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Why the Travel funds due to COVID-19 is not transferable?

New Arrival

Dear Guys,

 

We booked several Wanna Get Away tickets for business travel but canceled due to the COVID-19. I totally understand it's only reuseable but not refundable, but I do not understand why the credited fund will be only applied to the same passengers, but not a free voucher/credit? It's very inconvenient to make it designated to the same passengers, since the employees may not be in the firm next year due to the high turnover in our industry.

 

After calling the customer services, it will cost $100 administration fee per ticket to transfer the credit to a non-designated voucher, which is totally impossibly acceptable. 

 

As long as we are not going to ask a refund on that and South West can keep the money, why cannot just make our client easier by making the vouchers open to anyone as the next travel passenger?

 

Hope my issue could be looked out and get help from South West.

 

Best Regards,

Marvin

9 REPLIES 9
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Re: Why the Travel funds due to COVID-19 is not transferable?

New Arrival

I have a situation that is also unfortunate and SW is choosing to be unreasonable. 

I have emailed them twice per recommendation by the phone operators. They do not appear to have actually read my email stating that my senior mother cannot travel during this epidemic and will not be travelling in the future. The tickets I purchased in her name were so that she could attend my college graduation which is now cancelled. 

Here is my email and the response: 

 

"I purchased tickets for myself, my son, and my senior mother to attend my graduation which is now cancelled. I would like to transfer my mom's ticket into my name as she is unable to fly due to Covid-19 health compromises. I have spoken with reps who told me to email and I have received no response prior.

Her name is -------; flight credit is for -------- in the amount of 88.98; also ------- in the amount of 68.98 for return flight. This is a special circumstance and I hope that Southwest can make an exception to transfer policies due to this epidemic. She will not be travelling again. My mother is in her 70's and has COPD. Thank you."

 

"Thanks for contacting us.  We appreciate the opportunity to respond.
Southwest Airlines tickets are non-transferable, so travel funds associated with tickets can only be applied to a reservation for the original ticketed Passenger. We encourage _____to use the funds for another trip completed by the expiration date as, once expired, the ticket and associated travel funds will no longer be available.
We look forward to our next opportunity to welcome you onboard one of our flights as your patronage is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Monique, Southwest Airlines" 

 

My second email has yet to be answered:

"Please reference email #--------

There is a shelter-in-place pandemic occurring and my senior mother is advised to stay home and not travel. She has COPD and is at risk of death due to Covid-19. She cannot travel and use the funds I purchased for her.

Please consider the circumstances and adjust your policy due to these special circumstances. You should be able to see that the funds came from my checking account. If you need a medical diagnosis or note from ------ I am happy to provide both."

 

This is horrible business practice and I won't be using them again. I have already cancelled my credit card with them. 

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Re: Why the Travel funds due to COVID-19 is not transferable?

New Arrival

I am so sorry to hear about your graduation being cancelled and understand your situation requesting a refund.  Unfortunately, I find myself in a similar situation.  I was planning to travel with a daughter to a Healthcare Conference in Las Vegas, March 5 - 8.  The conference was cancelled.  I'm a cancer patient who has been now unemployed since 03/12/20 due to COVID-19.

 

I spent $347.96 on a round trip ticket, including two early bird fares.  I don't typically fly because of a compromised immuno system.  I really need the $347 to purchased groceries.  This cancellation is of no fault of my own.  I really need the money to be refunded.  Not interested in Travel Funds.

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Re: Why the Travel funds due to COVID-19 is not transferable?

New Arrival

I agree, I bought my sisters and her children ticket for an upcoming trip, but guess what, even though i made the payment i cant get the credit on my account.  My sister won't be able to afford to travel within the next year as she will be dealing with the financial backlash. 

 

Kind of silly not to allow the person that actually purchased the flight to receive the credit in which they will use. 

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Re: Why the Travel funds due to COVID-19 is not transferable?

New Arrival

Or, at the very least extend the 1 year to a longer period to allow customers to recover from this financial hardship. 

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Re: Why the Travel funds due to COVID-19 is not transferable?

Top Contributor

@asisner7 wrote:

Or, at the very least extend the 1 year to a longer period to allow customers to recover from this financial hardship. 


I didn't see when this was first posted, but they did extend the travel funds out further during a certain window if your travel is within that slot then it would apply.

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.
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Re: Why the Travel funds due to COVID-19 is not transferable?

New Arrival

I am also very frustrated by this policy. Normally, I find Southwest's policies to be fairly flexible, but when I have tickets I purchased for elderly relatives that I know will not be able to fly within the next year, I find this totally rigid and unacceptable. Why does it make any difference to the airline if someone else is able to use travel funds other than the original ticket holder? 

 

This is a bad look, Southwest.

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Re: Why the Travel funds due to COVID-19 is not transferable?

New Arrival

I, too, find this to be one of the most frustrating policies I'vecome across. I was scheduled to travel to a work conference and bought my tickets way back in February based on a recommendation from a coworker with whom I was travelling. Once COVID-19 hit, my work enacted a moratorium on out-of-state travel. I've never travelled on SW before, and after this process, I see why. Not only was business travel cancelled, but so was the conference. So, when I called to cancel my flight to get a refund and explained my situation, I got a 'sorry, here's your voucher number.' Even in the middle of a pandemic, when the ENTIRE WORLD was shutdown, SW seemingly refused to take that into consideration and not be empathetic to their customers. And now, my money is basically being held hostage and I'm stuck with a ticket that I had no intentions of using; and I can't transfer it to another family member that does fly SW so that my money isn't wasted. And reading so many other customers having similar issues... this is not a good look for SW.

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Re: Why the Travel funds due to COVID-19 is not transferable?

Top Contributor

Sorry, but your luck would not have been any better with any other airline. They ALL handled it the same way:

 

1) Non refundable tickets remained non refundable (unless the airline cancelled the flight then it was refundable)

 

2) Refundable tickets were refundable for any reason.

 

SW has announced that it will allow travelers to convert travel funds to Rapid Reward points. Then you can use those points to buy tickets for anyone you choose. That's as good as transferability of travel funds -- and a heck of a lot better than every other airline which still restrict travel funds to the original purchasers.

Highlighted

Re: Why the Travel funds due to COVID-19 is not transferable?

Top Contributor

@garode wrote:

Dear Guys,

 

We booked several Wanna Get Away tickets for business travel but canceled due to the COVID-19. I totally understand it's only reuseable but not refundable, but I do not understand why the credited fund will be only applied to the same passengers, but not a free voucher/credit? It's very inconvenient to make it designated to the same passengers, since the employees may not be in the firm next year due to the high turnover in our industry.

 

After calling the customer services, it will cost $100 administration fee per ticket to transfer the credit to a non-designated voucher, which is totally impossibly acceptable. 

 

As long as we are not going to ask a refund on that and South West can keep the money, why cannot just make our client easier by making the vouchers open to anyone as the next travel passenger?

 

Hope my issue could be looked out and get help from South West.

 

Best Regards,

Marvin


I think you have already Contact Customer Relations based on the accounting of the fee - glad they can do that now, usually that is reserved for when the travel fund expires - two years from now with the generous extension which may apply to some of the funds.

 

Your options probably include:

 

  • I would suggest taking the $100 option. Before you do that though, try to combine all of the travel funds (three at a time) for any one employee into one or fewest possible travel fund by booking new flights for the person at the most expensive possible flight you can find to lump them together out into the future. Then cancel that flight to get one travel fund. Then it may be a better ratio for you - instead of paying $100 for each $200 flight maybe you can combine the funds into round trips for $1000 and pay the $100.
  • Otherwise Southwest doesn't know what arrangements you have with the staff - at my work I buy tickets and then reimburse, people can buy for others and trade, etc. - they don't know the arrangements just because you paid. You'd have to work this into HR somehow that staff need to reimburse if they use the travel funds.

 

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