Passengers are yet to claim hundreds of millions of pounds’ worth of vouchers for cancelled flights during the pandemic.

At the height of the Covid-19 crisis, airlines opted to provide vouchers which could be used for future trips rather than cash refunds for disrupted flights – a move which caused controversy amongst passengers.

International Airlines Group (IAG), parent company of airlines such as British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling, reported more than €650 million of unclaimed vouchers last week, according to the Financial Times.

Meanwhile, easyJet reported £111 million of unused vouchers on its balance sheet at the end of September.

British Airways has extended the validity of voucher credits for use on trips until September 30, 2023, while easyJet’s are valid until July 31, 2023.

This news comes the day after the BBC reported that British Airways lost a court case against a passenger in a dispute over flight vouchers from January 2020.

See our forum post on the topic.

In November 2021, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) called on travellers to redeem vouchers received during the Covid-19 pandemic before the expiry of the financial protection. At the time, the unspent refund credit notes totalled £131.7 million.

CAA urges travellers to redeem £130 million in refund credits

And in December last year Qantas launched a double points incentive for customers to use up so-called “Covid credits”.

At the time the carrier said that a total of $1.2 billion of travel credits issued during the pandemic had already been used, but that almost 900,000 customers still held $600 million in credits.

Qantas encourages use of Covid travel credits with double points offer