Our Reader Question today comes from a reader who flew on Air Canada and was compensated with a 15% travel voucher and now had some difficulty redeeming it due to booking restrictions.
When you receive compensation from airlines in the form of vouchers or discount codes these often come with strings attached or a long list of conditions attached that make it difficult to redeem them to it’s fullest value.
Calvin from Vancouver wrote about his experience:
Hi guys I have some trouble with my Air Canada discount voucher as I always get an error message when trying to book a multi city itinerary. Is this a general issue with these vouchers?
It seems I’m allowed to do one open jaw combination but not more which isn’t suitable in my case. If I can’t use this voucher now it will expire next month and that would really be a shame.
I attach the email from Air Canada with the code and description. Please help!!
I had a look at the email our reader got from Air Canada and the description is anything but detailed when it comes to what one is able to book with it or not.
From the reader I had the impression that he is looking at open jaw flights so I searched for exactly the same in order to play around with it a little:
I used an open jaw option from Taipei to Vancouver and return from Vancouver to Taipei which then displayed me various flights to pick from. The reader was indeed correct, if you enter to return for example to Hong Kong it will give you an error message.
One advantage is however that this discount code appears to be applicable to codeshare flights as well. If you look at the selection, above you see the connection flights to/from Incheon or Tokyo which are all operated by Star Alliance partners.
This is already a lot better than what you can do with American Airlines or United vouchers which are only valid for the airlines own metal, no codeshare flights accepted. That restricts you right away from reaching some parts in the world for example South East Asia where these carriers mostly don’t fly to (except for the SIN nonstop flight on UA).
In Calvin’s case I recommended that he work with the options that the Air Canada website permits as I find them to be pretty flexible. Of course, if you really need multiple stopovers in such a case then maybe the voucher is doing a disservice if the end result is that extra flights have to be booked. All of the savings could be eaten up by that. It’s a case by case basis the customer needs to outweigh.