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Travel cancellation

Explorer C

We booked a trip from SLC to BWI on 1/15/24. We checked in on the 14th at 5:45am and were even given gate numbers for SLC and DEN where our layover was. Around 8pm on the 14th I pull up the app to make sure our flight is still on time since there were a lot of winter storms in the area. In the app it says our flight was now leaving 11:30am on the 16th instead of 5:45am on the 15th. Since getting in on the 16th was not an option we called SW and sat on hold for over an hour. While on hold we were looking for any flights home on the 15th. We found one with Delta for $3000.00 and booked it since we needed to be in Baltimore by 7am on the 16th. Once we spoke to SW they said there was noting they could do to help us and recommended going to the SW gate  to get on stand-by. So we get to the airport at 4am on the 15th and go to the SW counter and try to get on stand-by. Since our flights are now for the 16th they will not let us on stand-by. SW was the only airline cancelling flights. They told us since we refused to take the flights they rebooked us on they could not reimburse our added travel expense by having to fly with Delta. The best part is the flights on the 16th were cancelled as well and rebooked for the 17th. So we would have missed 2 days of work and they are refusing to help us in any way. Is there anything we can do?


Re: Travel cancellation

Aviator C

In short, no.


No airline will cover those costs.  Things happen and you know that when you buy the ticket.

Re: Travel cancellation

Frequent Flyer A

I recall the east coast had some very nasty weather during this period in January and I believe Southwest did issue a weather Travel Advisory. I assume you were not able to List for Standby for a January 15 flight because because the January 15 flights to BWI were cancelled due to weather.


Under a SW Travel Advisory, passengers are allowed to rebook impacted flights up to 14 days before/after of the original travel date or list for Standby at no difference in fare. Since the flight cancellations appeared to be weather-related, Southwest is unfortunately under no obligation to reimburse the difference in travel costs if one travels with a different carrier.


Going forward, if bad weather is in the forecast and there is a high probability of being stuck abroad for the return trip, I would expect a travel disruption and check for the Travel Advisory. Once the Advisory is confirmed, I would try to advance the return flight by rebooking it to a slot anytime ahead of the storm. If that's not possible and everything is marked as "Unavailable", I would go the airport ahead of the storm and try to fly Standby.


If I still can't get to BWI ahead of the storm, I would immediately notify my employer of the weather disruption, especially if the wage loss impact would be less than flying via another carrier. At that point, I would rebook the flight on a date after the Advisory Period and pay for lodging at SLC until then. As mentioned, airlines are under no obligation to pay for hotel costs due to weather.

Re: Travel cancellation

Aviator C

There is a reason that certain credit cards offer travel interruption protection and those travel interruption insurance policies still exist.


Every traveler should be aware of the benefits of their credit card (if ticket bought via that card) as well as other financial protections that they either need to buy or be at risk to cover.


Flights are cancelled or delayed all the time for many unforeseeable reasons.  There is no recovery of dollars available, in my opinion.