How to use a United Airlines paper voucher

A friend of mine had some United Airlines paper vouchers, valued at $100 each, that he gave to me in exchange for a flight in the future using my miles. I needed this vouchers to purchase my upcoming flight to Boston for my Boston - San Diego - Boston mileage run.

I did some digging around online and also called United trying to figure out how to use the vouchers. Once I found out the steps it was a relatively simple process. I will explain the process in plain words for all to understand!

First you must call United reservations line. You cannot book tickets from paper vouchers online. I found it was best to find the flights you want online then call. You will be connected to India call center.


  • Only good for United flights on United planes. No partner airlines' flights. 
  • You forfeit any leftover value (In my case the flights were $264 but I sent in $300 in vouchers)
  • You must go to the airport within 24 hours or mail the vouchers by the 2 week deadline.
  • You can book for flights past the expiration date of the voucher. You only need to book before it expires.
 The agent will hold the reservation for you and you can view it, change seats, etc. online. I played it safe and used priority mail with delivery confirmation. It got there in 2 days and my flight was confirmed paid via email. My only cost was postage!

I must say this is a far cry from Delta where I simply enter in the numbers of my paper vouchers and can book my flight right then and there. It is a lot more efficient this way and I am sure cuts way down on overhead. I am unsure why United makes it so difficult (except that maybe they don't want them redeemed!).

Make sure to use your vouchers! It does not matter whose name is on them as they can be used to book a flight for anyone going anywhere. You can also mix vouchers and cash to pay. When you send in the voucher you have to include a copy of the ID of the person traveling as well as a copy of the ID of the voucher owner. In my case I had to send my ID as well as my friend's ID.

It is a but if paperwork, red tape, and hassle but well worth 30 minutes of my time for a free flight!