[Updated] Don’t Let Your Delayed Flight Food Vouchers Go To Waste, Here’s How I Saved My United Food Voucher For Future Use

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Update: I received a dozen $20 vouchers after a United flight cancellation and had the chance to test out some more United food voucher uses.

  • The voucher did not work for an Amazon gift card balance reload.
  • I was able to do 2 Starbucks reloads with 2 vouchers, but the 3rd voucher gave an error. I think that’s due to a limit that Starbucks sets limiting the number of funding sources allowed within a period of time?
  • While local restaurants that use Toast for processing failed to work, I was able to buy gift cards from other restaurants that don’t use Toast with 9 of the vouchers. However, the voucher that failed to load onto Starbucks also failed to load at the restaurant. The vouchers are one-time-use, so maybe it got burned once it failed on Starbucks?

Originally posted on 7/18:

Last month during a delay, United texted me a $20 food voucher credit with a virtual credit card number good for $20 of spending within 1 day. By the time I got it, I was already on an American flight to JFK and went right from there to a wedding, so I didn’t have a chance to use it.

Even if I was still in Cleveland, there’s no substantial kosher food to buy. In fact, unless you’re flying through an NYC airport, you’re not going to find any substantial kosher food for sale in any US airport.

And yet somehow Istanbul has that figured out

But I do get a $28 per person credit at Cleveland’s Bar Symon with my Chase Sapphire Reserve® and my JPMorgan Ritz Priority Pass, and they’re more than happy to pack up chips, drinks, Kind bars, beer, and more to go with that credit, so I don’t have any need for other credit in Cleveland.

I did try using the $20 credit to buy a gift card from Cleveland’s Mendel’s KC BBQ, but the transaction was declined and the card expired unused after I couldn’t even get a flight home the next day. I guess the card is programmed to only allow airport food?

I had a United flight booked last week that was delayed several hours, and was texted another $20 food voucher. This time I went onto my phone’s Starbucks app and added the virtual card number to my account. Sure enough, it let me add $20 to my account from the food voucher card:


That will be good for drinks or merchandise from any Starbucks store without expiration. It beats letting it go to waste!

Where have you been able to use your delayed flight food vouchers?

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61 Comments On "[Updated] Don’t Let Your Delayed Flight Food Vouchers Go To Waste, Here’s How I Saved My United Food Voucher For Future Use"

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mendel n

I got credit with restaurants outside of the airport and worked

got 200$ on chocolatte crown heights


wait! I got delayed by united 3 hours in plane, 3 hours in airport, diverted flight (landed at destination 10 hours after scheduled time). I did not get offered anything from them, is there anything can do?


Some restaurants place a hold for a tip when using at a restaurant. If, including the hold, the charge was more than the balance of the card it would be declined.


I got 2 voucher’s that they printed me like a boarding pass I only used 1, is there a way that I could save it ,its expiring July 25??


Write to United and ask for a credit voucher in exchange for the expired one


Did anyone try loading to Ubereats etc?

Chad Bidoro

Ye minimum load is $25 🙁


I used my vouchers at Bakeristor Bakery in Linden NJ (short drive from EWR).


Nice! They’re more of a lunch place, though, if I recall correctly.


Next time try adding it to postmates/uber/ubereats


Please explain what you said about a credit through your Sapphire Reserve card and JPMorgan Ritz Priority Pass. I have the same card, and the priority pass that gets me in to some lounges. I’ve never heard of a Ritz pass. And I don’t know how you got a $28 credit.???


My husband gets it at Boston Logan at a restaurant called Stephanie’s.


Would it also work with the Dunkin donuts App ?


It does


Was able to use it in fallsburg bagels in boro park


You can make a square account and pay yourself.

Publicity flaws

That is until united sees this post and changes it to restaurants in the airport only


Hahahaaha . I’m CFO OF United my main is Chaim Breindy Goldenbergman and I will pretend to not have seen this hack.


Hopefully ye Mandel doesn’t stop it


That’s AA. 😉


We got vouchers for CIBO express but they were useless once we flew out of EWR.


I tried to use one at See’s candy at LAX but it was refused.


What about an electronic travel certificate for $200 that will expire soon?


Yeah. This is no brainer – UAL has no cancellation fee. You book a flight as far out in advance with Economy fare. You can cancel/change before the travel date and no issue


I’ve heard of people being able to scan a QR code into the Chick-fil-A app


My kids love when I saw United because I’d bring home naked juice drinks because it’s the only thing that I can buy with all the money


What starbucks app works for a android?
The option I get is for starbucks UAE


I got 3 $15 vouchers when my flight got cancelled and in the airport they to,d me that I can only use it at the hotel restaurant and I sis not think of trying them elsewhere.
Now they are expired but I happen to have them.
You think there is anything to do?

Ed Travel

Great tip, last time I had one was in San Francisco I was not even hungry I would have done the Starbucks app if I would have known….


Not sure how this helped – Starbucks isn’t kosher either!


The United vouchers have an expiration date. Why wouldn’t it expire if added to Starbucks app?


I used mine ($15) at a local pizza shop and it worked!
I had a flight booked but didn’t end up travelling and cancelled the flight, the next day they still sent me a voucher.
Would you have used it?


You can also buy $20 worth of junk food at the news stands. That’s what we did.


One of the best uses is to go to the front of the line a the airport where someone is paying their tab and buy them food. You won’t get the credit saved for later, but what a nice thing to do for someone!


Anything I can do with expiring Delta vouchers?

high end hobo

Or you can be like me and open a ‘resturant’ on Squareup


The one that didn’t work at Starbucks had a hold for $1 from the failed transaction, so either wait a day or try it for $1 less at the restaurant


Hi United sent my box of food a day later to Gva and now it’s 3 days later and it’s still sitting in Geneva airport I am in France and United is saying they can’t reach the airport in Geneva what can I do by now all food is spoiled I have a tracker i see it ther any help ??


Very helpful post, thanks! I wish I had saved my last voucher now, and will know what to do with the next one I get. Two questions – is there an amount of delay time where we are entitled to ask for such a voucher? And how did you know to order stuff like Kind bars at Bar Symon? (I ordered takeout before and would’ve loved to order something off the menu that I could’ve saved for later. Also wondering if this is generally applicable to other PP restaurants)


Dan, could you please write about United’s cruel behavior regarding damaged luggage?! United advocates the method of ignoring the customer until he despairs of demanding the compensation he deserves

Chad Bidoro

I recently received 6 vouchers from Alaska. I was able to load two on to Starbucks , before the remaining failed to load…


How did you get $28 per person credit at Cleveland’s Bar Symon with Chase Sapphire Reserve? Was that with the cc or priority lounge pass?


What can I get for united not loading onto flight my KSML?
And we’re to reach out for it?