Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

Don't Get Burned This Holiday Season

Explorer C
Now that the 2010 holiday season is here, this is the opportune time to spread the messages of peace, LUV, holiday cheer, and caution.   The first three are rather synonymous with this time of year, but what does caution have to do with the holidays you may ask?   


Many people are planning holiday trips to visit family or friends.  For some travelers the first thing they consider is cost.  How much is the trip going to set me back?  The question that usually follows is, “What is the cheapest way to get there and back?”  Unfortunately, this is when some people choose to explore third-party purchases through online auctions or “garage sales” as a means to help reduce their overall holiday costs.  This is where caution comes into play.  Far too often, people think that just because an Internet ad is advertising a cheaper ticket on Southwest Airlines, that the ad, or for that matter the seller, is legitimate.  You may very well see an ad that appears too good to be true.  If you do, then it more than likely is. 

Is purchasing your airline ticket(s) through an unknown third party worth the risk in order to save a little money?  If you choose to deal with an unknown third party, you are setting yourself up for potential disappointment and frustration.  People who respond to ads like these often end up paying for the trip twice, or jeopardizing their travel plans altogether.   Remember, scam artists are lining up during this time of year to take your money.  You have worked hard for your money.  You deserve the peace of mind associated with knowing that the tickets you have purchased are not going to be cancelled by the seller prior to your departure or exchanged to benefit another person who is responding to the same ad.   Bottom line, please play it safe and deal directly with the airline or a known third-party vendor.

Four popular types of ticket ads currently found for sale on the Internet are Rapid Rewards Award tickets, Buddy Passes, revenue (positive space) tickets, and southwestgiftcards.  Regarding these types of tickets, please keep the following Company policies and tips in mind.

  • Avoid purchasing Rapid Rewards Awards, Buddy Passes, positive space reservations, and southwestgiftcards from auction or "garage sale" websites, newspaper classified ads, or from any unverifiable "travel agent"

  • Southwest reserves the right to cancel any reservation found to be fraudulently obtained.

  • It is against Southwest Airlines’ policy to buy or sell Southwest Airlines Passes.

  • It is against Southwest Airlines' policy to buy or sell Rapid Rewards Awards

  • To maintain the integrity of your ticketless transaction, purchase your reservations directly from the airline using, 1-800-IFLYSWA reservations number, at the ticket counter, or from a verifiable travel agency.

  • For southwestgiftcards, we recommend that you purchase them directly from Southwest Airlines, or from an approved  third party vendor.

  • Many Southwest Airlines tickets and southwestgiftcards are currently being sold on web sites and in newspapers far below face or market value. Ask yourself, "Why?"

  • Avoid wiring funds to unknown third parties. This method of payment offers no protection if you become a victim.


Should you purchase a revenue reservation, a Southwest Airlines Pass, a Rapid Rewards Award, a southwestgiftcard, or a travel voucher from an unknown third party, Southwest Airlines cannot guarantee the validity or security of that purchase.  If you have any concerns about a questionable advertisement or sale related to Southwest Airlines, please contact us directly.  I would like for every current and potential Southwest Airlines' Customer to have a positive experience during and after their reservation purchase.  If an advertisement from an unknown third party catches your eye and it "looks too good to be true," then it probably is!  Remember, crooks and scam artists are more than willing to take your hard earned money.  Play it safe this holiday season and don’t get burned!