Paper Vouchers – don’t lose them!

Airlines have pretty much switched to using electronic vouchers, but there are still cases where they do hand out paper vouchers. The last time I got a paper voucher was from United for minor damage to a checked bag. It was $25 and quite frankly, I have no idea where it is. While I was not bummed losing a $25 voucher, I did miss it as this was a ‘cash’ voucher and I could have used it for anything – towards a flight, food, even a lounge day-pass.

Another source of paper voucher or paper ‘instruments’ is credit cards. Several credit cards give out companion fare certificates. These are very often paper certificates. I have a few from United, US Airways and Delta. They are also near to impossible to use, but that rant for another post…

Southwest voucher.JPG

A reader of mine recently sent me an email asking for help. She had lost a fairly sizable (I believe) paper voucher issued by Southwest Airlines. She contacted Southwest Airlines, but they said they were unable to re-issue her a new voucher as what she had was a ‘same as cash’ voucher. As this was a paper voucher handed to her, she also had no record of the transaction. While I felt sorry for her, there was nothing I could do to help.

E-vouchers definitely solve this problem. First, they are in electronic form and hence less likely to be misplaced. Secondly, as they come to you via email, they leave a trail behind. If you do lose the e-certificate, you can ask the airline to have it reissued, using the original email as reference. As the airline would have the certificate number in their system, they can verify if it has been redeemed or not and reissue it to you. My suggestion, always ask for an e-voucher.

Now, when you do get stuck with a paper voucher, here are some tips:

  1. Keep it in a secure place (and if you like me, make sure you remember where your ‘safe’ place is).
  2. Make a copy. If possible, scan it to your computer to keep a soft copy.
  3. Use it. Like all vouchers, they expire. I have missed out on using a paper voucher in the past as I forgot I had it.

For tips on using vouchers, read my recent article on Booking with Vouchers.

Share your experiences with paper vouchers. What are your thoughts? Have you ever lost one? Should airlines totally switch to electronic vouchers? Leave a comment below.

To get all my posts and articles, sign up for updates vis RSS or email. I also post updates on Twitter and Facebook on Airline Miles, the Airline Industry and other travel related stuff.



  1. I’ve lost so many vouchers and commuter tickets and certificates that now I take a phone photo – both sides – of vouchers and other semi-important papers then delete the photos once I’ve used the voucher. I email the photo to myself and add a bit of info in the subject line so I can find the voucher fast. I also send myself ecards to remind me of promos that are about to end or cc spends that I need to finish in order to qualify for whatever I’m aiming for –

  2. I recently lost my voucher which will expire 2/29/14. I traveled with a friend that still has her voucher. Will I be able to locate my lost voucher. We traveled together and she still has hers?

  3. #janel, your prospects are not very good, unfortunately. Paper vouchers are very difficult get re-issued. However, do call the airline and plead your case. They may be able to help.

  4. My daughter was given one, recently as a flight was overbooked and they asked for volunteers. She agreed. She gave ole mom the voucher for safe keeping and mom can’t find it!! Is there anyway she might have it reprinted by the airline if she calls customer service and gives her name and the date of the event?
    Thank you, Mom in Trouble

  5. She should call the airline and ask for a re-print. Just the reservation # and flight # should be enough to help them find the voucher.

  6. Hello!I have a voucher from Hawaian Airlines that expires very soon .
    I cannot use it until the day it expires ,what can I do in order to not lose it ???
    tnx for the help in advance

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.