About that free round-trip ticket you gave up your seat for...

Q. I volunteered to give up my seat when my flight was overbooked and was given a free round-trip ticket in compensation. But now I’m finding that the ticket is hard to use because of restrictions, and it was only valid for a year and will expire soon. Can I trade it in for a voucher that will last another year, or shouldn’t I bother calling the airline to ask this favor?

A. It’s usually better to ask for a cash payment in situations like this, or at least a voucher in a set amount (such as $200 or whatever) rather than a free ticket. Often these free tickets are the equivalent of frequent flyer tickets or fares, which are capacity controlled.  You can certainly ask the airline to extend the voucher. Miracles do happen.