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When a Boarding Pass Becomes a Meal Voucher

Meal Voucher for flight delay 航班延誤:餐券

Many airlines offer passengers meal vouchers when there is a flight delay that caused you to miss a meal time. That’s what I got when I was told that my flight was delayed 4 hours (turned out to be 5). But it’s not a physical voucher. It’s my own boarding pass! Really?

The catch is to use it on the air side, the restricted area after you passed through the immigration.  I was told that my Boarding Pass was a HK$75 vouchers and I could use it at any restaurants.

In Hong Kong International Airport, HK$75 can’t really get you whatever you want. I wanted something simple, so I went to Tsui Wah, a pretty well known local casual restaurant, in the fast food area. There was a long line and I started to queue up. Then I spotted an Airport Staff standing around to assist the passengers. Just want to make sure, I told her my flight and showed her my boarding pass. Her immediate response was: “Is this a meal voucher?” and said that the restaurant wouldn’t accept it. “…Some meal vouchers issued by certain airlines can only be used at certain restaurants. You’d better check with your airline…”. Did she not know Dragonair? May be.

So I left the queue and approached the airline counter in the lower level. The airline staff said “Sure you can use it as a HK$75 meal voucher to get some food.” Then he wrote HK$75 on my boarding pass and called Tsui Wah and confirmed that they would accept the “Voucher”.

I dragged my luggage all the way back up and saw the girl again. I told her that the airline staff confirmed that I could used it here. She kept saying no.  I asked her to take my boarding pass to check with the restaurant while I started the 50-people-in-front-of-me queue again. She did so and returned with a still-not-so-sure answer: “Now they said they would accept it… May be it’s because it’s Cathay…”. Really?

Anyway, it worked! My spicy chicken noodle and a bottle of soy milk cost HK$74!

Personally, I think that using the boarding pass as a meal voucher is a pretty good idea even though my experience wasn’t exactly smooth. I am still happy to get some food and drink before boarding and arrive the destination at the end.

Why is it a travel tips? When you travel, particularly during typhoon or extreme weather conditions, always checked the flight status and better get your boarding pass at the check in counter even after you checked in online. If I had not gone to the counter, I wouldn’t have known the flight delay because I have never received any SMS nor email alert. Then I would not have “offered” a meal voucher. Always ask and double check with the airline staff.

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