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No refund as Covid alarm was first announced across country

txusgrl
New Arrival

I think it was petty on the part of SWA to not refund, regardless of non-refundable status, for reservations made before the outbreak of Covid19.  I made a reservation just before the news broke in late February and canceled within a few days.  No refund but the ticket would remain viable until 2-21-21.  Like that was going to make any difference with this deadly virus.

Whoever takes the time to read this, please note the airlines are begging for a bailout, offering two-for-one flights as they are losing money.   I feel for the employees but millions of hard-working Americans did not receive bailouts.  It would have been a common courtesy during these trying times to refund tickets.  It would have shined a light on the integrity of this airline.  I believe they have missed an opportunity. 

35 REPLIES 35

Re: No refund as Covid alarm was first announced across country

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

Southwest gave folks like yourself several months to extend travel fund expiration out until September 2022. Unfortunately, it appears you did not take advantage of that opportunity. While it's not a cash refund, something no airline has offered for non-refundable tickets, it was a very lengthy extension of travel funds. If you had not canceled your reservation and instead Southwest had canceled your flight you would have been able to get a refund back to your original form of payment.

 

Southwest received a bailout soley for the benefit of the hard working Americans that are employed by Southwest. Bailout money paid salaries and guaranteed people did not lose jobs. 

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: No refund as Covid alarm was first announced across country

bamacass
New Arrival

I keep seeing responses to this and other posts about how Southwest gave several months to extend travel funds. The truth is the parameters of the extension excluded many travelers that were and continue to be affected by COVID19.  A March 20, 2020 email from Southwest limited the extension to travel funds that either expired or were created between March 1 and May 31, 2020,  That email indicated the funds would be extended to June 30, 2021.  An April 16, 2020 revision, copied and pasted below, extended the dates to "Funds that are set to expire or funds that are created between March 1, 2020 and September 7, 2020, will have an expiration date of September 7, 2022". Southwest travelers, like myself whose funds were created prior to March 1 or expired after September 7, 2020, were left with nothing.

Travel Funds:

Previously, Customers' travel funds that have expired or would have expired between March 1 - June 30, 2020, or travel funds that were created because of a cancellation between March 1 - June 30, 2020, had an expiration date of June 30, 2021. We are now expanding the window of funds eligible for extended expiration dates and extending the expiration date of these funds. Funds that are set to expire or funds that are created between March 1, 2020 and September 7, 2020, will have an expiration date of September 7, 2022. This gives Customers who had travel funds created in connection with this pandemic–or who won't be comfortable traveling this summer–additional time to retake that same trip or explore a different destination. It will take our Technology Team a few days to make these changes and more details on this extension can be found at Southwest.com/RRcoronavirusupdates.

Additionally, we have added a new benefit for our valued Rapid Rewards Members. Those Members who have travel funds that are set to expire or funds that are created between March 1, 2020 and September 7, 2020 will have the option to convert those travel funds into Rapid Rewards® points at the same rate you would be able to purchase a ticket with points today. We hope this provides our Members ultimate flexibility as Rapid Rewards points never expire, never have cancel or change fees (fare difference may apply), and you can redeem your points for anyone you choose. 

Re: No refund as Covid alarm was first announced across country

dfwskier
Top Contributor

Some airlines may be giving away seats - not Southwest.

 

There was a simple fix to this situation that thousands of travelers used.

 

It was discussed here extensively from June (maybe May?) thru early September.

 

Use your travel funds to buy a new ticket, and then cancel that ticket - by 9/7/20. Viola - expiration date is now 9/7/22.

 

And all that money that airlines were getting. Well, it was going to pay salaries of employees who otherwise would have lost their jobs. It didn't benefit the airline a single bit, but it sure did keep pay in paychecks.

Re: No refund as Covid alarm was first announced across country

txusgrl
New Arrival

This is a reply to Middle Seat:

 

Unfortunately your PR reply was not true for many of us.  I even called Southwest and they gave me a specific date that my ticket would expire and that was 2-27-21.  To be fair, they did say if I called before this expiration date they could extend it 6 months.  I never heard about another extension to 2022 and it would probably not have affected my ticket as it was made just before March 1, 2020.  

Until there is a trustworthy vaccine for the Covid, people are playing Russian roulette with their lives by flying.  Their prerogative.  But SWA gives me no choice here.

As for the employees who were able to retain their jobs with SWA due to a bailout, great.  However, for the millions of hard working Americans that did not receive such a bailout and perhaps needed the refund from SWA to put food on their table instead of taking a flight they could not longer afford, well, too bad?

Re: No refund as Covid alarm was first announced across country

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

I mean, really... it was not that hard to read the information Southwest emailed & posted, and realize that you could just use your funds for a flight and then cancel it, which extended your funds good through September 7, 2022.

 

 

 

 

Re: No refund as Covid alarm was first announced across country

txusgrl
New Arrival

To:  chgoflyer

 

I mean, really......they never emailed or contacted me with their changing policies.  I don’t know about you but it is probably not a common practice among consumers to constantly check a website to see if their policies have been updated after a product has been purchased.  Just sayin......

Re: No refund as Covid alarm was first announced across country

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

@txusgrl wrote:

To:  chgoflyer

 

I mean, really......they never emailed or contacted me with their changing policies.  I don’t know about you but it is probably not a common practice among consumers to constantly check a website to see if their policies have been updated after a product has been purchased.  Just sayin......


 

Are you not a Rapid Rewards member? Or not signed up to receive emails from Southwest?

 

I received multiple emails regarding the policies, which as you say were changing frequently in the early months of the pandemic.

 

I know that if I had a large sum of money (or, any sum, really) tied up with a particular company, I'd definitely want to keep on top of their policies when everything was changing daily due to the corona virus.

 

Which is what I did. With Southwest, Hilton, Ticketmaster, multiple concert venues, etc.

 

That's just looking out for yourself.

 

 

Re: No refund as Covid alarm was first announced across country

txusgrl
New Arrival

to: chgoflyer

 

When I purchase anything from a vendor I am not required to join their club or sign up for continuing emails.  They have a confirmation sales number and my email address.  SWA is the only company I have dealt with before or during this pandemic that has failed in their obligation to the consumer regarding policy changes.

 

Does SWA pay you to troll this community and come up with questionable arguments in order to prove their position?  It seems that anyone with over 2000 posts would have to be invested in SWA interests.  If you are getting paid, that makes sense.  If you’re not, well whatever floats your boat.

 

 

 

 

Re: No refund as Covid alarm was first announced across country

dfwskier
Top Contributor

Southwest employees that frequent the community are required to self identify as employees. Chgoflyer doesn't self identify as  he is not employed by Southwest.

 He and other experienced flyers, myself included,   hang around here to try to help answer travelers' questions. We also complement people when they deserve it and correct misperceptions and inaccuracies. We enjoy helping less seasoned travelers. That's why most of us are here. In my case, I've been a Southwest customer for over 42 years.  I have a lot of experience to share.

 

You didn't have to join any sort of club or sign up to receive e-mails in order to learn what Southwest was doing.

Southwest published all of it's COVID related changes and put them on the Southwest website, too. You have some responsibility to read and take care of your own affairs.