Let’s talk about KLM vouchers.
KLM voucher status, its type and validity. How to exchange a KLM voucher to cash?
There are different types of vouchers, hence it’s understandable why people get confused. While some of the vouchers are refundable, you can exchange them for cash, others are non refundable and can be used only on KLM.com for a flight booking or a purchase of extra options. It’s equally important to know the difference between a KLM travel voucher and a compensation.
A voucher is not the same as a compensation.
Vouchers are coupons worth a certain amount of money.
Airlines often use them as a form of payment between them and their clients. Some of these vouchers KLM issues to its passengers you can exchange for cash, some can only be used for purchases on KLM.com. You should know the difference between the two.
1. KLM Voucher Refund
What kind of voucher do you have?
What happened that you were given a voucher?
1.1 Your Flight Was Cancelled
In this case you should always be given a choice.
If KLM cancels a flight, it should give you a choice between a refund for cancellation and an alternative flight. This new flight can be with KLM or with another airline. You don’t have to pay anything extra, if you choose any of the offered flights. In some situations you will also be entitled to flight cancellation compensation.
Refund and compensation (when it’s due) should be paid to your bank account. If you are given a voucher, it must be a refundable voucher, exchangeable for cash.
1.2 Your Flight Was Delayed
There are two most likely scenarios.
Either it was fault of KLM, or it wasn’t its fault.
If it was fault of KLM, you might be entitled to flight delay compensation. Find it out and don’t agree to anything less than what you are entitled to.
The whole procedure and also compensation amounts are regulated by the law in the European Union. In most situations you can receive 250, 400 or 600 euro. You might be given a KLM discount voucher instead of compensation, a so called KLM EMD voucher. If the latter has happened, check your voucher’s value and type. KLM EMD voucher refund (exchange to cash) is possible only if the voucher states “refundable” — make sure it is.
If it wasn’t fault of KLM, a voucher can also be “non-refundable”.
1.3 You Were Denied Boarding
You don’t have to agree to give up your seat.
However, sometimes you don’t have a choice — the plane is overbooked, and someone, it might be also you this time, is denied boarding. If you didn’t agree to this, you should be receiving a new flight or refund to your bank account and denied boarding / overbooking compensation in full.
If you agree to give up your seat, you may be offered anything from KLM air miles and KLM flight vouchers to KLM vouchers giving discounts for your whole family. Pay close attention to what you are getting, if it’s refundable or non-refundable, the validity and for what you can use it.
By Europe and EU here on this page we mean all EU Member States, the United Kingdom (UK), Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Reunion, Mayotte, Saint Martin (French Antilles), the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland.
1.4 Other Situations
As always, pay attention to what you are offered.
When in doubt, do your own research to find out if you’re not being tricked. Here on this site we talk about different situations when you are entitled to compensation or refund. In many situations you can demand a full KLM refund not voucher, even though you are offered the latter.
Here’s a summary of what you can get in what situation:
|Situation||EU flight compensation||Refund|
|Flight delay of 3+ hours||If it’s fault of KLM, you will be entitled to flight delay compensation||No|
|Flight delay of less than 3 hours||No||No|
|Flight cancellation less than 2 weeks before the flight||If it’s fault of KLM, you will be entitled to flight cancellation compensation||Refund or new flight|
|Flight cancellation more than 2 weeks before the flight||No||Refund or new flight|
|Boarding denial (overbooking)||Yes||Refund or new flight|
|You have given up your seat||No||As you agree with KLM|
In some situations you can get compensation or refund, in some situations you can get both. In all situations mentioned above, all of this has to be paid either in cash or to your bank account.
2. How to Exchange KLM Vouchers for Money?
According to KLM voucher policy, only refundable vouchers can be exchanged.
KLM calls these vouchers that they issue EMD vouchers. In order to find out if your KLM voucher is refundable or not, look at the voucher. Most likely you will find it in your email. See if it states “refundable” or “non-refundable” on it. You can exchange your refundable KLM voucher to money online.
To exchange your voucher for cash, go to this page.
Alternatively, contact KLM customer service.
Exception. If you are given a non-refundable voucher in a situation when compensation or refund is due, you have a right to request an exchange. You can do it on your own. And you can hand over the case to a flight compensation company, to do it on your behalf. Our partners offer such a service — you fill in a single form, give them all the flight details, and they do the rest.
3. How to Request a Refund?
You can do it online — www.klm.com.co/en/refund.
You can request a full refund of your ticket price, any extras that you have booked, or your travel vouchers. You can also check the status of your refund requests on the same page.
4. Demand a KLM Refund, Not Voucher
In many situations you should have a choice.
You don’t have to accept Air France – KLM miles, or KLM vouchers instead of compensation. You also don’t have to agree to coupons when, according to the laws and regulations, a full refund to your bank account is due. You may agree to any of that, but you should be given a choice, and KLM has to respect your choice.
What if you have made a mistake?
What if you have taken a voucher when you could get money? Can you still get a full KLM cash refund instead of voucher? It all depends from case to case, but you should definitely try to do an exchange. Especially, if you weren’t given a choice initially, and KLM just gave you something without a proper explanation.