How to use travel credit to book flights on US airlines; step-by-step guide

  • The upcoming holiday travel season is the perfect time to offload travel credit from flights canceled during the pandemic. 
  • Travel credit is often issued in lieu of a refund so an airline can keep the cash paid for the original flight.
  • Each airline is different in how flyers can use credit and this step-by-step guide for all 11 major US airlines explains how to book flights using it. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

If you voluntarily canceled a flight during the pandemic, chances are that you received a travel or flight credit and not a cash refund. 

Issuing a credit is the preferred method for airlines instead of cash refunds. It’s almost like an interest-free loan for airlines as it lets them keep the money paid for a flight without having to provide the service until a later date.

With the holiday season fast approaching, travelers are contemplating returning to the skies, and now is the perfect time to use up that credit before it expires.

Each airline is different in what they’ll allow the credit to be used for. Some airlines require that the same passengers use the credit while others are transferable. Credits may also be used to purchase extras like seat assignments or baggage allowance, depending on the airline. 

Prospective flyers seeking to use a credit should call their airline to confirm what it can be used for and if their credit can be used multiple times if the full amount won’t be used up in one trip. But once that’s all done and it’s time to book, the process is quite simple. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use travel credits when booking a flight on all 11 major US airlines. 

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