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Concurrent trips result in auto-cancel

Explorer C

I am planning a trip this summer and due to some uncertainty about reservations, I booked a second trip into a different airport (for the same dates). With the intention, of course, to cancel one when my plans come together.


The day after I did this, my original flight was auto-canceled (the email notification I got just said that I canceled the flight).


Fast forward to a long, frustrating customer service call, where the policy was explained to me that one individual cannot have multiple itineraries. So my EARLIER flight was auto-canceled. I am now rebooked and they did refund the difference in fare from my original booking (and canceled the second flight), so to their credit, they did get square with me.


But I can't seem to make anyone understand that my beef isn't exactly with the policy itself - though inconvenient, it's understandable. It's with the completely opaque process. This policy is not stated anywhere on the website. I was not blocked from making the second booking (which is where the guardrails should have kicked in) and auto-canceling my original flight instead of prompting me to cancel one or the other was rather evil (and could have been disastrous if fares were much higher or even sold out before I got the notification). I reached out to customer service via email to let them know that this could be handled in a less disruptive way for their customers, but they just repeated the policy, like they don't even understand what I'm complaining about. Like, I'm trying to make a suggestion to make your reservation process better? What is so hard to understand here?


Re: Concurrent trips result in auto-cancel

Aviator A



@smackberry wrote:


  SW does tell passengers that this a a prohibited practice. It's in the contract of carriage: Ut's right there on




Reserving duplicate or impossible trips; for example, multiple trips for the
same Passenger around the same time (i.e., trips a Passenger physically
could not complete), multiple trips for the same Passenger departing from the
same city on the same date, or any multiple reservations containing conflicting
or overlapping itineraries (such as departures for the same Passenger from
multiple cities at the same time)." (bottom of page 10 of the C of C) 


SW is unlikely to put in the software fix since it tells passenger " DON'T DO THIS"


You are asking SW to invest what is probably significant programming effort to fix something that affects an exceedingly small number of people. Southwest has far bigger issues to invest it's programming resources -- like fixing the problem that caused the December meltdown.

Besides SW is not known for it's IT excellence..


That being said, every airline deals with the situation in exactly the same way: if you have two reservations of the same day and it is not possible for you to do them both, then every airline will cancel one of them.

Re: Concurrent trips result in auto-cancel

Aviator A

It is right on the confirmation email 

Re: Concurrent trips result in auto-cancel

Aviator A

This got me recently, as I had accidentally booked flights that were meant to be sequential weekends for the same weekend - when I went to make a change to one of the flights it was gone!


So it worked for me in the sense that I didn't accidentally carry two flights on the same day until departure not realizing what happened. But at the same time I didn't see the notice of the cancellation, that could be a bigger deal in the canceling.


My wishlist item here would be that they let you mark a flight as prospective to flag it that you know you've double-booked and let it stand. So keep the current logic for accidental overbookings, but since Southwest is very flexible and expecting people to cancel and change flights same day why not allow someone to have some reasonable number of overbooked flights. (that reasonable number might be one additional overbook for instance.)


I would also make it an A-list don't need infrequent customers tying up the extra flights but if you have some frequent flyers let them hold an extra spot up to some predetermined time limit.









Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Concurrent trips result in auto-cancel

Aviator A

I just had a follow up idea - this would be excluded from refundable fares - those the customer is going to get a cash refund. 


But for WGA and WGA+ where Southwest will be keeping your money as travel credit, go ahead and overbook by one flight.


Or allow it for refundable fares by waiving refundability.





Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.