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Revised travel funds policy email today, March 20, 2020

New Arrival

I was SO excited for about 5 minutes. I was supposed to fly to Las Vegas on March 17, departing 9 am (visiting family, not gambling, lol). The flight took off 10 minutes early. I waited until late March 16 to cancel, hoping the flight would be cancelled, which might have a beneficial effect on travel funds. I was afraid to wait longer, fearing that there would be some kind of site glitch that would prevent me from cancelling before the flight departed, which would mean no travel funds. I am 72, so I should not have been flying anyway under the CDC guidelines at the point. And on March 17, the Nevada governor announced that he was shutting down the city. The next day, Southwest was still flying, with flights cancelled and passengers stranded in Chicago due to Covid-19 diagnoses in tower crew. So when I got today's email and saw the deadline for use of travel funds was extended to June 30, 2021, I was SO happy and created an email to my Vegas family. But then I reread the email. First, keep this in mind: "All travel involving funds from any confirmation number must be completed by the expiration date." Just booking the trip before the deadline does not count. So here is the new expiration policy: "... in recognition of the current travel environment, we are extending the expiration date of some travel funds. 

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Customers' funds that have expired or will expire between March 1-May 31, 2020, will now expire June 30, 2021.

Any travel funds created because of a flight cancellation between March 1-May 31, 2020, will have an expiration date of June 30, 2021."

"SOME" travel funds. Because I cancelled my trip myself, my very expensive travel funds will expire January 29, 2021. I could have used the extra five months. Couldn't they have extended the expiration for funds from ANY flight (with a nonrefundable ticket) cancelled due to CDC guidance or illness during March 1 to May 31? You know darn well that people will be getting sick and they will be cancelling their flights. How can SWA deny them this accommodation? Maybe in-country, non-essential travel will be cancelled soon and benefit those people. This was progress, but not good enough, Southwest. I am not giving up on getting an extension. Would they have preferred me to take a 13-hour trip, comprising two planes, two stops, and four airports, at my age and in my risk category, and possibly get sick and die? I sure hope I live to use my $700+ in funds. 

2 REPLIES 2
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Re: Revised travel funds policy email today, March 20, 2020

New Arrival

SWA is being very sketchy with their new policy and even their employees are confused.  I got an answer by Twitter different that what I was told over the phone.  SWA must be trying to help some customers, but is handling this very poorly.  SWA is dividing customers with cancellations between March1-May31, 2020 in two classes:  "newly created" travel funds vs "already existing" travel funds.  I booked a trip in June 04, 2019 for December 2019 travel, I had to cancel that trip.  I used those travel funds for a trip in April 2020 (prior to the June expiration).   We are in a National Emergency so I will have to cancel my trip.  My expiration is still June 2020 because this is not a "newly created" travel fund.   Unreal!!!

 

SW response.PNG

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Re: Revised travel funds policy email today, March 20, 2020

Top Contributor
Solution

Both of you, please calm down. 

 

Any travel funds created because of a flight cancellation between March 1-May 31, 2020, will have an expiration date of June 30, 2021.

 

This means in both cases your travel funds will be extended and now expire June 30, 2021. 

 

Southwest also notes that the system will take several weeks to catch up and reflect the new expiration date.