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How SWA can cancel your flight automatically without your consent.

Explorer C

Here to share a warning about a travel policy that can REALLY ruin your trip!

If you have 2 flights booked for the same day (let's say you're undecided about what time to fly out, but you want to lock in the ticket price, or, like me- you had a change of schedule and had to re-book a flight and forgot to cancel an old flight), the system will do a sweep and automatically cancel the more expensive flight of the 2. The only notification you will get of your flight being cancelled is a lousy email. That's IT!

In my case, I had 2 flights booked for the same date- going to and from different cities. One was a flight I forgot to cancel, and the other was for an important business trip I very much intended to go on.

The system chose FOR ME to cancel the important flight, and kept the flight that I forgot to cancel. Life's a joke.

I luckily checked my email a few days before the trip and noticed this discrepancy and called customer support to figure out where my important flight went! AHH! Anxiety attack incoming. The agent was able to re-book me on my original flight at the original price and canceled the unnecessary one.

This time, it was a simple easy fix and nothing bad happened. But imagine if the flight I needed to be on was full?! What then? Or what if I only noticed this issue once I was at the airport! I asked the agent and she said I would have likely needed to book my intended flight on the spot (at premium rate, of course). So I would have not only missed my business meeting, but I would have also had to pay a premium rate to scramble to get to my destination. All of this without my consent, and the only notice being an email (that can easily be missed!)

I feel that this policy sets people up for a huge issue because the notification of a cancelation is so poorly handled. I understand the airlines want a more accurate headcount and don't want placeholder tickets... but to put their customers in a situation of absolute chaos and financial exploitation with one email being the method of communication is absolutely unacceptable. Also, how dare they decide which is the unnecessary flight based on price. That's completely invalidating and has no consideration of the client.

I hope people are more aware of this policy and can enjoy seamless travel.

Hope this post brings awareness to a problem! ❤️


Re: How SWA can cancel your flight automatically without your consent.

Aviator A

see my reply to your other identical post.

Re: How SWA can cancel your flight automatically without your consent.

Frequent Flyer A

Please look in the mirror to find the culprit who caused this "problem."

Re: How SWA can cancel your flight automatically without your consent.

Aviator A

Thanks for pointing this out, many people do know about this and it has been mentioned on this community before. 


I'm all for more awareness, and I would agree that it would be nice if when you booked the new flight there was some automatic warning of a potential double-booking right at that moment.


I don't know for sure about the logic on which flight to cancel vs price, time it was booked, etc. Did the phone agent confirm that it cancels the more expensive flight?


I'd be inclined to suggest a revision to the logic that keeps the more recently booked flight regardless of cost, but that's just me.


But to one of your points - you do consent to this in the terms but it may not be well known and of course few people are reading all of the referenced terms and conditions.


I'm glad that your situation was resolved.


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

Re: How SWA can cancel your flight automatically without your consent.

Aviator A



This message is on every flight confirmation email southwest sends. Southwest considered this to be your heads up/warning