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UNUSED TRAVEL FUNDS - HELP!

New Arrival

SWA:  I'm pleading with Senior Leadership and Gary Kelly to strongly reconsider a modest 1/4 to 1/3 of our unused travel funds to be issued either in SWA Gift Card style reimbursement (no expiration date), or direct refund to our credit card.  I've written Gary Kelly thrice without luck.  I keep receiving the same canned response from their executive assistants---"since you bought a non-refundable ticket"....  

 

It's amazing to me that after 3 consecutive years of loyal patronage as a A-List Plus member that SWA does not budge nor modify its 'non-refundable' policies in the midst of a global health pandemic for its customer base.  It's painfully obvious that people, including myself, are very apprehensive to fly anywhere, given the highly-contagious nature of C-19.  The plane might be clean but cities across America have its businesses either closed or on strict partial openings.  Why travel?  2020-2021 are essentially off the table.

 

Additionally, my family and I can use the unused SWA travel funds of nearly $3K right now to service our needs.  It's completely unfair that SWA is stubborn with its policies and only offers an expiration date extension to those funds.  SWA has the government and capital markets as financial lifelines;  I don't have that privileged opportunity.

 

Again, I plead for Senior Leadership and Mr. Kelly to reconsider its current policies with unused funds.  I no longer have my job and travel plans are not in the cards for at least another year, well into 2021.  Maintaining home life is utmost priority.  Travel is a luxury that I'm cannot afford to partake for a very long while.

 

Thank you.

GH

8 REPLIES 8
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Re: UNUSED TRAVEL FUNDS - HELP!

Rising Star
Solution

Your previous approach was the right one.  Since this is a customer community, we will not be able to help you.  Normally, my advice would be to provide your feedback directly to SW, but you have already done that.

 

You mentioned that SW is being stubborn with its processes, but I find that ironic since SW is one of the most flexible airlines.  The extension of travel funds expiration on NON-REFUNDABLE tickets is fairly generous, in my mind.  But that is just me.

 

You also stated in your post that "my family and I can use the unused SWA travel funds of nearly $3K right now to service our needs," so I am unsure why you need the monies back on a gift card?

 

Another option for you is to convert the travel funds to points that can be used by anyone in the future. This option is coming, TBD.  See here: 

 

Rapid Rewards® Members’ Travel Funds

We have added a new benefit for our valued Rapid Rewards® Members. Those Members who have travel funds that are set to expire or funds that are created between March 1, 2020, and September 7, 2020, will have the option to convert those travel funds into Rapid Rewards® points at the same rate you would be able to purchase a ticket with points today. We hope this provides our Members ultimate flexibility as Rapid Rewards® points never expire, never have cancel or change fees (fare difference may apply), and you can redeem your points for anyone you choose. 

 

-A List Preferred, Companion Pass holder, Community Champion.
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Re: UNUSED TRAVEL FUNDS - HELP!

New Arrival

Since you asked, it's best you understand SWA products.  The SWA gift card option allows me to use the funds for my family members expected to fly.  Plus, the gift card funds do not expire. Further, the funds are not restricted to me only, as compared to the unused funds sitting in my profile.  I'm not allowed to use those unused funds for anyone else.  Therefore, the flexibility of the gift card would prove highly beneficial to my current needs.

 

You missed the mark of the overall tone and spirit of my note.  Given the unprecedented and fluid circumstances surrounding the global health pandemic and mandated local and state restrictions, I'm trying to explore options and solutions for my unused funds.  I trust that you're not part of SWA Leadership team.  They are the primary target I was hoping to attract with my note.  I have another note en route to Dallas HQ offering other solutions for consideration.

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Re: UNUSED TRAVEL FUNDS - HELP!

Top Contributor

@91uclapka wrote:

 , I'm trying to explore options and solutions for my unused funds.  I trust that you're not part of SWA Leadership team.  They are the primary target I was hoping to attract with my note.  I have another note en route to Dallas HQ offering other solutions for consideration.


If you were trying to reach the SW Leadership Team here, you will not succeed.  This is a customer to customer forum. Other than a few employees who act as moderators and try to keep the discussion civil, I've never seen any member of the Leadership Team here.

 

Your note to the Dallas HQ will likely elicit a response.

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Re: UNUSED TRAVEL FUNDS - HELP!

New Arrival

Acknowledged.

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Re: UNUSED TRAVEL FUNDS - HELP!

Top Contributor

I'm gonna disagree on that. If you've already contacted corporate three times you are unlikely to receive a different answer on the fourth.

 

As mentioned earlier, your best bet is conversion of the Travel Funds into Rapid Rewards points (once available, hopefully soon), as that satisfies every single need you've just expressed.

 

"...allows me to use the funds for my family members expected to fly. Plus, the gift card funds do not expire. Further, the funds are not restricted to me only, as compared to the unused funds sitting in my profile."

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Re: UNUSED TRAVEL FUNDS - HELP!

Top Contributor

Sorry to hear that you are having economic difficulty.

 

The fact of the matter is that if the CEO turned you down 3 times, then nothing is going to change that decision..

 

I've been flying Southwest for 42 years. When I buy a non-refundable ticket I understand that the airline will keep my cash unless the airline does something wrong and has to cancel a flight.  

 

A) People that buy non refundable tickets give the airline the right to keep the cash unless the airline cancels the flight.. In return the airline gives you a cheaper plane ticket.

 

B)People that buy refundable tickets don't permanently give up the right to get cash back from the airline. In SW's case they are Anytime tickets and they cost a lot more than Southwest's non-refundable tickets.

 

The difference between the two is that in A, it is the passenger that takes the risk that the ticket won't be used. In B, it is the airline that takes the risk that the ticket won't be used.

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Re: UNUSED TRAVEL FUNDS - HELP!

Active Member

@91uclapka wrote:

It's amazing to me that after 3 consecutive years of loyal patronage as a A-List Plus member that SWA does not budge nor modify its 'non-refundable' policies in the midst of a global health pandemic for its customer base. 


It's even more amazing to me that customers expect Southwest to grant exceptions to the rules in exchange for a couple of years of 'loyal' service. Southwest has been extremely generous in the wake of the pandemic, granting rapid rewards point extensions to *2022* to name just one example. To clarify this even further for you: if your unused travel funds are set to expire between now and September 7, 2020, they will be extended to September 7, 2022. 

 

Learn more here: https://www.southwest.com/Coronavirus/?clk=CORONAVIRUS_TA&cbid=4430033  

 

--Jessica

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Re: UNUSED TRAVEL FUNDS - HELP!

Rising Star

@91uclapka Note that the option to convert travel funds to SW RR points is now live.  You can find the option toward to top of your My Account section on the SW website.

 

convert.JPG

 

-A List Preferred, Companion Pass holder, Community Champion.