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If you are a flexible traveler, getting ‘bumped’ off of a flight or missing a connection on the airline’s part can mean a payout! In 2018, I was booked on a short flight from Denver to Salt Lake City, and it was completely full. I was able to score a free night at the Marriott Denver hotel, $600 in United credits and an airline food voucher! But how do you use an airline food voucher?
Airline Food Voucher Hack
This past weekend, I was flying from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Philadelphia and then to Salt Lake City. Our first flight was delayed two hours, and it looked like we were going to miss our connection. The delay was due to personnel issues on American’s part. So American Airlines began processing a hotel and airline food vouchers for my wife and I.
However, our second flight was delayed as well just enough for us to make our flight in time! So now, we had a hotel stay we weren’t going to use and 2 $12 airline food vouchers. While the voucher I received from United was a physical print out, this voucher was a digital debit card.
The difficulty with these is that you don’t have a physical card to swipe. Many places won’t be able to take a voucher like this. Be sure to ask the vendor if they are able to accept an airline food voucher.
Along with this, they are “single use”, meaning that it is only good for one purchase. If your meal is $10, the $2 left over disappears. And the voucher is only good for about 48 hours, so be sure to use it quickly!
I was able to use the card to put $10 on my Starbucks app. So if you aren’t hungry, I would recommend purchasing a gift card for somewhere you like.
If you are lucky to get an airline food voucher, be sure to use it quickly! If you have any other creative solutions, lets hear them in the comments.
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One voucher tip I had is after a long delay leading to cancellation and being given a dinner voucher and hotel voucher, I had no desire to stay in the airport any longer for dinner, so I kept the voucher, headed to the hotel, and used it the next morning for breakfast in the airport. I wasn’t given any problem with doing so despite it saying dinner and having the previous day’s date on it. This was B6 out of LGA.
Thank you! The Starbucks move was brilliant!!
I like to read keep up with what is going on the airline industry.
Just don’t forget to tip based on the original bill. My son works at an airport restauant and says too often people neglect to tip when using vouchers. Also, if you don’t use the full amount, the servers don’t get to keep the unused portion. It’s not permitted.
Why does your son expect his customers to pay his wage instead of his employer? Interesting…
Tipping the waiter is a custom in the United States.
I was not able to buy a gift card from Subway (app) or Panera bread (online).
I was able to load it to Starbucks (app). Now just need to transfer my $20 to my wife, who drinks SB way more than me
You’re one of those cheapskate customer’s. Giving a tip is showing you appreciate the service you received.
Do you have to use them in an airport?
Thank you for the Starbucks tip. Airport concessions had closed by the time they gave it to us and the next morning we had an early flight and weren’t able to use it then either.
I just went through this. It was really cool of Alaska to offer these. You can use the app GrubHub and chose the pickup option. You enter in the credit card information from the email Alaska sent you. I ordered something that cost about 10.50$ before tax, it came out to about 11.94$, just shy of the 12$ they give you. Worked out great!
I would like more details on how to put this in my Starbucks app. Nothing was open during my flight
Go to the Starbucks app on your iPhone.
At the bottom select “Scan”
At the top select “Scan & Pay”
Find your Starbucks card and select “Add funds”
The add a new payment (your digital debit card). Put in the correct zip code and the city / state that matches it. I used my name and street address and it worked.
Last, add funds from the new payment method.
Thank you!!! Did exactly this and it worked. You’re doing God’s work.
Thanks Neil and everyone else. I tried to use it for a Jamba gift card and Moe’s Gift Cards (which includes Jamba and other food outlets) and it didn’t work. I suspect because the billing address, although I added Spirit Airlines address from Schaumburg, IL (zip code is on the certificate). Didn’t work though.
Starbucks worked just fine. Thanks.
One tip is to find a restaurant in the airport with a grab and go shop attached. We went to Cask and Larder. If you have a voucher for a large amount, you can eat your meal, grab a few items for the flight from the grab and go and check out in one transaction. It worked out pretty well for us!
My family of 4 had 16 vouchers and only had time to use 2. So when we landed I tried using them at a restaurant outside of the airport. They couldn’t get the first one to work and I didn’t expect them to put seven more on so I went to Starbucks instead. It was New Year’s Eve and two stores closed early so high saw this thread and decided to put it on my app. A couple worked and then I started getting blocked. So I went to another Starbucks and embarrassingly they wouldn’t scan. Fast forward a month. Starbucks has blocked my account and confirmed with Alaska that I used them “fraudulently” and will not even refund me the funds I had previous to my flight!
I got the vouchers in my Starbucks app. (THANK YOU!!) Do they still expire at the date given to me by United? Or now that they are in the app I can use it whenever?