American Airlines Voucher Disappears In The Mail, Airline Shrugs

The original copy of an air travel voucher has mystical powers, and flights can only be scheduled using the original copy. At least, that’s the impression we get from Ashley’s experience. When she went to redeem her voucher, she mailed it in, as required. Only the tracking number hasn’t been scanned in the USPS system, and there’s no sign of the voucher.

Last year I received a paper voucher from American Airlines for $500. This month, I made a reservation and mailed the paper voucher as required by USPS with a tracking number.

7 days later, USPS says that they have received the tracking information but no information about the envelope’s status, and AA says they have not yet received the voucher.

AA customer service representatives are adamant that I need the original voucher to redeem it for my flight on the 17th. Consumerist, is there a way that AA will let me redeem a copy of my voucher since the original was lost in the mail?

We can’t imagine that this has never happened before in the history of airline vouchers. Maybe someone higher up the food chain will be more helpful. Like their executive customer service team.

Comments

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  1. Vox Republica says:

    List of valuable things I’d trust sending through the U.S. Mail:

    1.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      List of shipping/postal companies/organizations that lose stuff on a regular basis:

      [all of them]

      • Coleoptera Girl says:

        List of things I’d rather deliver in person than send through any shipping/postal service:

        1. Everything.

        • vivalakellye says:

          SUCH a convenient method when one lives in two states.

          • Coleoptera Girl says:

            I’d also like to be at all places at any given time! When are we going to invent time travel? Or buckle down and start cloning ourselves???

            On another note, I haven’t had any problems with deliveries from any shipping service or even the USPS… I feel horribly lucky.

    • nybiker says:

      T-shirt I am wearing today:

      The top 10 reasons I procrastinate:
      1.

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:

        I was really hoping to get some procrastination done today, but I just can’t seem to get going on it…

    • Major Tom Coming Home says:

      Empty business reply envelopes. Love them or hate them, I hate seeing the post office folks lose their jobs and I do what I can to help them. This means sending back every business reply envelope I get with my junk mail, netting the USPS about 50 cents a pop and costing the junk mailers money.

  2. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    …do you suppose it was sent via…air mail?

  3. MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

    I’m shrugging too. If you’ve gotta send $500 through the USPS, at least insure it, and send it certified. Even better, don’t use USPS.

  4. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    You can use the USPS Customer Help system online. Submit a query. They’ll give you a reply in 5 days that will be of absolutely no use. They might even say they put one of their mythical “tracers” on the envelope, in which case you should feel much better.

  5. Major Tom Coming Home says:

    The only time USPS will update the status of anything with “tracking” is when it reaches it’s destination. It is a joke. American not having any record of the voucher and needing a physical piece of paper in hand to apply it? That is also a joke, and I am sure also a way to keep the customer from ever being able to use it. AA is aware many people will lose or forget about it. Airline funny money is worthless, and if you get bumped from a flight or they owe you anything, accept nothing but cash in hand.

  6. ColonelK says:

    No use to the OP now, but for future reference:

    The safest way to exchange an AA voucher (or probably any other airline’s) is to go to the ticket counter at the airport or at one of the airlines downtown ticket offices. AA has ticket offices in NY City, Miami and Ft. Lauderdale (don’t ask why I know this nonsense).

    I wouldn’t ever mail a voucher. Then again, I pass the airport going to/from work every day.

    • Major Tom Coming Home says:

      I bet vouchers that arrive at AAs office via mail without signature delivery go straight into the circular file. “We never received it, and we have to have the original. Did you use the right address?”

      • scoosdad says:

        I’ve just invented a product which the technology needed to build it isn’t quite there yet, but not totally out in left field:

        It’s a paper-thin, lightweight GPS tracking and reporting ‘sheet’ that’s disposable. You put one in the envelope with your document (or package, the signals coming and going to it would need to be pretty robust), and it sends regular updates to you via a map showing where it’s currently located.

        When you’re satisfied your package has arrived and is in the hands of the intended recipient, you remotely disable this onetime use device. Would need a accuracy of down to about four feet so you could tell whose desk it ended up on (or the trash can it went into).

        • HogwartsProfessor says:

          I WOULD SO USE THAT. If it weren’t too expensive. $5 a pop should sell millions of them.

          Make it so!

      • FatLynn says:

        Actually, I’ve used them before with no issue, sent via regular USPS.

        I did, however, make copies of each one before sending. I’m not sure that would have accomplished anything, though.

      • NeverLetMeDown says:

        Sent in multiple vouchers, never had an issue. Thanks for playing, though.

  7. Lyn Torden says:

    I don’t fly on AA.

  8. ancientone567 says:

    I ship a lot and sometimes the package will get there and get scanned in as being delivered but in fact the box or package etc was delivered but someone stole the contents in route.

  9. sirwired says:

    Since the voucher is transferrable, it’s considered a “negotiable instrument.” That means that AA is going to treat it as cash, and not going to replace it. It should have been sent with $500 of insurance.