I Stuck It To The Man And Got Them To Change My Airline Voucher Rules

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I Stuck It To The Man And Got Them To Change My Airline Voucher Rules

I Stuck It To The Man And Got Them To Change My Airline Voucher Rules

I got the airline to change my airline voucher terms & rules before I signed it. After lots of back and forth for several months, I consider this a big win. Now, my voucher has tons more flexibility and is much more useful to me. Here’s a recap on what happened, which might help those of you still fighting about vouchers and credits.

Flight Cancelation

As with most people, I had a flight cancelation. No big news there. Nearly a year ago, I booked a mistake fare between Brazil and Cabo Verde (off the east coast of Africa) that was published on eDreams. The real issue is that the airline axed my route before the true explosion of flight cancelations due to coronavirus.

Normally, “we don’t fly that route anymore” would turn into a full refund. However, I didn’t get a notification. By the time I figured this out, the airline was only offering vouchers as a standard policy, since Cabo Verde borders were closed. eDreams (which I’ll never ever use again) refused to apply any logic to ‘route doesn’t exist’. Their phone agents are something beyond useless and unnecessarily combative. It’s like they thought it was my fault the flight was canceled and that I was inconveniencing them by calling the help number that they make it impossible to find.

Cabo Verde Airlines wouldn’t budge on the voucher vs refund, and I spent months exploring my rights. In the end, neither Brazil’s temporary legal changes nor Cabo Verde laws at present would cover my situation.

Reading My Paperwork For The Voucher

Cabo Verde Airlines sent me a one-page document to read and accept regarding the terms of my voucher. It included standard things like not suing them, the value of the voucher, etc. What caught my eye was this limitation:

The client should be aware that the Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD) only can be used on our future flights of Cabo Verde Airlines with departures or arrivals at the international airports of Recife/PE or Fortaleza/CE, as well as the present composition doesn’t take into account the cost of connecting flight(s) to these referenced airports, with these costs being left to the client.

In short: now that they’ve cut several of their routes in Brazil, the voucher would be valid only for flights departing / ending at the 2 airports named. Getting to those airports would be my own expense, and also the voucher wouldn’t be valid for any other routes.

Get real.

Rejecting The Terms / Request To Change My Voucher

Given that Recife and Fortaleza airports are both 3+ hours away by plane, having a voucher that specifically ties me to those airports isn’t very useful. Additionally, my original thought when accepting a voucher from Cabo Verde Airlines was to use it for their flights connecting Cabo Verde to other countries around Western Africa. Now, they were telling me it’s only valid to 2 faraway cities in Brazil, not any other routes.

I replied to the email from their voucher department stating specifically which item I didn’t agree with. I stated why and asked for new options if I refuse the terms.

Getting To Change My Airline Voucher Terms

2 days later, the airline replied saying I could use the voucher for any future flight bookings. Any routes are fine, just sign it and return it. We all know what would happen if there were an issue the future. “Well, your terms say…” I went back and forth with them. Here we are, 5 months later, and they’ve finally sent me terms I agree with. I signed it and got my voucher. The only change on my airline voucher terms was removing the section about limiting which routes/airports the voucher is valid for.

Final Thoughts

It worked for me. It was frustrating and annoying at many points, but it is possible. I was able to change my airline voucher rules/limitations before signing and accepting them. The voucher would have cost me more to use than it was worth, given my need to connect to either of those 2 airports far away. This won’t work in every situation, but stick up for yourself. I wasn’t willing to accept their first offer, given how limited it made the voucher. I’m glad I pushed back, because they wound up making the requested change to my airline voucher, and now it’s actually useful.

Ryan S
Travel hacker in 2-player mode, intent on visiting every country in the world, and can say "hello" or "how much does this cost?" in a bunch of different languages.

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6 COMMENTS

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6 COMMENTS

  1. You won’t use eDreams again but you linked to them in your post?
    Do you think you’ll be able to actually use the voucher? How long is it good for? If they axed the route you wanted, do they still have routes that are useful to you from your home airport?
    Was a chargeback not an option for a flight that doesn’t exist? I’m assuming you’re using American credit cards even though you live in Brazil, maybe that was an issue? Lots of questions here.
    Glad you feel like you got something in return for 5 months of hassle but seems like a crappy situation all around.

    • I didn’t consider a chargeback (yes, US cards) since it’s a purchase I made and the airline was corresponding with me. The fact it took so long is mostly due to waiting 2 weeks for a reply every time I sent an email. As I said, they have routes I will definitely use the voucher on. It’s valid for 2 years and will definitely get used.

  2. It’s been my experience that customer service reps outside the major airlines (and other entities) are there to torment you; give you a false sense that you might accomplish something.

    • I see where you’re coming from in terms of LifeMiles/Avianca, but I’ve also found that smaller airlines are much friendlier and will help you get things done because there’s less bureaucracy from a management office thousands of miles away/in another country. It’s rare for me to not accomplish what I’m aiming for with smaller airlines.

    • I have a fully usable and nowhere close to worthless voucher on an airline I’m wagering you know nothing about, to be honest. True?

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