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Re: Locating Unused Travel Funds

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@wjrobins wrote:

I have been a FF member with SWA for several years and, after reading the posts regarding this issue, am now convinced that the SWA organization has absolutely no intention of introducing this trivial feature to its customer-facing web application.  I have also personally complained about this several times to SWA customer service representatives. 

 

Given the fact that SWA's inaction is in their financial best interest - this seems to rise to the level of an unscrupulous business practice.  I will personally be filing a consumer complaint with the State of TX Attoney General's Office.  This is unfortunate given that I am a huge fan of SWA otherwise.  But - over the past few years - I know that I've inadvertently forfeited hundreds of dollars to this "travel funds black hole". 

 

If interested - you can also file a complaint here: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.  /consumer-protection/file-consumer-complaint.  


I understand you are upset, but  you also  seem to understand a limitation in Southwest's capabilities to do what you want done. There is no unscrupulous business practice when the airline  TELLS YOU via e-mail that you have travel funds available.  You choose whether or not you want to save and use the information or not.

Re: Locating Unused Travel Funds

wjrobins
New Arrival

Not good enough.

Re: Locating Unused Travel Funds

john60645
New Arrival
Solution

@wjrobins wrote:

Not good enough.


I think we'd all like to be able to have Southwest save all of our unused travel funds and make them available  for our use. The fact is the website does not do that.

 

Until it does, you have the option of using the travel fund information the airline provides you, and Southwest does provide everything you need to be able to use your travel funds in the future.

 

All of the whining in the world will not change the fact that what I said in the second paragraph is reality. Deal with it.

Re: Locating Unused Travel Funds

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

@wjrobins wrote:

I have been a FF member with SWA for several years and, after reading the posts regarding this issue, am now convinced that the SWA organization has absolutely no intention of introducing this trivial feature to its customer-facing web application.  I have also personally complained about this several times to SWA customer service representatives. 

 

Given the fact that SWA's inaction is in their financial best interest - this seems to rise to the level of an unscrupulous business practice.  I will personally be filing a consumer complaint with the State of TX Attoney General's Office.  This is unfortunate given that I am a huge fan of SWA otherwise.  But - over the past few years - I know that I've inadvertently forfeited hundreds of dollars to this "travel funds black hole". 

 

If interested - you can also file a complaint here: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.  /consumer-protection/file-consumer-complaint.  


 

Please consider what you are suggesting carefully, as unfortunately I feel you're a bit misguided here.

 

Other carriers charge a change fee, and/or have significant limitations of the use of travel funds.

 

One solution to what you see as an "unscrupulous" business practice would be for Southwest to simply stop allowing travel funds to even be reused in the first place.

 

There is no law that requires a carrier to offer any sort of "travel bank," and in fact there is no law requiring reusable funds at all.

 

 

 

Re: Locating Unused Travel Funds

dfield157
New Arrival

Serious flaw.  The ability to cancel and reuse funds is the only reason I use Southwest.  They used to be the low price leader.....have you noticed that they are now the most expensive many times?  I'm cancelling my SWA credit card and not being as loyal as I have in the past due to this issue.

 

It's obvious they want you to lose the information and lose the funds.

Re: Locating Unused Travel Funds

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

I think it's worth stating again that, in the current arline industry environment ("race to the bottom"), allowing reusable funds without a change fee but requiring manual tracking is preferable to not allowing reusable funds and/or charging a change fee. 

Re: Locating Unused Travel Funds

dfwskier
Top Contributor

Agree with you chgoflyer, the options are:

 

1) keep track of your own Southwest travel funds and you can use ALL of them - free of charge

 

vs.

 

2) Fly American, Delta, and United and others and they will keep track of travel funds for you (apparently), and they will charge you $200 or more to use each and every one of your travel funds,

 

Seems like a no brainer to me.

Recommended Plan

thisoneguy
New Arrival

I can relate to many on this page and have (frustratingly) lost travel funds due to not staying organized with my unused funds and conf. #'s. But here's what I've been doing to stay organized now.

 

- Use GMAIL to set-up email Labels (filters). Every booked itinerary gets a Southwest label assigned to it, so I can easily find/access those in the future. In addition, I created a sub-label called "Travel Funds". EVERY time I cancel a flight, I immediately find the cancellation email in Gmail and assigned this label to it. Then when I pull up that label it shows every travel fund I have.

 

-Recently I took it a step further. I fly so much that I've found creating a spreadsheet is helpful. I have a tab for all of my bookings, a tab for travel funds (including gift cards), and a third tab with miscellaneous information related to my travel.

 

Hope this helps some folks. As mentioned before, it would be rgeat if Southwest tracked all of this for us. But I'm willing to put up with the hassle if they keep allowing us to change/cancel with no fee.

 

The ONE reasonable service I would like is more information when we search confirmation numers on https://www.southwest.com/flight/travel-funds-search.html. There are times I plugged in a number that I swear I never used but it shows that there are no funds associated. I would love to see how and when those funds were used or expired.

Re: Recommended Plan

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@thisoneguy wrote:

I can relate to many on this page and have (frustratingly) lost travel funds due to not staying organized with my unused funds and conf. #'s. But here's what I've been doing to stay organized now.

 

- Use GMAIL to set-up email Labels (filters). Every booked itinerary gets a Southwest label assigned to it, so I can easily find/access those in the future. In addition, I created a sub-label called "Travel Funds". EVERY time I cancel a flight, I immediately find the cancellation email in Gmail and assigned this label to it. Then when I pull up that label it shows every travel fund I have.

 

-Recently I took it a step further. I fly so much that I've found creating a spreadsheet is helpful. I have a tab for all of my bookings, a tab for travel funds (including gift cards), and a third tab with miscellaneous information related to my travel.

 

Hope this helps some folks. As mentioned before, it would be rgeat if Southwest tracked all of this for us. But I'm willing to put up with the hassle if they keep allowing us to change/cancel with no fee.

 

The ONE reasonable service I would like is more information when we search confirmation numers on https://www.southwest.com/flight/travel-funds-search.html. There are times I plugged in a number that I swear I never used but it shows that there are no funds associated. I would love to see how and when those funds were used or expired.


Thanks for your  explanation of how you keep trasck of your travel funds.

 

Agree with your desire for the reasonable service. I have also tried to use confirmation numbers I thought had value, and been told that they did not. It is frustrating.

 

At one time in ancient history you could do what you want. I keep all of my old reservations. I used to keep completed travel in a folder called completed travel. I stopped doing that in 2008. I went to that folder and I found that in 2007 I had a reservation that was paid with travel funds and the e-mail listed the confirmation number (trqavel funds)  that was used to pay for the reservation. So at least in 2007 you could search your e-mail your a confirmation number and find every time it was used (at inital purchase, and then later as travel funds).

 

It would be nice if Southwest brought back that funcationality.

Re: Recommended Plan

johnindallas
Active Member

As one other option for tracking unused travel funds, for the past couple of years, I have done all my cancellations via the phone app. When the cancellation is complete and the notification appears on the screen with the record locator number and amount, I take a screen shot then save that photo as a "Favorite."

 

I can easily look back through my Favorites album and find the unused funds as those screenshots all have green banners on them. Once I use the funds completely, I delete the photo. If there is still a partial balance remaining, I leave the photo until I use it up. 

 

Another option is to do the screenshot and simply save it in a "SWA Travel Funds" album within my photos. I may do that sometime but just flagging as a Favorite works for now. 

 

Absent an easy way to display UTFs on the website or app, this has been an alternative for me.