Updated October 5th, 2020. Please note that airline policies can change without notice, and we will update here with any new information as we receive it.
So, you had to cancel a flight for a trip you had planned. Whether it was a vacation you’d been dreaming about for months, a wedding to celebrate and reunite with your friends, or simply a visit to hug your family members, we know how frustrating – even painful – that moment of cancellation is. But what if we told you there was a way to turn that cancelled trip into something that may just bring a smile to your face?
Good news: there is! Miles4Migrants is a nonprofit that can use your travel credit to book flights for refugees, asylees, asylum-seekers, and their immediate family members who have legal approval to travel but cannot afford airfare.
By donating your travel credit or voucher, you can help someone reach a safe home and reunite with loved ones. We’ve made a quick guide for you to see if your travel credit is eligible to take part. If it is ineligible for donation, please note that frequent flyer miles, credit card points, and cash can also help people start a new beginning in a new home.
Eligible for donation now
For voluntary cancellations, a “credit certificate” is issued that may be redeemed for anyone (does not have to be the person originally ticketed). The credit is valid for one year from the original travel date.
Allegiant is issuing “credit vouchers” for flight cancellation that can be redeemed for anyone. The credit voucher is valid “if travel is completed within two years of the original itinerary booking date.”
For voluntary cancellations, a credit is issued to a passenger’s “Travel Bank” account. The credit may be redeemed for anyone (does not have to be the personal originally ticketed). The credit is valid for 24 months from the date of travel credit issuance. The expiration date should be in a confirmation email you received at the time of cancellation.
For voluntary cancellations, “Travel Funds” are issued to a passenger’s account. These credits are not currently transferable. However, you now have the option to convert those travel funds into Rapid Rewards points at the same rate you would be able to purchase a ticket with points today. You can then donate those Rapid Rewards points to Miles4Migrants. This can be done through December 15, 2020 and is only valid for travel funds expiring September 7, 2022 (which is when travel funds canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic expire). More information can be found here.
Voluntary cancellations can either be credited as a “future flight credit” OR an “electronic travel certificate.”
Electronic travel certificates: ONLY electronic travel certificates can be redeemed for anyone (a person not originally ticketed). The electronic travel certificates are valid for 24 months from the date of travel credit issuance. The expiration date should be in a confirmation email you received at the time of cancellation.
Future flight credits: These are NOT transferable and can only be redeemed for the originally ticketed passenger. However, there is a way to convert a future flight credit to an electronic travel certificate that can be donated! We’re here to help if you need us.
1. Call United Airlines main customer support number. Bypass all the options, and ask for an Agent. We recommend stating “agent please” until you are connected.
2. Tell the United customer support agent that you’d like to convert your future flight credit to an electronic travel certificate.
3. Tell them the amount of the credit showing in your account to convert.
4. The agent will tell you they are sending an email with the electronic travel certificate. Confirm the email address with the agent to make sure they have your most updated email address on file.
5. The electronic travel certificate will arrive in 3 – 7 days in your email.
6. Once the travel certificate has arrived, notify us at [email protected], and we will assist you with the rest of the donation process.
Ineligible for donation
For the following airlines, voluntary cancellation credits are not currently transferable.
❌ American Airlines
If you have travel credit available from any of the airlines eligible for donation, we hope you will join us in this life-changing force for good. If your travel credit is ineligible for donation, but you are still interested in helping out, Miles4Migrants also accepts frequent flyer miles, credit card points, and cash. Together, we can turn our own cancelled plans into a reunion for someone who has been unable to reunite with their loved ones or reach a new, safe community.