Millions of easyJet and British Airways vouchers are about to expire – find out if you're affected | The Sun03/02/2023
PASSENGERS have been warned to "use or lose" vouchers that were issued by airlines during the pandemic.
British Airways-owner IAG and easyJet have £643million worth of vouchers between them that were handed out while global travel was heavily restricted.
Many of them are yet to be used and have expiry dates approaching.
Anyone who was issued a voucher has been advised to check to make sure they can still claim the money on them, and to check the terms and conditions as well.
Some may issue cash refunds if the voucher is not used. Others will not.
It means that people could end up losing out if they end up not using their vouchers in time.
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Rocio Concha, Which? Director of Policy and Advocacy, said: "Although some airlines have extended the expiry dates on flight vouchers issued during the pandemic, many customers now find themselves in a 'use it or lose it' scenario.
"Anyone with unused vouchers should check the expiry date, and also confirm their airlines' terms and conditions in the event the voucher remains unused – only a few airlines will issue cash refunds if this happens."
Airlines were heavily criticised for offering vouchers instead of cash refunds during the pandemic.
However, passengers who would have preferred cash instead of a voucher may still be able to get what they initially wanted.
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Rocio continued: "If you accepted a voucher after the airline cancelled your flight but were not offered the option of a cash refund at the time, you can dispute this with the airline.
"If the airline is still unwilling to issue a refund, you should escalate your complaint to an alternative dispute resolution service if the airline is a member."
Both airlines have extended the expiry dates of their vouchers on more than one occasion.
EasyJet have said that their unclaimed vouchers added up to £110m altogether on September 30, 2022.
They say that number will now be lower due to a "busy booking period" since then.
British Airways vouchers will now expire in September this year, although the airline say they are reviewing that date, meaning it could be extended further.
Which? has also called on the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to investigate and punish any airlines that aren't meeting legal obligations regarding refunds.
Rocio continued: "The CAA must also ensure that airlines are meeting their legal obligations around refunds and should investigate any airlines employing sharp practices to avoid paying customers the money they are entitled to.
"The government must also urgently set out plans to equip the CAA with the powers to fine airlines when wrongdoing occurs, and so begin restoring consumer confidence in the sector."
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Meanwhile, this passenger revealed how they were charged £900 for changing a flight with BA,
And this is how you can cancel an easyJet flight.
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