Most U.S. airlines commit to covering the cost of hotel and meals during long delays that they are responsible for, like mechanicals and lack of crew to operate the flight.
Generally meal costs of some kind will be covered on delays of 3 hours or more, with $12 being a common amount.
@AmericanAir the flight is delayed more than 16 hours. People and kids are sleeping on the floor at JFK. And supervisor just only going to compensate us $12 food voucher. Great compensation, 16 hours delay for $12 food voucher! pic.twitter.com/1SDPpOkBvu
— Qi (@Qi_w_iQ) June 26, 2023
$12 doesn’t go very far in the airport. And maybe you don’t even need the voucher anyway – you’re going to stay in the airline’s lounge, or eat in a Capital One, Chase or Centurion lounge, or even leave the airport.
You can still get value out of the voucher – just load the funds to your Starbucks card with their mobile app! This definitely works with American Airlines. I believe this works with United and Delta, too.
These are essentially prepaid cards with $12 on them. However I don’t think you’ll have success unloading them with payment services like Paypal or Venmo, since they should be restricted to food and beverage outlets. That’s why Starbucks works, but paying your utilities online wouldn’t.