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September 11 Security Fee no longer refundable?

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

It appears that bookings for travel after May 9, 2017, no longer allow for the refund of the September 11 Security Fee upon cancellation, only that the amount will be held for future travel (subject to an expiration date and passenger name lock). This is regardless of fare type, and applies to both cash and points bookings.

 

A refund in form of original purchase method was always an option previously. I've found no mention of this change on the Southwest website, including the Next Generation Reservation System FAQ.

 

Is this an official policy change?

9 REPLIES 9

Re: September 11 Security Fee no longer refundable?

LindseyD
Retired Community Manager

Hi @chgoflyer,

 

Can you tell me where you are seeing this information? That will help me get some clarification for you. 

 

Re: September 11 Security Fee no longer refundable?

mga1inac
New Arrival

I also experienced the change in that the Security Fee is not refundable, only carried over for use on a future flight?! I booked two flights with points for July and August/2017. I booked these flights in March/2017. I prefer a refund but next to that option on your website it shows "N/A".  Why is that? Would the Fed. Gov't debt ceiling be behind this?

Re: September 11 Security Fee no longer refundable?

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

In absence of an official statement from Southwest (when contacted they seem to not understand the issue), here's what we've discovered over at FlyerTalk: It may be related to the new booking system, but it's unclear if it's an error or a policy change.

 

Re: September 11 Security Fee no longer refundable?

ktocci
New Arrival

Please address this... I fly on Rapid Rewards tickets frequently and am no longer able to cancel these and get a refund on the $5.60.  It is only being credited for future use.   Is this a new policy moving forward, or a glitch in the new system??

Re: September 11 Security Fee no longer refundable?

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

My understanding is that it's a new policy, "caused" by the new reservation system. Perhaps an official rep will correct me if I'm wrong.

Re: September 11 Security Fee no longer refundable?

dbuchholz1977
New Arrival

I had some flights that I had to cancel and rebook.  I understood the early bird fee I paid was not refundbable, but it stated that the security fee for all the cancelled flights would be applied towards future travel, but I don't see where I can apply those refunded security fees on the app or on this website.  Those fees I paid vanished and were never refunded in any way and do not show as a credit or option for credit when I purchase tickets.  

Re: September 11 Security Fee no longer refundable?

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

If not given the option to refund the security fees/taxes when cancelling (on any itinerary where a change was previously made, plus many random "glitches") then the fees/taxes are held as travel funds under the confirmation number of the cancelled flight. You apply them as a payment method when rebooking. They are subject to the same rules as all travel funds -- valid for one year from the date of purchase for the originally ticketed passenger only. One exception: You can call Customer Relations prior to departure and request a refund back to original purchase method.

 

EarlyBird Check-In is not refundable when the customer cancels, but does survive if you make an itinerary change (unless, of course, "glitch"). If you just need to cancel a WGA fare and aren't yet ready to rebook, instead of cancelling just use the change function to rebook as a "dummy" flight -- any flight in the future that's for the same or less fare. Then change that flight when you know your travel plans. This will retain EBCI instead of losing it. 😉

Re: September 11 Security Fee no longer refundable?

thebullox
New Arrival

I experienced this recenty.  I had some reward tickets booked for travel in early June, and a few weeks after booking the cost decreased so I changed the flight (selecting the very same flight with the change) to take advantage of the lower cost.  When I cancelled the flights, the only option I had for the security fee was to hold for future use.  I called SWA, and the rep told me that since I changed the ticket, the security fee was no longer refundable.  If I had not changed the ticket, the security fee would have been refundable.  The SWA rep also mentioned this refundable / hold for future use change was due to a new system...

 

A new system should never dictate a policy change unless the policy change is something management evaluated and accepted as part of the new system implementation.  I personally believe this was a policy change, and had little to do with a new system... If the new system was purchased off the shelf with this code and SWA didn't realize it, then shame on SWA.

 

The issue I have is that the fees held for future use can only be used on a ticket for the same passenger as the original ticket.  In my case the reward tickets were for someone else, and most likely I will not have the opportunity to use the funds in the future.

 

 

Re: September 11 Security Fee no longer refundable?

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

Even worse is that the new system will now cause "fully refundable" fares (Business Select, Anytime, Senior) to become non-refundable if you make any change to the itinerary.

 

Astoundingly bad development, Southwest.