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South West Customer Service is a Joke!

New Arrival

My wife planned a vacation trip to Hawaii in April 2020. It would have been my daughter's first trip there and 12 years since we visited the islands. Unfortunately the coronavirus pandemic threw a monkey wrench into everyone's life. My wife is now freaked out about traveling to the airport and stuck on a plane full of people.

The problem is South West won't budge on their policy to cancel and refund the flight. Our options are:
1. We have to spend more money to change the flight to another date.
2. Cancel the flight and take a travel credit for a year.
3. Spend even more money to extend that travel credit past the expiration date.

We have no idea how long the coronavirus situation will drag on to. We have no guarantee that life and work would allow a reschedule of the vacation trip to fit into the expiration timeline. The only answer they can give you when you call is "That is our current policy". What a joke. SW's tag line that they are a "Customer Service Company that flies Airplanes" is a Joke. South West would not know anything about Customer Service. They just know to TAKE ADVANTAGE OF A CRISIS TO TAKE MORE MONEY FROM THEIR CUSTOMERS.

I work for Marriott Hotels. Marriott knows Customer Service. We waived all Cancelation restrictions to make it easier for customers during this challenging time because we UNDERSTAND what they are going through. We know that our Customer will be future customer once this crisis blows through. South West clearly do not know that. Read the comments on this Forum, South West. GET THE HINT. LISTEN to your customer.

Here's another HINT SW. Take a look at my Username. I register for this forum just to leave this message. I will NEVER give my money to South West again as long as I live!

6 REPLIES 6
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Re: South West Customer Service is a Joke!

Top Contributor

Not one domestic airline is issuing a refund if you cancel they are all giving a credit for a future flight good for a year from when you bought your ticket and the other airlines are allowing people to change to a different flight without a change fee but they have to pay the fare difference. Southwest never charge’s to change or cancel a flight all the other airlines are doing are matching Southwest’s policy. 

 

Your welcome to voice your complaint to Southwest directly though one of these methods: Submitting a Suggestion and/or Complaint 

 

-Blake 

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Re: South West Customer Service is a Joke!

Top Contributor
Solution

@IwillneverflySW wrote:

My wife planned a vacation trip to Hawaii in April 2020. It would have been my daughter's first trip there and 12 years since we visited the islands. Unfortunately the coronavirus pandemic threw a monkey wrench into everyone's life. My wife is now freaked out about traveling to the airport and stuck on a plane full of people.

The problem is South West won't budge on their policy to cancel and refund the flight. Our options are:
1. We have to spend more money to change the flight to another date.
2. Cancel the flight and take a travel credit for a year.
3. Spend even more money to extend that travel credit past the expiration date.

We have no idea how long the coronavirus situation will drag on to. We have no guarantee that life and work would allow a reschedule of the vacation trip to fit into the expiration timeline. The only answer they can give you when you call is "That is our current policy". What a joke. SW's tag line that they are a "Customer Service Company that flies Airplanes" is a Joke. South West would not know anything about Customer Service. They just know to TAKE ADVANTAGE OF A CRISIS TO TAKE MORE MONEY FROM THEIR CUSTOMERS.

I work for Marriott Hotels. Marriott knows Customer Service. We waived all Cancelation restrictions to make it easier for customers during this challenging time because we UNDERSTAND what they are going through. We know that our Customer will be future customer once this crisis blows through. South West clearly do not know that. Read the comments on this Forum, South West. GET THE HINT. LISTEN to your customer.

Here's another HINT SW. Take a look at my Username. I register for this forum just to leave this message. I will NEVER give my money to South West again as long as I live!


 

This still-unfolding situation is unfortunate, and you're not the only person being affected (by far). Many things about Southwest's normally pro-customer policies are simply not helpful right now -- that's just how it is. Keep in mind that other carriers have made changes that essentially upgraded their policies to what Southwest has always offered. Southwest is still the leader in this area.

 

I would also keep in mind that although it may appear that Southwest is taking advantage of customers right now, in reality Southwest's primary goal at the moment is focused on keeping the carrier afloat while not furloughing employees.

 

This situation is hitting everyone. In the coming months, businesses will be struggling as well as employees and customers. Many businesses will not survive. we are in essentially uncharted territory now, with lots of unknowns. but I think it's safe to assume that this is going to be bad, and very bad for some people and some businesses.

 

 

For clarity, I just wanted to make sure that you understood how the rules actually work as they stand right now: 

 

1. We have to spend more money to change the flight to another date.

 

Yes, Southwest asks that you pay the fare difference when changing a flight. Keep in mind however that fares are highly volatile now, and depending on when you're able to fly again may actually be cheaper than what you initially paid. If so you retain that credit for use towards additional travel. 


2. Cancel the flight and take a travel credit for a year.

 

Very important: The expiration date of your funds is one year from the date of purchase, not travel, and all new travel must be completed by that date, not just booked. This could be particularly unfortunate for many. 

 

I have no insider knowledge of course, but based purely on the huge negative outcry I am seeing from customers right now, I suspect Southwest may consider a temporary policy change that extends funds for a preset amount of time. It's a long shot I suppose, but this would be a way for Southwest to address customer concerns in a positive manner that ultimately does not cost them much. 

 

It's also possible that Southwest's financial situation resulting from this crisis may be so precarious as to preclude such an offer. Time will tell. as with all things regarding the situation my recommendation is to keep checking back.

 

3. Spend even more money to extend that travel credit past the expiration date.

 

Be aware that the unwritten policy you mention is subject to change (or discontinuation) at any time, including the amount of the fee. I don't suspect any major changes are coming, but it is possible that this unwritten policy as it stands may not survive this crisis. That said, be aware that you won't have to spend any more money, as the fee to extend funds is deducted from your existing funds amount.

 

 

As I mentioned earlier, we are in uncharted territory. Things are changing daily, sometimes drastically, and it's unclear how long it will take before the situation with the virus is ultimately resolved. Personally, I'm much more concerned with medical aspects of the pandemic both on an individual basis and as it affects our healthcare system. As it relates to Southwest, I do hope that they are able to make some sort of accommodation for customers hurt by the situation. But ultimately my main concern is that Southwest remain a viable company moving forward, partially for selfish reasons but also for the sake of their employees. 

 

 

 

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Re: South West Customer Service is a Joke!

New Arrival

A joke is correct.   To say that the extra cost to extend might go away.  I waited over an hour to get a call back from someone.    And that is basically all I got told well you have to complete all you travel before Nov 3rd or I lose my travel credit.   That is $3600 dollars  I'm sorry I cant afford to lose that money but at the same time as a small business owner it takes me a year to financially plan a vacation for my family.      Oh I got told I could extend the expiration date for $100 a ticket.    So I'm just suppose to give Southwest more money for a situation I didn't not create or have anything to do with.    As much as I have liked using southwest for all of our travels this will be the last time as a Family we do.

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Re: South West Customer Service is a Joke!

Top Contributor

@carladeshon wrote:

A joke is correct.   To say that the extra cost to extend might go away.  I waited over an hour to get a call back from someone.    And that is basically all I got told well you have to complete all you travel before Nov 3rd or I lose my travel credit.   That is $3600 dollars  I'm sorry I cant afford to lose that money but at the same time as a small business owner it takes me a year to financially plan a vacation for my family.      Oh I got told I could extend the expiration date for $100 a ticket.    So I'm just suppose to give Southwest more money for a situation I didn't not create or have anything to do with.    As much as I have liked using southwest for all of our travels this will be the last time as a Family we do.


Sorry your disappointed. Keep in mind all the major airlines are doing the same exact thing as Southwest currently. The difference is they will take more money from you when you go to check bags and should you change again after the first change. They all are currently saying funds expire a year from when you booked travel. No one is issuing a cash refund as of now. 

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Re: South West Customer Service is a Joke!

Top Contributor

@carladeshon wrote:

A joke is correct.   To say that the extra cost to extend might go away.  I waited over an hour to get a call back from someone.    And that is basically all I got told well you have to complete all you travel before Nov 3rd or I lose my travel credit.   That is $3600 dollars  I'm sorry I cant afford to lose that money but at the same time as a small business owner it takes me a year to financially plan a vacation for my family.      Oh I got told I could extend the expiration date for $100 a ticket.    So I'm just suppose to give Southwest more money for a situation I didn't not create or have anything to do with.    As much as I have liked using southwest for all of our travels this will be the last time as a Family we do.


 

Just for clarity: The fee charged to re-issue expired funds as a voucher is deducted from the travel funds balance, new money is not collected. (This is an unpublished policy, each request is considered individually, this may change at any time including the amount of the fee.)

 

Also, while I understand your frustration, keep in mind that every other airline has, as a matter of general policy, more restrictions, limitations and fees than Southwest does. For example, making any flight change on another carrier incurs a fee of approximately $200- $250 (currently being waived due to the coronavirus situation).

 

Yes this situation stinks. For everyone. But the situation is changing daily, and my best advice is to keep checking. Perhaps at some point customer accommodations will be made, or a policy change regarding ticket/travel funds expiration implemented.

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Re: South West Customer Service is a Joke!

Top Contributor

@carladeshon wrote:

   That is $3600 dollars  I'm sorry I cant afford to lose that money but at the same time as a small business owner it takes me a year to financially plan a vacation for my family.      


As a small business owner, I assume you know the  importance of  positive cash flow.

Airlines do, too, That's why no airline is currently allowing immediate refunds of non refundable tickets. AIrlines are now significantly cash flow negative. The cost of operations hasn't gone down, but the inflow of cash has fallen dramatically because  people are buying fa fewer tickets  All airlines are hurting.

 

If the airlines were to immediately refund non refundable tickets, that would be an immediate huge cash drain - one that I think would drive some airlines into bankruptcy.

 

One more point, are your tickets Wanna Get Away fares? I ask because  i would find it hard to spend $3600 on WGA tickets.