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No Travel Fund Expiration Extension

ballboy951
New Arrival

Apparently some people have been issued extensions for their expiring travel funds amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, I however have not. I booked a flight on December 1, 2019 for travel Jan 3 to 9 2020. I had to cancel this flight due to change in military orders and received a credit good through Nov 29, 2020. Since March I have been under strict DoD travel restrictions. I called to try and get an extension on the expiration date, and was told to call back the day after it expires to beg for a 6-month extension if I am "eligible" (whatever that means) and it will cost me $100. I am also not allowed to convert this travel fund to points for unknown reasons. This doesn't seem the right way to treat a person who legally hasn't been allowed to travel most of the year...

9 REPLIES 9

Re: No Travel Fund Expiration Extension

bec102896
Top Contributor

Unfortunately Southwest's policy change for the extension of travel funds expired back on September 7th. Had you canceled your flight on/before September 7th you would then have the funds valid until September 7th 2022 or you could have converted the funds to points but unfortunately that is no longer possible for people who cancel after September 7th. 

 

As you were informed the only thing you could do at this time is call after the funds expire and on a case by case basis southwest would issue a voucher valid for 6 months however there is a fee of $100 per travel fund so if you have multiple funds i would book a dummy reservation for a flight before the funds expire then cancel it after booking that way when you cancel that those funds would be combined to 1 fund and you would only lose $100 instead of $200 plus. 

 

-Blake

Re: No Travel Fund Expiration Extension

NOLA1206
Active Member

I have written before on other messages about the September 7th cutoff date and unfortunately, southwest did not honor that extension if you had travel funds expiring after that date...ex: November 2020 as mine were. When I went on there to extend, it said ineligible for extension. I even spoke to a rep who also said there was no extension offered to TF expiring after Sept 7th and perhaps in the future that would change. Well, that time came and went and no such luck. Had to pay the $100 for the 6 month extension. I wish people would get this correct because I've seen it told to many people on different messages....like, oh you should have been more watchful and this wouldn't have happened to you. SMH

Also, I was under the impression that I had 6 months to request the 6 month extension when paying the $100 fee with an expiration date of when I paid....haha not so fast, I received an email from them saying they were subtracting the $100 fee from my balance and giving me a 6 month extension to May 2021, without my asking them to do it. Sent an email stating I wanted a later date and was told OH SORRY, doesn't work that way.  

Re: No Travel Fund Expiration Extension

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

@NOLA1206 wrote:

I have written before on other messages about the September 7th cutoff date and unfortunately, southwest did not honor that extension if you had travel funds expiring after that date...ex: November 2020 as mine were. When I went on there to extend, it said ineligible for extension. I even spoke to a rep who also said there was no extension offered to TF expiring after Sept 7th and perhaps in the future that would change. Well, that time came and went and no such luck. Had to pay the $100 for the 6 month extension. I wish people would get this correct because I've seen it told to many people on different messages....like, oh you should have been more watchful and this wouldn't have happened to you. SMH

Also, I was under the impression that I had 6 months to request the 6 month extension when paying the $100 fee with an expiration date of when I paid....haha not so fast, I received an email from them saying they were subtracting the $100 fee from my balance and giving me a 6 month extension to May 2021, without my asking them to do it. Sent an email stating I wanted a later date and was told OH SORRY, doesn't work that way.  


 

There seems to still be a lot of confusion, I'll try to clear some of it up.

 

When Southwest announced the COVID accommodation, they said:

 

Funds that are set to expire or funds that are created between March 1, 2020 and September 7, 2020, will have an expiration date of September 7, 2022.

 

Since the accommodation also covered funds created during that time period, many customers realized that they could simply use their existing funds (which fell outside of those dates) to book a new flight, and then cancel that flight, which would create a new fund and thus "extend" their funds through September 7, 2022.

 

This was discussed widely here.

 

Unfortunately, not all customers figured this out, or were aware of the forum at that time. And this information was not shared when contacting Customer Service or Customer Relations, as this was an unofficial "work-around." (Technically, booking a flight without intent to fly is a violation of Southwest's terms and conditions, but it's not enforced. And frequent Southwest flyers have long been using this tactic for purposes such as combining travel funds.)

 

With regards to the expired funds-to-voucher reissue: This is an exception, granted as a goodwill gesture, and is not a published policy. Everything about this is subject to change, including the fee (which has increased from $50 to $75 to now $100 over the years.) It's important to know exactly how this works, and fully understand all the details, which have also been discussed widely here, but apparently bear some repeating.

 

Once your Travel Funds are expired (not before), you have six months in which to contact Customer Relations (not the reservation line) and request they be reissued as a LUV Voucher. If granted, the cost is $100 (deducted from the funds balance) and the voucher will be valid for six months from the date of issue. Vouchers, unlike Travel Funds, can be used by anyone, but are only valid for the airfare portion of travel, not any taxes or fees.

 

In your specific case, it sounds like your email was a request for the voucher reissue, which they completed for you. It's best to make that request only when you'd like it to be completed, as vouchers expire six months from the date of issue.

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

 

 

 

Re: No Travel Fund Expiration Extension

NOLA1206
Active Member

Unfortunately, it does seem like they took my request for information as a request for an extension. I would think that since they made that error, they would at least work with me on correcting it. I only wanted the extension for one month later. The problem was I could never get through to them on the phone, hence the email smh

I guess I'll give it another try

Thanks for that info anyway

Btw, using existing TF, booking a flight and then canceling gave me back my original TF expiration date, therefore making them ineligible for that extension. Believe me, I tried a few times to get that Sept 2022 date with no luck and I wouldn't be in this position now ugh

Re: No Travel Fund Expiration Extension

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

@NOLA1206 wrote:

Unfortunately, it does seem like they took my request for information as a request for an extension. I would think that since they made that error, they would at least work with me on correcting it. I only wanted the extension for one month later. The problem was I could never get through to them on the phone, hence the email smh

I guess I'll give it another try

Thanks for that info anyway

Btw, using existing TF, booking a flight and then canceling gave me back my original TF expiration date, therefore making them ineligible for that extension. Believe me, I tried a few times to get that Sept 2022 date with no luck and I wouldn't be in this position now ugh


 

That's how Travel Funds usually work. However, between March 1 and September 7, 2020, it worked differently. Upon cancellation, your funds would initially retain the same expiration, but overnight that would change to the September 7, 2022 date.

 

If you cancelled a flight between March 1 and September 7, 2020 (and have proof -- a cancellation email for example) and your funds were not updated overnight to the 2022 expiration date, reach out to Customer Relations to see what can be done.

 

Contact Customer Relations 

Re: No Travel Fund Expiration Extension

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@NOLA1206 wrote:

I have written before on other messages about the September 7th cutoff date and unfortunately, southwest did not honor that extension if you had travel funds expiring after that date...ex: November 2020 as mine were. When I went on there to extend, it said ineligible for extension. I even spoke to a rep who also said there was no extension offered to TF expiring after Sept 7th and perhaps in the future that would change. Well, that time came and went and no such luck. Had to pay the $100 for the 6 month extension. I wish people would get this correct because I've seen it told to many people on different messages....like, oh you should have been more watchful and this wouldn't have happened to you. SMH

Also, I was under the impression that I had 6 months to request the 6 month extension when paying the $100 fee with an expiration date of when I paid....haha not so fast, I received an email from them saying they were subtracting the $100 fee from my balance and giving me a 6 month extension to May 2021, without my asking them to do it. Sent an email stating I wanted a later date and was told OH SORRY, doesn't work that way.  


You're dealing with an unofficial Southwest policy when it comes to the process of converting a travel fund to a voucher. You won't find it in writing anywhere that I'm aware of except here.

 

The rules have always been the same

 

1) It can't be done until the travel fund has expired

2) It must be done no later than 6 months after the travel fund expiration date

3) It currently costs $100 - subject to change

4) The resultant voucher is good for use by anyone and expires 6 months after the issue date.

 

The normal recommendation here is to not do the conversion immediately unless you need access to it immediately. Likewise don't wait until exactly 6 months after the TF expiration. If you get it wrong by one day, you are out of luck.

 

If someone waits til 5 months after the TF expiration date, then they have essentially given themself 11 months to use the funds.

Re: No Travel Fund Expiration Extension

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

Also, you might want to consider in the future purchasing a Military fare. While more expensive than the lowest priced Wanna Get Away fares, Military fares are fully refundable. 

Re: No Travel Fund Expiration Extension

mawaldman
New Arrival

I am having the same problem and no one is being helpful. I am in the medical field and booked a flight in Dec 2019 and canceled a flight in Feb 2020. I was also unaware of the Sept cutoff thing and also tried calling them multiple times during this without any luck getting through to anyone. My funds are due to expire Dec 2020 and i have explained to them multiple times that because I am actively working in a hospital I cannot take time off or quarantine. They are refusing to extend it. I also did try to book a flight for a July trip to see family but had to cancel due to the notice of "if you're from a northern state going to a southern state, you have to quarantine". I therefore cancelled the trip. Does this not qualify under their terms? 

Re: No Travel Fund Expiration Extension

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@mawaldman wrote:

I am having the same problem and no one is being helpful. I am in the medical field and booked a flight in Dec 2019 and canceled a flight in Feb 2020.

 

Only flights cancelled between 3/1/20 and 9/7/20 got the 9/7/22 travel fund expiration date. All other retained the "normal rule" which is travel funds expire one year from the date of purchase. If a travel fund was used, then the expiation date reverts to whatever date the original travel fund was set to expire..

 

 

  I also did try to book a flight for a July trip to see family but had to cancel due to the notice of "if you're from a northern state going to a southern state, you have to quarantine". I therefore cancelled the trip. Does this not qualify under their terms? 

 

If you cancelled the July tip between 3/1/20 and 9/7/20, then the resultant trvel fund from that trip should have a 9/7/22 expiration date.