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United Airlines

United Honors 20-Year-Old Flight Voucher

United Honors 20-Year-Old Flight Voucher
Jennifer Billock

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.

[Image: United]

View Comments (7)


  1. arcticflier

    February 20, 2018 at 2:41 am

    Good PR onUnited’s part.

    What would have happened if the voucher holder was not adept at Social Media?

  2. KRSW

    February 20, 2018 at 8:16 am

    Well, that’s United’s one good deed for the year. It’s all downhill from here.

    In a similar story, I found two ancient Universal Studios tickets in one of my desk drawers, easily 12+ years old. I called Universal about it and they said no problem, just go to a ticket booth at the park and they’d exchange them. Sure enough, they did. I was expecting only a dollar-for-dollar comparison, after all, the entrance fees were around $50 when these were purchased, but instead they gave us a full day park pass for each.

  3. roberto99

    February 20, 2018 at 9:12 am

    “United Airways”????

    Who proofreads these articles?

  4. am1108

    February 20, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    Finally, Something Positive in the last 8 years since the merger

  5. jib71


    February 21, 2018 at 2:39 am

    > “United Airways”???? Who proofreads these articles?
    Someone who reads the whole article.

  6. oopsz

    February 21, 2018 at 8:10 am

    Debts were purged in the united bankruptcy, but I’m absolutely certain that they assumed executory ticket contracts, otherwise no travel agent would have continued to book united flights during the bankruptcy period!

    Good on them for honoring the voucher, but it’s disingenuous to say it was solely a PR move.

  7. flyerCO

    February 22, 2018 at 5:52 am

    Oops – you’re correct. 1st thing an airline does in bankruptcy is exclude all tickets. Otherwise no customer would be able to fly unless ticketed by OAL.

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