As we grapple with the coronavirus crisis, many of us are forced to cancel or delay our travel plans. That means reaching out to the airlines and either cancel our plans, get our money back, or delay and use (credit) the amount on future travels.
In all of this, some scammers (or amateurs ones) have been trying to sell the credit amount they have with the airline. Here is the main reason why this is useless and no one should purchase an airline credit from anyone.
THE UNUSED AMOUNT IS NON-TRANSFERABLE
When a passenger cancels or delays a trip, the unused amount (or credit) with the carrier is and remains associated to the name of each flyer.
“The original booking passenger(s) must use their respective amount” as per Air Canada Refund Options terms & conditions. The amount is always associated with the passenger PNR and every passenger has a unique PNR.
British Airways calls it a voucher. When a passenger cancels their trip, the carrier issues a voucher to the value of the booking. What’s essential to understand is that the voucher will always be associated with the traveler’s name.
WHAT’S A PNR
A PNR is a Passenger Name Record which contains a passenger’s itinerary and many detail pertaining to the traveler (name, contact details, ffp #, redress #…) and the trip (itinerary, carriers, flight #…)
It’s also called a booking reference, it’s unique and is located on your e-ticket email header (ie PQ54YG). PNRs have helped airlines a lot when they introduced interline ticketing.
If someone offers to sell a credit or unused portion of a ticket at a discount, it’s a trap. I’ve been seeing posts on Canadian Facebook groups recently. Some individuals are offering to sell money that is already locked-in with the airline under their name. These people are either ignorant of the rule or simply crooks.
If you cannot earn miles on someone else’s ticket you certainly cannot have their ticket credit.
While the credits themselves are not transferable, they *may* be used towards the purchase of tickets for someone other than the holder of the credits. It’s just that the holder of the credit must make the purchase on behalf of the other person.
According to the official rules, the holder of the credit is not allowed to sell or barter the credit amount. But that is something that is only between the two parties, so isn’t something the airlines can really enforce.