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Cheated. Robbed. Disgusted.

pronto
New Arrival
 
My family and I had booked a trip with Southwest at the end of 2019, only to realize moments later that we had booked it for the wrong date. After contacting Southwest, they explained though we had just booked it, they could not issue us a refund. Their policy was to send us LUV vouchers instead.
For whatever reason, we had thought these worked like "gift cards" -- funds that could be applied to future travel. But, I have since learned that they have their own conditions and restrictions.

Not too long after we were issued our funds, the Pandemic started and our state was in lockdown. I saw that Southwest would be automatically extending the expirations dates of travel funds and was relieved since there was no way we could travel by October 2020 --At the heart of the pandemic. Not only was our state prohibiting out-of-state travel, but as students, our universities were also enforcing restrictions. To top it off, we had all lost our jobs, and we had absolutely no means of traveling even if we could.
 
In mid-November (2020) I decided to login and check out our account info online. When I couldn't find any information on our travel funds, credits, or vouchers, I reached out to Southwest to inquire. It was then that I found out that our vouchers had not been extended after all. Apparently they only applied the extensions to flights bought starting March 2020. At that time, Southwest heard me out and extended our vouchers for an additional 6 months. Yet for some reason, they penalized $100 from each of us. I still don't understand this.
 
Unfortunately, due to the same reasons stated above, we have still not been able to travel. But being mindful of the expiration date coming up (today) I was told that our entire travel has to be *completed* by the designated date, when all along I was convinced it had to be purchased by the date! There was no way we could travel by then, so I reached out to costumer service in a desperate plea to ask for help. 
 
After countless hours on hold and even submitting a message via the website, I was still getting no response. When I finally spoke to someone, the kind woman was very empathetic but unable to help me within her role. I could only get help from a specific costumer relations department and tried for over a week to reach them. I tried to be understanding since the high volume was due to other people needing help given the Pandemic and such.
 
Nevertheless, I persisted and finally got through to someone after 1.5 hours today. However, I was extremely disappointed. I was just told there is nothing more they can do for me, and there was no one else I could talk to that would give me a different answer. My struggling family and I have just had over thousand dollars taken by Southwest and they are simply okay with that. There is absolutely nothing they can do about not 1, not 2, but 3 people's frustrations. This was a complete and utter disregard for their costumers. I don't think I have ever been so disrespected.

And I am still in complete disbelief.


$1,015.05 that you took from us for nothing in return. There is a name for this and it's called stealing, Southwest! I feel cheated; I feel disgusted; I am beyond disappointed. It's unbelievable. 

If this is the way that Southwest treats their costumers, then rest assured neither me, nor my family, nor my friends, nor their friends and so on, will be flying Southwest. 
8 REPLIES 8

Re: Cheated. Robbed. Disgusted.

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

Certainly not an enjoyable experience, but every step in the process you described was "normal" and done by the book as far as Southwest goes.  Yes, it would have been nice if all travel funds were automatically extended out like United and others did, but that's not what happened at Southwest.  Extensions required the customer to be proactive and you were perhaps not aware of this.  The only recourse I can possibly think of, although it's a long shot since the original booking was waaay back in 2019 is IF you cancelled the trip within 24 hours of booking you should have been eligible for a cash refund.  It's confusing though that you since you booked for the wrong date one would think you would just change the flight to the correct date which would not leave you with a refund of any kind except perhaps a minimal one due to a difference in fare.  A small difference would be issued in the form of a travel fund valid for one year.  Anyway, IF you cancelled within 24 hours and that's the credit that expired you could possibly write Southwest with documentation showing the cancellation within 24 hours and request a refund be given instead of the credit you received.  If the flight was not actually cancelled, but instead changed and you received credit for the difference in fare then you're out of luck for this idea.  Yes, covid happened and it sucks that travel plans were interrupted , but non-refundable tickets have terms and conditions.  Southwest modified some terms and conditions to help out, but it did require the customer to stay informed and act.

 

Here's the address for the refund department if you would like to try the idea mentioned above:

Southwest Airlines
Refunds Department
P.O. Box 36649
Dallas, Texas 75235-1649

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Cheated. Robbed. Disgusted.

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@pronto wrote:
 
My family and I had booked a trip with Southwest at the end of 2019, only to realize moments later that we had booked it for the wrong date. After contacting Southwest, they explained though we had just booked it, they could not issue us a refund. Their policy was to send us LUV vouchers instead.
 
Sorry to hear of your difficulties.
 
If you cancelled within 24 hours of the initial purchase, you were due a refund back to original form of payment.
 
If you cancelled after 24 hours, you were due travel funds. Travel funds and vouchers are two different beasts.
 
it sounds like you got travel funds. They expire a year after he ticket was bought (or earlier if you used travel funds as part of the purchase.. After expiration trvel funds can be turned into vouchers - for a fee of $100 per travel fund. Vouchers expire 6 months from the date of issue. I think the above describes your situation.
 
It seems you did not understand all of the rules.
 
Sorry.

Re: Cheated. Robbed. Disgusted.

JimTex
New Arrival

Typical Southwest.  It is a profit business. It will use any fine print or detail to keep a passengers money.  Covid was just another opportunity for Southwest to take advantage. 

 

In the middle of the stress of  covid we missed a flight.  We immediately called to try to work it out but SWA ate our money and our points.

 

Its not like the flight was full and we caused then a revenue loss.

 

Herb Kelleher was a business man, but he did care about SWA customers.

 

No more

 

 

 

 

Re: Cheated. Robbed. Disgusted.

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

You just missed the flight? Didn't cancel? Yeah, I don't think any airline would refund a nonrefundable ticket in a no show situation. At least Southwest would refund points if you used them to pay for the flight. Other airlines would make you pay to get the points back.

 

If you had canceled at least 10 minutes prior to the flight you would have credit to use later.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Cheated. Robbed. Disgusted.

bwallet
Active Member

@pronto December 2019, I had tickets to see the Nutcracker with my family. Sunday, as I was getting ready to go, I realized that I had actually bought tickets for Saturday. I realized that I was the one who made the mistake. Oklahoma City Ballet got over $250 for a show that I didn't see. It was MY mistake. I didn't call up and demand my money back. I didn't go online and rant about how I was robbed. I realized that I was responsible for checking the rules, and that it was MY mistake. Fortunately, I took my daughter out to a nice lunch, and I was (thankfully) about it get tickets for the following Sunday. I'm an adult, and I take responsibility for my actions.

Re: Cheated. Robbed. Disgusted.

jksobonya
Rising Star

@pronto wrote:
 
After contacting Southwest, they explained though we had just booked it, they could not issue us a refund. Their policy was to send us LUV vouchers instead.

This depends on what you mean by "just booked it." If you booked the flight less than 24 hours ago and then tried to cancel, you absolutely could have gotten a refund. If you waited more than 24 hours though, you get travel funds good for one year since the date you booked your flight (not the date you fly). I am not sure how you got LUV vouchers when you should have gotten travel funds good for one year; my guess is you had travel funds good for one year, they expired, and they were then reissued as LUV vouchers.  Southwest allows travel funds to be extended by 6 months by reissuing your funds as vouchers but they deduct $100 for the ability to do this. 

 

Unfortunately, waiting until November 2020 was too late to extend your funds to September 2022. Southwest extended travel funds if you booked and cancelled a flight between March and September 2020 or had travel funds that expired within this time period (I think - it's been a year now and I can't remember if expiring travel funds were automatically extended!). It was mentioned on numerous occasions on Southwest.com and here in the forums. 

 

I can't tell from your post when you originally booked your flight - the "end of 2019" could mean December, but you could have booked it in October or November or even before then. Still, if you did book your flight after September 7, 2019, you would be out of luck unless you actively booked and cancelled a flight within March 2020 - September 2020 to get your funds extended to 2022. 

 

--Jessica

Re: Cheated. Robbed. Disgusted.

SWFlyer007
Rising Star

@pronto @JimTex The last I looked, all airlines are for profit?  This isn't to dismiss that you had a bad experience.  If you did everything correctly, I'm sure SWA will take a look at it.  What I don't see is that you have contacted them and your reply on what happened.  I will await for that. 

Re: Cheated. Robbed. Disgusted.

gsking
Rising Star

More FAKE POSTS. 

 

Anyone can cancel within 24 hours for a refund. 

 

It may be fun to troll people by ranting online,  but it's not appreciated by anyone but you.   Please stop.