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SWA policy on travel funds

Explorer C

I must admit that I have had my first major negative issue with SWA.  I am in the aviation business and understand the challenges airlines face in the operations model, especially the economic devastation of 2020.  

In late January, I booked 5 tickets for my daughter and her family for a first week in March trip to Sun Valley.  Three of the passengers are under the age of 5, therefore unable to book their own tickets.  Due to Covid, we had to cancel those within a couple of weeks and because they were "Getaway' fares, were nonrefundable - something I had not experienced in the past.  Travel funds were credited and they expire on January 27, 2021.  

We decided to rebook a trip to Sun Valley for Christmas. Without detailing ad nauseum the changes we had to make, I asked SWA to take trip credit of $432 from my daughter and 3 year-old-grandson's name and apply to my son-in-law and 5 years old grandson.  They refused. Finally, I spoke to CS and they said they could make a one-time exception and either 1)  refund on a voucher but I would lose $200 or 2) book the flights for my son-in-law and grandson but I'd still have a $200 credit in my daughter and grandson's names that would have to be used by January 27.  No one suggested transferring this to RR points.


In our attempt to use the tickets which frankly, probably should have been refunded due to COVID, they are holding me hostage for my daughter and grandson to make another trip in January or lost $200.  This is completely unreasonable especially since we've made every effort to use these.  I'm happy with a voucher because I will travel in the first 6 months of the year and will use the money but I have no interest in giving SWA $200 of my hard-earned money.  When you put all of this in light of the COVID epidemic and the seeming disregard for the world-wide situation, it is very disappointing and irritating.  I expected better from SWA's leadership to impose such a ridiculous policy.  Any recommendations from any with more experience.  


Re: SWA policy on travel funds

Aviator A

Without rehashing all the details of what has already been posted on multiple threads, Southwest did offer the ability to extend travel fund expiration out to September 2022 and to even convert those funds to rapid reward points that don't expire.  Theses offers were available for several months.  Unfortunately you missed those opportunities and you now have the options that you were presented.  Recommendations for future?  Check in frequently with an airline you have credit with to ensure you are not missing any limited time opportunities to do anything with that credit.  Numerous emails went out and it was very visible on  Sorry you missed out.



Re: SWA policy on travel funds

Aviator A

In addition to what themiddleseat said, since you are in the aviation business, I presume you know what a contract of carriage is. You agree to the terms of that contract whenever you buy a ticket.


Southwest is doing what it said it would do in that contract - nothing more and nothing less.


As far a a refund of a non refundable ticket -- non refundable means just that - if you cancel, the ticket value is nonrefundable, and in Southwest's case you get a travel fund for future use.


EVERY airline has handled it exactly the same way this year. 


Now if the airline cancels the flight, it is a totally different story. In your case, that apparently did not happen.