I received a travel voucher from American Airlines for an oversold flight. The gate agent told me I have to use the voucher within one year. It has an expiration date printed on it. By use, do they mean travel by, or book by the expiration date? For example, if my voucher expires in February, can I use it to purchase a flight in January to travel in March?
You have to book it within that year. Basically, it is equivalent to a cash discount and so you can use it up to the date on the voucher but travel can happen as far ahead as you can book.
This has happened to me with American and other airlines several times. The date specified is always the date in which you book.