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Early bird refund denied -

Explorer C

I just found out  my charge for early bird check in is forfeited because I had to cancel my Christmas plans to visit my grandchildren during the pandemic. -  SO much for holiday cheer.  Apparently, if I had changed my flight, I would not have lost it but, in case Southwest has not noticed, there is a pandemic called COVID-19 going on. I cancelled with a very heavy heart.  I decided the risk to myself and family was too great to make the trip i so desperately wanted to make. My husband also forfeited his SW early bird-check in fees. (He ususally flies with Delta where he gets an assigned seat)  We will both definitely be going again in the future but I am not sure when. For several years, i have been making this trek monthly (on Southwest) but, in the past, I have not paid extra for early bird check in. However, this time my seat was more important to me so  I went ahead. When I found out it was forfeited, I checked the Southwest website to see if I missed something and if it is in the small print (which I did not find) it must be really small - like you need a magnifying glass.  The message in this community is to change your reservation raher than cancelling.  That is a ridiculous solution. I should change to a time that I will likely not use just to preserve these dollars. Then I have to keep track of that and change again later. Certainly a catch 22 if I ever saw one. Southwest - you should be ashamed - especially during a pandemic!!!!  I realize this is not a huge sum of money and many others are hurting - suffering much more serious losses than me -- so Southwest Airlines, please give my husband's and my forfeited early bird check-in fees to a charity for the homeless or hungry and please send me an email telling me to which charity you donated it.  Please do it right away to help out a family during the holidays.  In fact I suggest you pledge to give all 2020 and 2021 forfeited early bird check in fees to a charity or charities to the very neediest individuals and families. 


Re: Early bird refund denied -

Aviator A

Sorry to hear that you felt it necessary to change your travel plans.


Southwest does disclose that the fee will not be refunded in the event of a passenger  requested flight cancellation.. Admittedly, you do have to look for the information as it is not presented at the time of purchase. You have to look at the faq page.


All airlines are still losing lots of money every single day. Southwest is losing over 10 million dollars a day and has announced that it may have to lay off over 7000 employees -- all courtesy of the virus. All airlines are struggling to conserve cash. Thus all airline, including Southwest, are not refunding anything that s not contractually required. Its all part of the necessary steps that airlines are taking to stay in business.


Sorry that you are caught up in it. 

Re: Early bird refund denied -

Aviator A

Earlier this year Southwest was offering refunds of EarlyBird purchases in the form of LUV vouchers.  That offer may not be available any more, but it wouldn't hurt to ask.  You would need to contact Customer Relations, not the normal reservations phone number.

Contact Customer Relations