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Policy Update & Clarification: Extending Travel Credit

Employee
Employee
Blog updated April 4, 2020, at 7:40 pm CT

 

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our Customers, our operation, and our Employees, we wanted to update you on decisions regarding extending travel credit for Customers. Please keep in mind this is a rapidly changing and dynamic situation that requires constant assessment and adjustment. The good news is we are making some Customer-friendly changes.

 

With the unprecedented cancellations and airport closings happening every day, we understand travel plans are changing for many Customers. So, we are making a temporary exception to our already very flexible travel funds policy. As you may know, our current policy outlines that nonrefundable tickets not flown on the travel date, but canceled in accordance with Southwest’s No Show Policy, can be applied to future travel up to one year from the original purchase date, but must be used by the individual named on the ticket.

 

In recognition of the current travel environment, we are once again extending the expiration date of some travel funds:

 

  • Customers with travel funds that would have expired or will expire between
    March 1- June 30, 2020, will expire on June 30, 2021.

  • Any travel funds created because a Customer cancels a flight between March 1– June 30, 2020, will expire on June 30, 2021.

We hope this additional policy enhancement provides our Customers with more flexibility and options for future travel planning.

 

It will take our Technology Teams a few weeks to make these changes to the expiration date of the funds, and we appreciate your patience while our Teams work quickly to make this happen. This gives Customers an additional year to use their funds and take the same trip next year as they were planning to take this year. 

 

We hope the above information is helpful in assisting you as we navigate through this unchartered territory.

 

166 Comments
New Arrival

I just re-checked and now it's Sept 2022, Awesome thanks SW!

New Arrival

NEED EMAIL OR CONTACT FROM SOUTHWEST CONCERNING REFUND/TRAVEL FUNDS FOR TRIP CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19

 

My husband and i have called Southwest 4 TIMES to cancel our trip and either get a refund or travel funds. The airfare portion has been taken care of but the land portion has not. The last call was on 4/24/2020 and we were told we would receive an email about a week later detailing the conversation we had and how to access the travel funds. This is thousands of dollars and I have no confirmation of our conversation nor the promise of the travel funds or refund. If I do not receive an email this week I will be filing a credit card dispute. All i want is an email confirming our conversation. Thank you. 

Active Member

Go and file a complaint with Department of Transportation  

 

https://airconsumer.dot.gov/escomplaint/ConsumerForm.cfm

 

Also use social media outlets to contact them and post your story on their pages. 

File a complaint with BBB.org as well and put a review up. 

 

If you have a hotel booking and made through them they will give you the run around. You need to contact the third party company who books hotel. I had to contact Apple Leisure Group via same outlets , social media, letters, emails and phone calls . I even sent a message to CEO's on LinkedIn . 

 

Apple Leisure Group
7 Campus Blvd.
Newtown Square, PA 19073
Ph. 610.359.6500

https://www.appleleisuregroup.com/#Contact

 

Active Member

So with People with a terminal illness that have months to live what do you say to them?

Employee
Employee

Hi @Dashgupta. Our Hearts go out to those impacted by COVID-19, and we know everyone's situation is unique. We encourage Customers with a terminal illness to reach out to our Customer Relations Team via the options below to learn their options. Thank you.

 

Phone: 1-855-234-4654

Twitter: @SouthwestAir

Facebook: @SouthwestAir

Email here.

New Arrival

Very disappointed with Southwest over their cancellation policy during this time!  Cancelled my travel plans today and my travel credit is only good through January when I booked the flight.  I don’t think with the currently worsening situation in numerous states that I will fly in the next 8 months.  Also my early check-in was not credited when the only reason I booked it is so my 7 year old and 9 year old can be guaranteed to sit by me on the flight.  They are too old to board during the child boarding time between A and B.  If Southwest doesn’t make better accommodations for people during this challenging time, I will be unlikely to use Southwest in the future and support other airlines once travel becomes safer.

New Arrival

I too am very displeased with the "future credit" policy as it applies to me.  I purchased tickets to New Orleans and when named a "hot spot" I canceled the tickets and changed to Salt Lake City and onto Yellowstone for a family reunion.  This too was canceled and a total of $1300 was lost to credits and worse, they will not refund the money I paid for my kids (can't use their amount by 2022).  Being over 70 we have health concerns and who knows what the future brings.  

 

Come on Southwest, how about refunding the money I spent on my kids that would be traveling by 2022?  A bit unfair to keep the funds don't you think?

Active Member

Go and file a complaint with Department of Transportation   asking for your money back and not the credit travel funds.....explain in detail why. 

 

https://airconsumer.dot.gov/escomplaint/ConsumerForm.cfm 

New Arrival

The plan is not that flexible. I made a reservation for July 4, 2020 to fly into Houston but with their cases rising it is no longer best for me to go. When tried to cancel my flight, the RUDE customer service representative told me I can only receive travel funds because my ticket in nonrefundable but I did not see an option to purchase insurance. She later said "we just don't give out refunds because of covid". The tone for one was unacceptable and made me skeptical to fly Southwest and this is my first time booking with you guys so I am on the fence.  I will not be flying for the rest of the year and if the Travel Funds expire why not OFFER a refund option to those who don't fly frequently with this company to either take the travel funds or give them a refund. For instance, lets say if my travel funds expire do you issue a refund out then if so why cant you do that now. I would like my money back please and thank you!

New Arrival

My wife and I had to cancel two flights because of COVID, and our age (85) along  with medical conditions.  The extensions don't give us much more time, so given our season of life and medical concerns and limited income, please consider a needed refund totalling $1,389.84.  Thank you.

 

D. E. VanderBrug

New Arrival

I was told that since I, we, booked our flight with "Wanna Get Away", a Non-refundable policy(?) ticket instead will be used for future use(travel funds). Of course, Southwest tickets on sale with Wanna Get Away.  Does anyone know this COVID-19 is coming? We both are seniors, 70, 75, vulnerable to this virus, with chronic heart disease, diabetic, etc.. Wearing masks for a prolonged period of time, fear of being quarantined are very qualifying grounds Not to fly. Instead, the response is we will be able to use the travel funds in the future. BUT, we simply want our money back Today, Now, refund us, and then we'll decide later IF we'll fly again.

New Arrival

Question: We were on board a flight in December 2019. The flight was eventually cancelled and everyone was asked to deplane. At the airport, we were given two vouchers, each valued at $200. So, we have a total of $400 in airfare to use. It expires in December. Is the expiration date going to be extended on these vouchers? 

 

After scrolling this forum, we are confused. We would appreciate an official reply.

New Arrival

I was told today that my $278 travel funds will not be eligible for an exchange to points ---  the ticket was booked on 10/2/2019 for travel on Dec. 25, 2019 .  Because we were unable to travel then,  we thought we would be able to fly in the spring---WRONG!!!!   The funds expire on 10/02/2020, so now we have our $278 from a ticket that was cancelled but will not be flying again before Christmas (if then) with the Covid-19.  Don't think our children or grandchildren want their 81 and 82 year old grandparents flying anywhere right now or in the foreseeable future!

 

How about making these funds eligible to change to points?  (I'd much rather fly somewhere than have the points, but know better---we're old; not reckless!)

New Arrival

I would like to know why it is that travelers who's travel funds expire on Mar 1, 2020 (so they purchased their tickets in Mar 2019) get an extension of travel funds until Sep 2022, while our travel funds that expire in November 2020 (purchased Nov 2019) get no extension at all. People who purchased tickets in Mar 2019 were not affected by the COVID pandemic. However, due to COVID we only had 3 months (Dec 2019- Mar 2020) to use our travel funds. Why not given the same extension to people whose travel has obviously been disrupted by COVID?  These tickets were purchased prior to knowing a pandemic would limit flight, and the pandemic has eaten up almost the entirety of the timeframe to use them.  I know that Delta is extending the expiration of their ecredits until Dec 21, 2020 to any tickets purchased prior to April 17, 2020 and United is extending the expiration dates of all currently valid travel certificates for 24 months. Why can't Southwest recognize this need of their customers and make similar policies of their competitors?

New Arrival

You all need to extend flights or let us transfer our $$$ over to points. I'm not asking for a refund, just some flexibility.  It's pretty ridiculous that there is such a strict cut-off. I canceled my flight in January and would have probably been on multiple trips this summer, but due to A-Typical circumstances, I can't travel.  I was just on the phone with customer service and they said that you all don't "typically" extend without the $100 fee or convert $$ to points. A-typical times call for some more flexibility than what you're offering. It's my money, what's the difference between me purchasing points versus converting? 

New Arrival

My funds expire in October and have been mostly unusable for the spring/summer. This policy doesn’t really address that. If someone has 1 year to use their funds, which is a great policy, they should get the whole year. Why not just extend anyone who had funds expiring within a year of  Feb/March 2020 by 6 months? Was the $3 billion+ in covid bailout not enough so you need to snag customers’ travel funds as well?