United has decided to honor a refund voucher for a flight that a man recently found in his North Carolina home—except the voucher was issued 20 years ago after a canceled flight from Nashville to Sacramento. John Walker only found it by accident while looking for something else under his bed.
When John Walker and his wife and children moved to Greensboro, North Carolina, 16 years ago, they did what anyone in the throes of packing does: stuffed a bunch of papers into a box, shoved it under a bed in the new house, and promptly forgot it existed. Until a few months ago, that is.
Walker, who was looking for something else under his bed, found the box and got curious about what was inside. He was in for a treat: a 20-year-old voucher for a United Airlines ticket with “forever” as the valid-through date.
“Over the years, this box has been under there, I just never really thought about it,” Walker told WFMY News. “At the very bottom was the ticket.”
Walker called United to see if the two-decade-old ticket would still be honored. He was bounced around to different departments who didn’t know what to do but eventually was able to get an answer through social media.
“No one knew what to do with a paper ticket because by this time paper tickets were long gone,” he told WFMY News. “They hadn’t been issued for 10 or 12 years. They got back with me rather quickly [on Twitter] and resolved it within just a couple of days.”
The result? The ticket would indeed be honored. United told him that went United Airways went bankrupt in 2010, all debts were purged—meaning the voucher wasn’t valid anymore—but they made a decision to honor it anyway. Walker is mailing the unused ticket back to United in exchange for an electronic voucher.