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Re: Can't use Travel funds by Expiration due to Covid

missgina
New Arrival

I am in the same boat!  My flight had to be cancelled in October after my plans were cancelled AND numerous changes with the itinerary by SW.  Then I get notification that these funds can NOT be converted and I have one month before they expire to use them!?

 

I reached out to customer service at no avail.  30 days to book AND travel does not seem fair.  I am very dissatisfied, and now I am out $300 at no fault of my own!

 

Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated!

 

Thanks!

Re: Can't use Travel funds by Expiration due to Covid

bamacass
New Arrival

I am in the same position as the original poster of this thread, my travel funds will expire on November 7, 2020.  The response, "You had until September 7 to extend travel fund expiration out to September 2022" is inaccurate. I attempted to extend my travel funds during the 6-month window and received a system reply that my funds were ineligible.  I called Southwest and the agent confirmed that the consideration only applied to travel that was booked between March 1 and September 7, 2020.  Those dates seem inconsistent with the fact that Southwest's open middle seat policy does not expire until November  30.  At a minimum, the two Southwest covid policies should carry the same date.  I have always been an advocate for Southwest because I felt that they provided excellent service.  However, this experience leaves me feeling that they arbitrarily assigned dates that purposely disadvantage their customers in order to avoid giving refunds.

 

I had plans to use my travel funds for a trip that was scheduled for October 24 through October 31. To use the remaining funds in my account, I also had planned to add a stop with a return date of November 6.  Upon the advice of my doctor, I had to cancel those plans.  Covid19 is not resolved! This week we have seen some of the highest numbers since the pandemic hit US soil.  I am a long time Rapids Rewards member and do not understand why we are not being allowed to at least transfer our credits to points for any travel disrupted due to covid19. 

Re: Can't use Travel funds by Expiration due to Covid

bamacass
New Arrival

*Update* 

Southwest has extended the date to December 15, 2020, to convert your qualified travel funds to points. To qualify, your travel fund must expire on September 7, 2022. My travel funds do not meet those criteria so are still not eligible and will expire on November 7.  

 

I also saw on Facebook that people are getting refunds for travel planned after December 1 if they are not comfortable with the elimination of the 'open middle seat' policy. 

 

Southwest's refusal to either refund, extend the expiration date, or convert the travel funds to points for travel other than their arbitrarily defined dates makes no sense!  

 

 

Re: Can't use Travel funds by Expiration due to Covid

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

@bamacass wrote:

*Update* 

Southwest has extended the date to December 15, 2020, to convert your qualified travel funds to points. To qualify, your travel fund must expire on September 7, 2022. My travel funds do not meet those criteria so are still not eligible and will expire on November 7.  

 

I also saw on Facebook that people are getting refunds for travel planned after December 1 if they are not comfortable with the elimination of the 'open middle seat' policy. 

 

Southwest's refusal to either refund, extend the expiration date, or convert the travel funds to points for travel other than their arbitrarily defined dates makes no sense!  

 

 


 

 

FYI, that's not an update or a change, December 15th was always the expiration date for funds conversion.

Re: Can't use Travel funds by Expiration due to Covid

bamacass
New Arrival

@chgoflyer 

Yes, I now see that in some of the communications, but the December 15 date was not mentioned in an August 11 email that I received from Southwest regarding a change to my flight schedule.  I thought maybe I had missed something when I read, "You had until September 7", but see that was regarding requesting the expiration date extension.  In any event, my funds did not qualify for either option. I checked back in August and have continued to check every month since.

Re: Can't use Travel funds by Expiration due to Covid

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

@bamacass wrote:

@chgoflyer 

Yes, I now see that in some of the communications, but the December 15 date was not mentioned in an August 11 email that I received from Southwest regarding a change to my flight schedule.  I thought maybe I had missed something when I read, "You had until September 7", but see that was regarding requesting the expiration date extension.  In any event, my funds did not qualify for either option. I checked back in August and have continued to check every month since.


 

Just to be clear: Funds extension was only ever offered to those who had travel funds set to expire March 1 thru September 7, 2020 (or flights canceled during those dates.) Those funds were extended to September 7, 2022.

 

When this was announced, many customers noticed that since the accommodation included flights canceled during that period, they could use any funds that didn't meet the criteria to purchase, and then cancel, a new flight, which would then extend their funds.

 

Unfortunately, since this was essentially a work-around, customer service wasn't able to officially do this or in any way extend any non-qualified funds, so calling was no help. Customers who hadn't figured out the work-around from the email and website information posted by Southwest may have learned of it here or in other forums online.

 

Right now, Southwest hasn't indicated that they will offer another accommodation period, but it's worth checking back here in case they do.

 

 

Re: Can't use Travel funds by Expiration due to Covid

sharonrose
New Arrival

EXACTLY!  They are allowing the people who know the secret rules to game the system to get their money in new tickets.  But the ORIGINAL rules for tickets was even if you booked NEW tickets with travel funds and then cancelled they would still only extend to the ORIGINAL date they would have expired -- in my case December 10th.  I've tried repeatedly to extend them through 2021 and been denied.  I'm nearly 70, a widow with limited funds.  The tickets were to be used to visit aging family.  When they steal my funds on December 10th, 2020 that eliminates my chance to see them in 2021 before they die.  I've just received anonymous form letters from Southwest with generic answers.  No one suggested I book NEW travel and then cancel it during the arbitrary timeframe.  Why would I have done something underhanded like that knowing I couldn't travel.  So even though Southwest received MILLIONS in taxpayer money they want to screw a widow out her funds.  How is this ethical?

Re: Can't use Travel funds by Expiration due to Covid

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

Southwest may allow you to convert expired travel funds to LUV voucher for a fee, per voucher (last reported at $100). 

 

If would help you to get the travel funds combined into a single travel fund if you can find a flight that is a matching value. 

 

Sorry that you may not have known you weren't going to fly these funds yet when you could have made a booking earlier this year and then canceled it and received an extended expiration date for your funds.

 

 

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

Re: Can't use Travel funds by Expiration due to Covid

nschone
New Arrival

I am reading this blog and realizing that my 1667 dollar tickets for a soccer tournament in Las Vegas have been taken from me by SW.   I am totally upset , my girls senior year, senior soccer tournament cancelled and no flights going anywhere.   I kept checking as well  and it said we had until december 2020 to decide what to do - we booked another flight to florida only to have to change that as well.   

 

We can not fly and I lose my 1667.   This is horrible .   Southwest you are not the company I thought you were - and I hope you go out of business if this is how you treat your customers.   

 

So wrong! 

 

 

 

Re: Can't use Travel funds by Expiration due to Covid

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@nschone wrote:

I am reading this blog and realizing that my 1667 dollar tickets for a soccer tournament in Las Vegas have been taken from me by SW.   I am totally upset , my girls senior year, senior soccer tournament cancelled and no flights going anywhere.   I kept checking as well  and it said we had until december 2020 to decide what to do - we booked another flight to florida only to have to change that as well.   

 

We can not fly and I lose my 1667.   This is horrible .   Southwest you are not the company I thought you were - and I hope you go out of business if this is how you treat your customers.   

 

So wrong! 

 

Sorry to hear that.

 

So your travel funds have expired? 

 

If so the best you'll be able to do is use the airline's unofficial policy that let's you convert expired travel funds into vouchers. The cost is $100/travel fund to do so. You have 6 months from travel fund expiration date to do so. The resultant voucher is good for 6 months.

 

As a side note  the airline did give everyone with a travel fund created between 3/1 and 9/7 a way of  extending the expiration date of the fund til 9/7/22. The offer was in effect for at least 4 months and expired on 9/7/20. I guess you did not hear about it.