It has been a year since the COVID-19 pandemic changed people's lives and upended the travel industry. Countless flights were canceled, as airlines adjusted schedules and limited flights around the globe.
Now, with the weather getting warmer and vaccine distribution underway, people may once again be willing to take to the skies. Before booking trips, it's important to make sure that travel vouchers and credits do not go to waste.
The first step to avoid losing out is to read the fine print on the voucher's expiration date, said Scott Keyes, founder of the discount travel site Scott's Cheap Flights.
"On some vouchers, it might refer to the date when you have to make a booking by," he said. "But on other vouchers that might refer to the date when you have to travel by."
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Now is also the time for those who booked a flight before or during the pandemic to read up on the stipulations of travel credit and perhaps contact customer service.
"The airlines have actually been quite flexible with extending your vouchers, but only for people who ask to have them extended," Keyes said.
The demand for air travel is still recovering, so travelers can take advantage of low prices now, even if they're booking a trip later this year.
"As we get closer to the summer months, vaccinations become higher and cases hopefully drop," noted Hopper economist Hayley Berg. "We can expect prices to increase. So book now, if possible."
For people who do need to reschedule for a later flight, many airlines are still waiving cancellation or change fees for flights booked by the end of the month. Travelers will have to pay the price difference if the fare rises for flights at a later date. But, at least, they can make sure to take advantage of the airline policies for vouchers and credits due to the COVID-pandemic.