Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

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

suganyanehru
New Arrival

I am in the same situation as you.

 

I had tickets booked for the entire year from January. I basically booked my Oct tickets in the month of January itself.

 

I did not cancel the Oct tickets in Sept 2020 when Southwest closed the Covid exception extended expiry, because my college told me that they will open for classes in Oct. Later the classed cancelled in last minute and I had to cancel the tickets too.

 

Now the tickets are expiring Jan 2021, which is the original 1 year expiry.

I also booked another trip utilizing the funds in Dec 2020, thinking I will use up the funds. Now, CA has strict Shelter-In-Place implemented and no non-essential travel is allowed. If I still travel, I have to go for 14-day quarantine. So, I cancelled this ticket too which is coming back with the same expiry as Jan 2021. 

 

Southwest, known for being fair among the other airlines do not want to consider my situation. We are not even at the end of the pandemic tunnel and losing money like this makes no sense.

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

chitchcock
New Arrival

have travel funds expiring in 5 days. was unaware of expiration due to pandemic as i was trying to book something for next year to finally see my family after many months. tried contacting southwest about a courtesy one time extension or even just to convert to points and without hesitation they said absolutely nothing they can do. this is crazy. its obviously the worst year for many. lost my job this year and cant afford to purchase a new ticket. southwest was always know to be one of the most lenient but during the hardest of times they decide to give the cold shoulder. does anyone know of any work around to get an extension or credit of some sort. any help would be greatly appreciated.

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

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@chitchcock wrote:

have travel funds expiring in 5 days. was unaware of expiration due to pandemic as i was trying to book something for next year to finally see my family after many months. tried contacting southwest about a courtesy one time extension or even just to convert to points and without hesitation they said absolutely nothing they can do. this is crazy. its obviously the worst year for many. lost my job this year and cant afford to purchase a new ticket. southwest was always know to be one of the most lenient but during the hardest of times they decide to give the cold shoulder. does anyone know of any work around to get an extension or credit of some sort. any help would be greatly appreciated.




 

There is a way.

 

Southwest will allow you to convert an expired travel fund into a voucher.

 

1) It MUST be done within 6 months of the TF expiration date

2) Cost is $100  per TF (subject to change)

3) Voucher is only good for 6 months

 

So if you think you'll travel in September, 2022, then you'll want to wait 3 of 4 months til you do the conversion. I would advise against waiting exactly 6 months to do this. If you miss by a day, you will be out of luck.

 

Customer relations can help with this:

 

https://community.southwest.com/t5/Knowledge-Base/Contact-Customer-Relations/ta-p/108355

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

RationalAndFair
New Arrival

The comments from the middle aged white men defending Southwest's bad policy are laughable. They all seem to come from the type of middle class suburban man who thinks gaming a system is some sort of virtue and bestows insight. 

 

Here is the bottom line. Southwest set an expiration date on the travel refunds, and the expiration date happens to occur in the middle, not the end, of a global, once-in-a-century, pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans. 

 

It is unconscionable for Southwest to refuse to extend the expiration dates on these funds. 

 

It is also unreasonable to expect customers to cheat a system by buying tickets and returning tickets in order to trigger an extension of the refund. That mere fact that such a tactic can work, does not mean that such a tactic is the available and expected solution to a bad policy. The tone of the smug people suggesting that any customer who failed to cheat the system in such a way somehow deserves to lose their money without receiving any good or service in return, despite the fact that the money was given to Southwest in consideration for a service, is patently absurd and completely made up reasoning. 

 

There is one, and only one fair policy for Southwest which is to grant additional extensions on such expired travel funds in light of the public health crisis. 

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

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@RationalAndFair wrote:

 

There is one, and only one fair policy for Southwest which is to grant additional extensions on such expired travel funds in light of the public health crisis. 


There is one, and only one undeniable fact: these people bought a NONREFUNABLE fare 

with rules that clearly state the in the event of cancellation that a travel fund would be issued, and said travel fund would expire one ear from the date the ticket was originally bought.

 

There is no (*) in the rules that state "(* )unless (state reason here"

 

If you want flexibility, then buy a refundable fare. You did have a choice. You chose "cheap"

and with "cheap" come rules to follow.

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

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

@RationalAndFair wrote:
. . .

 

Advice: If you'd like to be taken seriously, don't preface your argument with insulting assumptions based on stereotypes. (Seems like this should be obvious.)

 

This "middle aged white man" happens to agree that Southwest's handling of expiring funds into the continuing covid crisis isn't ideal. Not providing accommodations for those whose funds expire outside of the initially protected time frame is creating significant, unnecessary loss of customer goodwill, and in general isn't a good look for the company. I think it's a mistake. If I were in charge, I'd offer the same generous 2022 expiration date extension to those with funds expiring through March. This would cover all flights that were initially purchased, in good faith, prior to the pandemic and the beginning of the associated lockdowns.

 

I'm not in charge, of course. But I do have the "insight" necessary to understand that Southwest is well within their rights to do as they are doing, and that perceptions of "fairness" have absolutely nothing to do with it. As has been repeated many times, non-refundable tickets are non-refundable, by definition of the contract entered into upon purchase. As Southwest struggles to survive, losing literally millions of dollars every day just keeping their operations afloat (and staff employed) it's understandable that they might choose to operate very "by-the-book" under the circumstances. Again: not ideal, and in my opinion a mistake, but certainly understandable. And ultimately, all manner of feet stomping and declarative demands won't do anything at all to change this.

 

 

 

 

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

NOLA1206
Active Member

I totally agree with you. These same 2 guys keep saying over and over and over that "WE" weren't listening to what was being said about the Sept 7 expiration date, but HELLO, how many people already had plans booked after that date, that you just expected them to cancel, so they can rebook a bogus flight, just so they can cancel by that elusive Sept 7 date??? Come on.... why would I cancel a flight I had booked for November that I thought I would be taking???? I'm so tired of these 2 guys making us sound like idiots because we didn't beat the system like thousands (or maybe millions) of people did. I swear you guys work for SW cause you don't have a shred of sympathy for the thousands (or millions) of people who lost money due to being unable to travel.

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

Jbee
New Arrival

I have vouchers from getting bumped that were expiring in Sept. 2020. I had hoped to use them over the summer, but COVID had other plans. Southwest gave us a 6 month extension to use them by March 8, 2021. We were naive enough to think that would be plenty of time  to get past the pandemic. But obviously it wasn't.

 

So we asked for another extension and got a message back via Twitter direct message stating that we would get an additional six months to July.  We were so happy and thankful! But days later, Southwest thought better of it and wrote us that they would not be giving us any  extension and our vouchers would expire in March!

 

I'm angry at their unfeeling policy, and I'm very angry that they don't even want to uphold what their employee stated in writing to us. I never expected this from a company like Southwest, which I always thought had great customer service.

 

How can they think that having strict policies during Covid that affect their current customers is a good customer relations idea? Does anybody have any ideas for what we can do? I wonder if we booked tickets and then a day later changed the dates on them if we could do that? I hate to lose it because they are  worth a lot of money. I'm glad I found this discussion, but sad so many others are affected by Southwest's policy.