problem? The tickets had originally been booked with a combination of cash and vouchers received the previous summer, and those vouchers would soon expire.

He explains:

The written confirmation of each credit states as follows: “This credit, which expires 365 days from the date that it is issued, is available for use on future travel with JetBlue.”

However, the customer service rep that I spoke to on February 25th told me that inasmuch as each of the new $50 credits was tied to the original credits that were issued in July, 2012, and then used to pay part of the fare, they would be expiring this coming July.

Thus, these new $50 credits now have a shelf life of only four months, not one year.

This didn’t sit right with Gershner. He believes the new vouchers should be tied to the new reservation, so he appealed his case to JetBlue.

Its answer?

JetBlue credits are valid for one year from the ORIGINAL date of issue. If a reservation is booked with a credit, ANY credits received on that reservation will revert back to the original credit expiration date.

OK, OK … no need to yell.

Gershner doesn’t buy it.

I wonder how JetBlue would explain the following scenario: What if one month before my travel bank credit was due to expire I used it to purchase a ticket. Then, 29 days later I noticed that the fare dropped and called JetBlue for a credit.

They gave me the credit but it was good for only one day, inasmuch as it was supposedly issued 11 months and 29 days after the original credit, which had been applied to a ticket, had been issued.

Is this a fraud or bait and switch?

JetBlue will hear none of it. In response, it just reiterated its position.

Now what?

JetBlue’s policy is fairly generous to begin with. Not every airline issues vouchers for a fare difference. But I can also understand Gershner’s point. If the clock on the vouchers starts from the moment you book your tickets, then those credits could be all but worthless by the time you get around to using them.

There’s also this: JetBlue really doesn’t seem to like working with reader advocates. I just passed another reader question along to them and received a response that told me to more or less mind my own business.

“While I appreciate your interest in this particular customer’s case, we do prefer a direct relationship with our customers, and will not share any personal or customer information with outside parties,” a spokesman told me.

I imagine I’ll get the same response if I try to mediate Gershner’s case.

But since when has that stopped me from trying?

Should I mediate Jerry Gershner's case?

View Results

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Update: After a thoughtful debate, I’ve decided to go with the majority on this case. I’m going to let things stand.

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at chris@elliott.org. Got a question or comment? You can post it on our help forum.

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  • y_p_w

    With generous policies comes caveats.

    I’ve occaionally mentioned Amtrak. They’ve got among the most generous policies I know of. Don’t show up and it automatically goes to a voucher for the price paid. The only caveat is that every time you use a voucher, any further vouchers from that reservation are tied to the expiration date (typically a year) that the credit from the original reservation can be used.

    I understand why they do this. They don’t want to tie up the system ad infinitum.

  • jpp42

    The vouchers are also listed on the financial books as a liability, and it is good financial practice to discharge/remove liabilities of this type so they don’t hang around forever.

  • sirwired

    I don’t see a problem with JetBlue tying the expiration date to the original issue date. They don’t want you stringing along the same original payment ad infinitum. Southwest does this also. (And I was under the impression than any ticket, with any airline, bought with airfare credit, would be treated the same.)

    In any case, either is better than say, US Airways, which takes the “middle finger” approach to airfare reductions. Any reservation change must be accompanied by a new $150+ change fee that cannot be paid using funds from the airfare credit. So even if you have a $300 fare reduction, you STILL have to come up with the change fee in new funds.

    And frankly, I have no problem with them not making special exceptions for cases coming in from the media. It makes far more sense to me to treat all customers as the company feels they deserve (for good or ill) rather than give special attention to those that can attract the attention of someone in the media.

  • bodega3

    As per the OP:

    Is this a fraud or bait and switch?

    No. It is business and the rules are upfront about the vouchers. Other carriers have similar policies but most don’t have the generous rebooking for the credit policy as Jet Blue. Quit trying to be greedy. You buy a ticket, then if the price goes down, you have the option of getting the credit but you also have the restriction of when you have to use it and travel. If you don’t like it, don’t play the watch the fare game.

  • TonyA_says

    This is just ridiculous. You pay with “currency” (funny money) that expires on xxx. You get refunded with “currency” that still expires in xxx. How difficult is that to understand?

  • jim6555

    Southwest Airlines has a similar policy. Currently, I have a $158 credit with WN that comes from a reduction of the cost of tickets purchased on March 14. To purchase those tickets, I used a credit from a ticket that was issued on January 2, 2013. Therefore, my credit will expire on January 1, 2014. I don’t consider this policy to be unfair.

  • Agree with everyone so far. Rules are clear. The OP is expecting the vouchers to be almost as good as cash. That’s not the way this system was designed to work.

    Does anyone know whether the expiry date on the vouchers is for booking or travel? Eg. if the voucher expires today, can I use it to simply book something today for a future travel date? If so, the OP should just book a ticket to somewhere fun. If he doesn’t end up using it, oh well.

  • Cybrsk8r

    I guess my opinion would hinge on how much of the ticket was purchased with a voucher. We don’t know what the split between vouchers and cash is in the OP’s case. But if I used a $50 voucher to buy a $300 ticket, then the $50 price drop voucher should be tied to the $250 I paid in cash, not to the $50 voucher. I guess this is just another example of the somewhat vaporous properties of airline credits.

  • EdB

    “This credit, which expires 365 days from the date that it is issued, is available for use on future travel with JetBlue.”

    Where in that description does it say the date the credit is issued is based on the original purchase? The way I read it is that the 365 day clock starts on the day they issue the new credit. “This credit, which expires 365 days from the date that it is issued” The date that IT, the credit, is issued. I agree with the OP on the interpretation. However, if he wants to push this further, I think it is more a case where they should consult a lawyer than a consumer advocate.

    I am basing this response on what was provided in the story and the statement being true and not paraphrased. I’m sure there is probably something buried in the mouse print that puts the issue date with the original purchase.

  • ChBot

    The trick here is that he paid part cash and part funny money. Why does the
    voucher that is issued has to be tied to the funny money and not to the cash ?

  • Nancy Nally

    Where did Jet Blue’s so-called PR people learn their “skills”? The CIA?

  • Michael__K

    Rules are clear.

    I have the same question as EdB: where is this rule found? Other than in the personalized response to the OP’s appeal?

    Terms here:
    http://www.jetblue.com/flying-on-jetblue/customer-protection/#best-fare

  • Actually, my dealings with the federal government PR people — even the TSA — have been fairly positive. Even when they know I’m going to write something critical. This reply came out of left field for me, since most of my JetBlue coverage has been really positive.

  • Tigger57

    Several airlines have the same rules. it’s the rule so just deal with it!

  • l2y2

    Southwest uses the same rules. I know about them and I abide by them. If they issued new expiration dates every time someone used a voucher and then rescheduled, they would never expire. This is nothing new. No reason to mediate since it’s not a problem.

  • l2y2

    The vouchers/credits he received were likely applied to the funny money first, cash last. That’s only fair or people would play the system against the vouchers all the time. At what point would the funny money expire then?

  • Daddydo

    Airlines have always been very sticky on the use of airline credits. Most of our 4 big losers, use the idea that a travel must be initiated, not just reserved within 1 year from the original purchase. Otherwise, I could buy my ticket in Jul 2012, cancel jun 2012 and book again for May 2014. They feel that this is beyond their aptitude for accounting. There is one exception to the 1 year rule, and that would be bump tickets that are generally good for 1 year from date of issue. Using the idea of just using the credit sounds real cool if you don’t have to add any additional cash into the fun trip.

  • EdB

    Personally, I think what would be fair, since the ticket was paid by both funny money and cash, is to issue the credit based on the percentage of each. If $100 credit is due and 20% of the fare was paid with credit, then a $20 credit with the original expiration date should be issued along with an $80 one with a new one year expiration.

  • ChBot

    And exactly how would you do that ?
    Let’s imagine I pay for a fare with $150 cash and $50 funny money. Price drops, I get a $60 credit : if the airline ties it to the cash, I would still have paid for the ticket $90 cash and $50 funny money ! I don’t see it as playing the system against the voucher (how would i know that the price might drop in the future) !…
    Remember, we are not talking about full refunds here (which could be a way of gaming the system to extend the validity of funny money) for whom I would agree with a tie-in to the original expiration date

  • emanon256

    I voted no. I don’t see a problem with their policy and in fact it makes sense to me. I know others will disagree with me, but if someone uses a voucher, and then gets part of the voucher back, why should the expiration date be extended a year? Doing so would allow people to perpetually extend their vouchers. I didn’t know Jet blue did this, and reading this story gives me more reason to fly with them because of this option. However, I am a little annoyed that they don’t work well with Chris. Bad move on their part.

    Untied used to do the same thing and stopped in 2011 to more closely align their policies with Continentals which realy anoyed me as I often took advantage of this policy. When there was a fare change, if requested, they issued what they called a type B voucher which could be combined with other vouchers including e-certificates, and was refundable, in the form of a voucher. However, like Jet Blue, if used on a flight and a voucher was issued for that credit, it would have the original expiration date. They would always refund the used voucher first, and then cash later as a new voucher if there was cash left and the cash had a new expiration date. For example, I had a flight JFK-SFO-NRT and it dropped by $150, so I got a $150 voucher. I used it on a JFK-LAX-SJD flight. That flight dropped by $200, so I got by $150 voucher back with the original expiration date, and a new $50 Voucher back valid for 12 months from when I booked JFK-SJD.

  • emanon256

    United started that when they moved everything into Continentals computer system. So annoying. I liked the old policy where I could pay the change fee from the credit. They also offered the same credit as Jet Blue with no change fee when fares dropped and stopped soon after the paper merger before the system changed.

  • l2y2

    If you paid for the ticket in $150 cash and $50 funny money ($200 total) and the price dropped $60, you would get one voucher for $50 with the old expiration date and a new voucher for $10 with a new expiration date. That is how Southwest does it. They have very good tracking systems that make sure that the voucher expiration dates are tied to the original reservation dates.

  • emanon256

    In the financial world where I did consulting for many years, pro-ration refunding was frowned upon. It made the books very hard to reconcile, was confusing for customers and front line employees, crated liabilities that were hard to track, and while not documented in GAAP, was not considered a best practice. The best practice was to give payments priorities. The cash in this case would have a higher priority, and the voucher a lower priority. So cash applies to the payment first, then the voucher applies last. So in the event of a partial refund to a voucher, the original voucher would be refunded first until it is used up, then the cash would be refunded and in most cases (not sure about Jet Blue, but I would assume so), the cash would be refunded to a new voucher with a new expiration date. While I never worked for an airline, I implemented systems that do this exact processing for many businesses. It gets far more granular too. Credit cards would be refunded before cash; cash and checks would have different priorities; some places even assigned different priorities to different types of credit cards.

  • l2y2

    Exactly, EdB. Except they don’t tie it to percentage, they tie it to the dollars paid in cash vs vouchers.

  • emanon256

    This is actually tied to accounting practices. The Cash has a higher priory than a voucher, so your voucher woudl be refunded first, then the cash next. In your case, if the price drops $50, the voucher woudl be refunded and still have its original expiration date, if it dropped further, the cash woudl be refunded to a new voucher with a new expiration date.

  • sirwired

    Well, although the story didn’t point this out, one drawback is that if you combine new funds with credit to purchase a new ticket, the new funds take the expiration date of the existing credit. (I think this is more of a systems limitation that deliberate malevolence…)

  • TonyA_says

    In Jetblue’s case the customer pays for his ticket by applying his travel bank credits first. Then charges the rest or balance if any to his credit card. Nothing wrong for Jetblue to practice FIFO. So for any refund, they take out the travel bank credits first.

  • TonyA_says

    You are correct. Simply go to jetblue and try to buy a ticket with your TRAVEL BANK CREDITS. It will be applied first to payfor the ticket. Any balance can be charged to your credit card AFTER.

  • emanon256

    That’s also standard, I just didn’t mention it in my post. They generally show the credit first to display the cash due as the difference. It may or may not have actually applied in the financial records yet. When they are applied out of order, something called “Payment Swapping” occurs, and the higher priority payment still applies first on the books. It actually gets far more complex and priorities change based on time, for example a credit card may have a lower priority during the record retention period and than change its priority to be equal to cash afterwards. Basically, it doesn’t matter what order they are applied in, what matters is the priority they assign to each payment.

  • ChBot

    Well, … this policy for price adjustment vouchers is clearly not as customer friendly as it is marketed !… I still think there is no way to game the system against the voucher in this case (as future price drops are unknown of you at the time you use your voucher to pay for your plane ticket), and therefore no reason (other than greed) for the airline to be restrictive !

  • ChBot

    Nothing wrong, yes, but not very customer friendly !…

  • TonyA_says

    Jetblue and Virgin America uses Sabre’s Travel Bank system. It has a similar concept with Southwest’s Travel Funds system.
    Since Southwest is a ticketless carrier, the value is stored in the passenger’s account and not on the eticket. Hence it is very easy to reuse funds.

  • ChBot

    This case is not about a schedule change (which could be a way to let vouchers live indefinitely) but about a partial refund on an itinerary that the OP intends to take. Makes all the difference in my opinion …

  • l2y2

    And your new ticket costs you less out-of-pocket. It’s a win. You just have to keep an eye on those expiration dates and use them before you lose them.

  • TonyA_says

    Excuse me. You paid using funny money first, then why shouldn’t you get that back first?

  • ChBot

    “I think this is more of a systems limitation that deliberate malevolence” :
    I think you give too much credit to the airline

  • MarkKelling

    CO used to allow for the same thing for change fees – it isn’t the computer system it was a deliberate change put in place by the new UA to increase their revenues.

    I was not aware that UA ever offered the lower fare credit. I know CO never did (unless you bought a refundable fare without change fees (which pre-merger were much lower cost) that you cancelled and re-booked when the fare dropped).

  • Dutchess

    They should be happy they got the second voucher at all. Most companies that issue price adjustments will do it once. You came back to the well twice!
    I agree with the others. The rules are pretty clear and it’s industry practice so I voted no on mediation.

  • ChBot

    As the name implies, funny money is not, as you try to paint it, a real source of payment. I tend to see it as a marketing ploy to make me come back, i.e. more a discount for future travel. And therefore, if I am to benefit from a partial refund (wether in cash or another funny money), I would prefer if it would not come with the strings of the previous discount !!!
    But I understand why airlines greediness wants to look at it the other way round !…

  • l2y2

    This is the way SW handles all refunds and changes made by the traveler. I believe they handle schedule changes in a different manner. I don’t believe I mentioned anything about schedule changes…

  • cjr001

    What are vouchers worth? Nothing.

  • Michael__K

    the rules are upfront

    Where are these rules disclosed up front?

    http://www.jetblue.com/flying-on-jetblue/customer-protection/#best-fare

  • As an attorney, the first thing I would do would be to consult someone in the financial services field, probably an accountant familiar with the travel industry. If indeed the representations emanon256 and TonyA are correct, then I’d probably advise the OP not to pursue the matter any further.

  • emanon256

    Hmm. I had heard from many pre-merger CO flyers that CO didn’t let anyone apply the flight credit to the change fee for many years before the merger. Refundable tickets were much cheaper pre-merger on UA as well. However they always gave a voucher if the fare dropped on non-refundable tickets. I took advantage of it many times. It was a great deal in my opinion. If it was refundable and the fare dropped they gave cash back. I am not a fan of the new UA.

  • Randy Culpepper

    So the op is receiving vouchers, as a courtesy, and is still complaining?

  • MG

    Well, isn’t this similar to an appliance warranty? In case of a problem during the warranty period you may end up with a new one. But your original warranty time does not get extended.

  • bodega3

    I sell airline tickets. All travel vouchers have an expiration date.

  • bodega3

    I agree, what you see on their website doesn’t cover all situations, just a general rule.

  • bodega3

    You obviously don’t run a business or you would certainly understand the reasons for the way this is set up. Funny money, as you call it, is real money and is an accountable document. It has a ticket code attached to it that has to be entered to be used.

  • bodega3

    This policy has gone up and down over the years. When the policy first came into place, you couldn’t apply the residual to the change fee. Then they changed it so you could. Also there was no deadline on the use of the residual’s use when it had already been applied to a new ticket and that new ticket was also being reused. Believe me, these changes have keep us spinning and often being fined.

  • bodega3

    No they have a value, you just have to use them within the stated use date.

  • DavidYoung2

    Not only greedy, but ungrateful. Jet Blue is going above and beyond what most airlines do. And it’s not unfair to apply the vouchers first to new tickets and if you apply for credit or new voucher, it’s the same as ‘undoing’ the application of the first voucher.

    This makes total sense because, if they didn’t, people could just buy a refundable ticket with the voucher and then cancel it in exchange for another voucher, thereby ‘refreshing’ the voucher date. Or, if the voucher is worth a lot and is about to expire, buy a non-refundable fare and then cancel it, eat $100, and then refresh the balance of the original voucher.

    Be grateful they’re taking care of you.

  • Joe_D_Messina

    “OK, OK … no need to yell.”

    _______________

    Funny you went with that spelling instead of “Okay” in this instance! Just my personal opinion, but I only consider it yelling when vast stretches of text are in all caps. That email had a couple of words emphasized. Not the same thing as yelling.

  • cjr001

    No, they don’t have a value. They are not a credit to your account. They are not cash. They are a fiction designed to hold you hostage to the company that issues them to force you to continue to do business with them.

  • Joe Farrell

    First In First Out Accounting? They take the cash, and if you pay with a voucher then the voucher is the first fruits back out if the fare drops? That actually makes sense.

    Now, if there is ZERO explanation of how that works – and B6 just decides whatever s in their favor depending on the circumstances – ok – I see that being a problem.

    After all – when you PAY for the ticket you put the vouchers in first- then you add the additional money at the end.

  • Shukar

    If the purpose of issuing vouchers is to be the type of airline that doesn’t look to rip you off, then it is failing. The good will of getting a voucher when the price drops wears off quickly once the voucher becomes difficult or impossible to use.

    If the purpose is to provide a superficial way to advertise a policy but not to actually have to stand by it, then you are right. Nowadays I put every offer I get from United directly into the trash, because it’s always set up in such a way to make it extremely unlikely that I can get any benefit from it. Has JetBlue gotten to that point? No, but these types of shenanigans get it a step closer.

  • bodega3

    You can complain all you want, but you don’t know how these actually work. A voucher issued by an airline, or by me, which would be an MCO, has value and is an accountable document, whether you like it or not. All vouchers have a use by date and the rules applying to how those can be used are based on the rules in effect on the date of issue. The internet really makes people think they know more than they do!

  • bodega3

    And the fee to consult is?

  • bodega3

    Something you really need to pay attention to is what the rules are for use at the time of issue. If the carrier changes the rules before you use it, they are suppose to honor the rules that were in effect as of the date on the credit voucher.

  • bodega3

    When you book a nonrefundable ticket, and the fare drops which enables to you get any money back, you are lucky. If you don’t use the voucher, then oh well.

  • Crochet518

    Don’t waste your time, Chris. As you so aptly state: Jet Blue’s policy is better than what you will get from most other airlines. This whole scenario reminds me of a compulsive coupon person – trying to use vouchers until they are getting something for free. Businesses are in business to make money. It costs Jet Blue money to revisit this issue repeatedly, and situations such as this will make them get rid of the program all together.

  • Crochet518

    Exactly, David.

  • Guest

    Jet Blue discloses that their best fare guarantee doesn’t apply to refundable tickets.

    They don’t disclose the policy that the OP came up against.

  • y_p_w

    http://help.jetblue.com/SRVS/CGI-BIN/webisapi.dll/,/?St=269,E=0000000000118823236,K=3169,Sxi=17,Case=obj%28398103%29

    “Do my credits expire?

    Most credits are good for one year from the date of issuance, unless noted otherwise. You can view each credit’s expiration date on your Travel Bank statement. When you use funds from your Travel Bank account, credits with the soonest expiration date will be used first. All credits are good until 11:59 p.m. of the expiration date. Also keep in mind, travel need not be completed by the credit expiration date, only a new reservation booked and the credit used as payment by then.

    NOTE: If you receive a refund on a flight that was originally paid for with Travel Bank funds (for full or partial payment), the expiration date for these funds will revert back to the original expiration date of the credits that were used to purchase the flight.

    example: I booked a flight for February 10, 2011 and I used Travel Bank funds that were going to expire March 29, 2011 to pay for it. I was unable to take the flight and called to cancel. After paying the cancel fee, the remaining funds were placed back into my Travel Bank. The expiration date of that credit will be the original date, March 29, 2011.”

  • y_p_w

    They have a service credit FAQ:

    http://help.jetblue.com/SRVS/CGI-BIN/webisapi.dll/,/?St=269,E=0000000000118823236,K=3169,Sxi=17,Case=obj%28398103%29

    “NOTE: If you receive a refund on a flight that was originally paid for with Travel Bank funds (for full or partial payment), the expiration date for these funds will revert back to the original expiration date of the credits that were used to purchase the flight.”

  • EdB

    So in other words, the OP paraphrased the credit description to favor himself. Shame on the OP.

  • cjr001

    I do know how they work, and we’ve had more than enough stories here on Christopher’s blog that they’re a joke and should never be accepted or relied upon. The sooner you grasp that, the quicker you’ll realize you’re not nearly as smart as you think you are.

  • bodega3

    Sorry, but I sell tickets and know how it works. Just because you think you know or want something to go your way, it is’t going to. What don’t you understand that vouchers are accountable documents? All carriers have procedures in place that you just have to deal with.

  • As an accountant myself – a lot more than the $161 at issue in this case, that’s for sure.

  • Michael__K

    Thanks for finding and posting that.

    That SHOULD be included or linked to in Jet Blue’s “complete terms and conditions” for their Best Fare Guarantee. Not in a separate FAQ with assorted questions and answers.

  • backprop

    What do you mean that they shouldn’t be “accepted”? They did not constitute payment to the customer or a refund for services that didn’t get rendered. They are part of an incentive program and work exactly like they say they will. By your logic, should frequent flier miles “never be accepted” because they aren’t equivalent to cash?

  • DavidYoung2

    Well, that makes sense. With a refundable ticket, if the price drops you just cancel and rebook and get a refund instead of a voucher. I was referring to booking a refundable ticket with the voucher, then canceling the ticket altogether and getting a new voucher (ie, the same form of payment) with a new date.

  • Michael__K

    There’s no fundamental necessity for these 2 distinct policies to be tied together. If they decided to issue fresh-dated vouchers for best fare guarantee credits, that doesn’t preclude them from using the original expiration date for refundable ticket refunds.

    Whatever they decide, the disclosure should be clear.

  • TonyA_says

    Yeah. Anything that will lower my cash outlay is good.

  • TonyA_says

    I think people forget what a credit or voucher is in the first place. They are derived from a ticket that was issued prior. Unless you are bumped or get compensation, almost everything else you get from an airline is a credit or voucher linked to your ticket. And since your ticket expires in a year then so does the credits and vouchers linked to it. The only way to make airline funds or funny money last longer is to convert it to cash first.

  • Lots :-)

  • sirwired

    Usually the expiration date on vouchers states a date when travel must be completed by, not when it must be booked by.

  • cjr001

    Like vouchers, frequent flier miles should not be relied upon if possible for the fact that their value can be lost at any time.

    Which, of course, Christopher has also pointed out time and time again.

  • bodega3

    You usually have advance notice of changes to the program. Chris isn’t one to quote as an authority on this subject.

  • Lots
    ;-)

  • TonyA_says

    My hats off to you Bodega. At least you are still trying to explain to the general public how MCO, Certs, Funds, etc. work in the airline business. I’m so sick of people arguing with the rules simply because they don’t know it. I am tired of fighting this already. My new policy is simple – don’t like the airline, don’t fly. Cheers.

  • Crissy

    No. I’m actually in the same exact position he is in right now. I’m just glad my previous credit covered just about all of a new flight, if I don’t get to use the extra little bit then, well, I’m still ahead of where I would be with most other airlines. Annoying? sure. Bait and switch, fraud? NO!

  • Crissy

    And if they rules were more clear would he have chosen not to get the credit and just lose the money outright?

  • Michael__K

    Who knows, maybe he wouldn’t have bought the ticket when he did in the first place.

    If they advertise the feature and post “complete terms and conditions” for it, then IMO those ought to be complete and cover all the rules.

  • MarkKelling

    I rarely change flights, but I do remember a couple on CO over the years that did work that way.

    The new UA is not my favorite airline either. Seems they picked the worst of both airline’s policies to carry forward.

    But today I just received a refund of fare difference from UA – a cash credit to my credit card! And it was on a NON-refundable ticket! (No, it’s not April 1st.) I was scheduled to fly from DEN a few weeks ago when a blizzard hit. I was already at the airport, but decided not to wait for my flight (which ended up departing 5 hours late). UA was offering no-fee rescheduling so I talked to an agent in the club and she rebooked me (after numerous phone calls to her support group because she couldn’t figure out the re-booking process) two weeks out. She mentioned that the new fare was $100 lower than the one I had and I should expect a refund of the difference. I told her that since it was a non-refundable fare I would be surprised if I got it, I didn’t expect it, but would be happy if it happened. She assured me the refund was coming. So, what wrong button did she push? :-) I know the new fare is F class and the old fare was P.

  • MarkKelling

    There was a story here on the Southwest funds expiration policy a while back. Someone had 50 CENTS left that they applied to a new ticket on WN where they also had to add in several hundred dollars and they then had to reschedule the new flight after the one year expiration date. WN did allow them to extend the expiration by another year for a $50 charge saving the loss of the new money paid in. Maybe Jet Blue should look into a similar extension policy.

  • MarkKelling

    And in some countries cash currency can lose its value as well as the governments replace it from time to time when the ruler changes or they revalue it.

    As long as you can use the vouchers, frequent flyer miles, free drink coupons, or whatever your airline gives you, then I don’t see a problem. If these vouchers et al have such restrictive terms that the cost (in time or money) exceeds the value you receive then I agree with you.

    One example of what at first glance appeared to be a good thing was a voucher I received from CO (many years ago) that was valid for $250 off “any” fare. But you had to phone in the redemption at a cost of $25. And you had to buy tickets on off peak travel times. And if your flight ended at any of their hubs and did not connect onward, you received only $25 credit. So this one was really worthless.

  • emanon256

    You are so right!!!

    Seems they picked the worst of both airline’s policies to carry forward.

    Maybe in their strange new system F is cheaper than P in some cases, very odd, but good for you. When Hurricane Sandy hit I had a similar experience, they issued a waiver and I called to reschedule, but didn’t know the date I would need next as I was transitioning clients. They said they would just refund me, which I also though was going to be a credit since it was a non-refundable ticket and only 1-way was covered under the weather waiver. They actually flat out refunded my whole R/T ticket to my credit card which surprised me. I really think that lately it depends on who I get when I call. Some people are good, some people are horrible.

  • backprop

    That’s not what you said. You said they’re a joke and should “never be accepted.”

    The vouchers in this instance are part of a bonus program. They are not a refund. They are not pay back. They are not a settlement. They are a promotion.

  • bodega3

    Welcome to my world of dealing with the carriers, with your last line. NEVER call at night as you get trainees.

  • BMG4ME

    Having an expiration date at all is a problem to me for vouchers like this. Also this is not the area where JetBlue falls short. They are the only airline that expires miles without giving you a way to extend them other than to apply for their credit card.

  • case dismissed

    This is completely ridiculous-if JetBlue is giving money back when a price goes down, it is a courtesy. If their rules state that the credit is good for one year and the credit goes with the original expiration date, then it’s not rocket science. Use it or lose it. What other airline does that for free? An airline gives back money and you complain??? Unbelievably entitled people!!!!