This is your final warning: don’t buy airline vouchers online

Thinking of buying a cheap airline ticket voucher online? Oh no you don’t.

The latest MarkMonitor Brandjacking Index confirms what readers of this blog already know. The fraudulent sale of ticket vouchers online is a growing problem.

There is a brisk online trade in airline ticket vouchers, averaging more than 160 listings daily with deep discounts of more than 80% under their face value. Interestingly, this trade flourishes despite the fact that most airlines have a policy that these vouchers are non-transferable.

To test its theory, MarkMonitor bought several vouchers. “To no surprise, the voucher numbers could not be validated by the airline when we tried to use them to pay for a flight,” it concluded.

That’s not all. Apparently, we haven’t seen the worst of it.

With the recent airline industry bankruptcies we may expect to see an increased incidence of online fraud related to refunds, credits and vouchers.

Unfortunately, people are still falling for this scam. Just last week, I heard from another traveler who had bought several hundred dollars worth of vouchers and wanted to know if they would be usable. (They might be, but it wouldn’t preclude the airline from coming after you once the flight was over to collect the fare.)

Remember, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at

  • I actually do sell mine on cl I do there picnics in phx and we get a ton of them so call the airline to confirm it is legit before you hand over the cash

  • I totally disagree with this article. I bought/used a voucher for my vacation last year and i saved 200. Use Paypal when paying and don’t buy a voucher unless you plan to use it right away as it may become expired and its harder to process a claim with paypal if you wait to long. Be smart and you can save big money. 

  • April Chueca

    who did your purchase yours thru? We are planning an international flight for feb to march, we will need 3 tickets and would not like to get scammed

  • I’ve bought 3 vouchers, and sold 1 online… with NO PROBLEMS!  Are there scammers out there, yes, but if you do your homework, use Paypal, and use common sense you should be ok!

  • Richard if you don’t mind may I ask the person’s name you bought these from  I’m thinking about buying two vouchers from a guy in NYC from an ad in Craigslist in LA and I’m a little leary, thanks so much for you time

  • dreamcastco

    My family, friends and I all used these vouchers and they worked! Not to forget saved us all a TON of $$$$! You don’t book them directly with the airline.  You book them through the party who markets for them,
    Don’t bad mouth and lie about something you have no knowledge of to sell your book. That’s so sad and lame! YOU are the SCAM ARTIST!

  • dreamtravelguru

    I am the Owner of Curtis Essential Dream Vacations and personally use, sell and gift these Business Incentive Companion Air Vouchers and IT DOES WORK 100% of the time while saving you A LOT of money!

    It IS transferable BEFORE making an airline reservation.

    Pay attention to detail:(Term & Condition 2.)

    Companion Airfare Terms and Conditions

    1. The recipient of this certificate is entitled to purchase two adult
    round-trip, coach-class airline tickets at one low price.

    2. Certificates and Activated Travel Vouchers are transferable only
    prior to making an airline reservation. Hours of operation: Monday –
    Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Central Standard Time. Once you receive
    your activated voucher (with secure pin number), you can go to to book your reservations.

    3. This program is valid only between the listed cities.

    4. Travel must be by both passengers traveling together on the same itinerary.

    5. This companion travel award may not be combined with or applied to
    other certificates, promotions or special offers, including but not
    limited to; upgrades, government fares, tour/travel packages, group,
    convention/company meetings fares, bereavement, companion fares, senior
    citizen discounts, corporate agreements, student fares, child fares,
    travel industry discounts, internet fares, frequent flyer programs or
    any unpublished programs. Code share flights do not apply. All purchased
    tickets are non-refundable, non-endorsable and non-transferable. Taxes,
    airport fees and passenger facility charges and the September 11th
    security fee are additional and will be applied to both the original and
    the additional ticket.

    6. Reservations are generally accepted within six (6) months of travel
    but must be purchased at least 14 days in advance and may require a
    Saturday night stay depending on the airline. Open tickets, open
    returns, open jaws and circle trips are not permitted. Stopovers are
    not allowed. Roundtrip travel must be completed within 30 days.

    7. Selection of the airline varies by market, and is at the sole
    discretion of the issuing agency based on availability because airline
    participation varies from market to market.

    8. Passengers are responsible for the normal required taxes and fees
    including but not limited to Passenger Facility charges and September
    11th security fees will apply to both the Companion Ticket and the First
    Ticket. A $9.95 per ticket processing fee may apply depending on the
    program. All tickets will be issued via Electronic Ticketing.

    9. Airline fares and pricing changes constantly. Internet fares will not
    apply. In rare instances lower fares between eligible cities may be
    available. Fare may not be available for all flights/routes/markets.
    These fares are booked in a special class of service, which may not be
    available on all flights, on all dates when you travel. This program is
    valid on specific schedules and carriers and, at time of booking, is
    subject to individual carrier’s capacity controls and may be
    limited/unavailable for certain flights or dates. Service to/from some
    cities may not be available. Our travel consultant can determine the
    most economical fare for a recipient’s itinerary.

    10. This certificate is non-refundable and not redeemable for cash and
    is void if raffled, sold for cash or other consideration, copied,
    altered or prohibited by law.
    Travel awards are non-transferable and void if altered. Travel awards
    are non-refundable and will not be replaced if expired, lost, stolen or
    destroyed. Once you have paid in full, due to the special cooperative
    participation of our host airlines, this entire program is 100%
    non-refundable, non-endorsable, and non-transferable for any reason,
    medical or otherwise. Name changes are not permitted.

    11. Blackout dates for all destinations may apply during seasonal and
    Holiday periods. Additional blackout dates may apply and blackout dates
    are subject to change without notice. Blackout days do vary by

    12. Schedules, terms, points of service and fares are subject to change without notice.

    13. These terms and conditions cannot be modified or waived unless
    authorized in writing by a corporate officer of the issuing agency.
    Issuing agency is the final authority on the interpretation of the terms
    and conditions. This program is void where prohibited by law. This
    travel award may be distributed free of charge, only by authorized
    businesses as a promotional device. It may not be sold or resold. Any
    such sale will invalidate any redemption rights hereunder This
    certificate cannot be exchanged for cash or other consideration. No
    refunds shall be provided for any unused portion of this offer. This
    certificate has no cash value. All federal, state, and local laws
    apply. Promotions In Travel assumes no responsibility for any verbal or
    written representation made in conjunction with this offer by any
    distributor and/or their agents, other than those included in this

    14. Its agents, assignees and designees, act only as agents for the
    airlines and
    do not, and will not assume any liability or responsibility for damage,
    expense, inconvenience, loss, injury, accident death or damage to any
    persons or property whatsoever on any aircraft or in transit to and from
    said aircraft, or for any cause whatsoever due to delays,
    cancellations, nature, mechanical breakdown, strikes, war, acts of God,
    arising from or in conjunction with services provided.

    15. In the event of major travel industry events, which dramatically
    impact pricing structures, we reserve the right to modify or terminate
    this program without notice.

    16. By registering on line, the traveler consents to be bound by all the
    terms and conditions, as stated in the brochure. The recipient
    signifies further agreement to the above terms and conditions by
    submission of final payment to Promotions In Travel.

    Still Need Help? E mail us at

  • dreamtravelguru
  • dreamtravelguru
  • Why are some writers recommending that voucher purchases be made with Pay Pal for protection when Pay Pal’s own Purchase Protection program details state that travel tickets are EXCLUDED from protection when using their service?

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