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Standardized single page business receipt in a downloadable PDF file

New Arrival

I recently suggested flying SW in my office, was approved, and then booked the flights, paying for a co-worker to simplify booking.  I then received the confirmation email spanning 8 pages with info crowded into a narrow column on the right, wasting lots of paper.  So I checked the website for a better receipt, but got only a high level summary which didn't even list the second passenger on screen or in print.  Also on the website summary, there appears to be an emphasis on personal RR points gained, which is not so good for a business expense report.


SW's previous single page format is far better. I have a copy of a SW Receipt format which took only a single page, sent via FAX circa 7/2017.
I would like SW to recreate and reintroduce a downloadable receipt via links in one's RR account, distilled into a standardized PDF file including the SW logo, and with all pertinent passenger and billing data fitted into a single page as a receipt, and optionally have a second and/or third page for any additional terms and legalese. This change is needed not only for business traveler reimbursements, but also to reduce paper waste for those who need a printed copy of receipts for their own records, and it helps keep SW more green. Also, please use common sense - do NOT print "Page 1 of 3" on the first page, as that requires all three pages to be printed when submitting a copy to accounting just so they don't feel they're missing something!!!


Why not just use the current lengthy email, or, why not edit the current columns?

Business expenses get audited. Turning in slightly different format bills for the same airline purchases looks fishy, and gets flagged.


The current format receipt provided in email has billing-irrelevant verbiage in the middle of important passenger, billing, and flight data. A simple copy/paste of the email received into Worpad spans a full 8 pages, with 6 pages required to capture all vital data, plus 2 pages for additional terms. This is a terrible waste of paper for someone needing only a business receipt, and as the data is squeezed into a narrow column, it's also rather difficult to read. Perhaps this format looks better on somebody's special email client or browser, who knows?


The one sure solution is to generate a fixed format page, and save the resulting Receipt/Invoice into a PDF file which is downloadable and readable universally on any modern computer/phone, printable as a well formatted and professional single page Receipt (the user can choose to print only the first page, or optionally all pages if ther terms and conditions are also needed).


Re: Standardized single page business receipt in a downloadable PDF file

Rising Star

I do agree that the receipts are very long. I think this is a great suggestion! It at least needs to be an option. 


FWIW, I had to call and request a receipt one time, and what I received was bare-bones on one page. Might be worth contacting SW to ask!

-A List Preferred, Companion Pass holder, Community Champion.

Re: Standardized single page business receipt in a downloadable PDF file

Top Contributor

Complaints about receipt length surface regularly on the forum.


As I have said before, Southwest sends a 3 page e-mail when one books a flight. All pertinent data about passenger name, itinerary and costs (with detaled breakdown of costs) are on the first two pages. There are two ways to get a one page receipt:

1) Print the first two pages at 50% and everything you need will be on one page

2) Print the first two pages side by side on one page and everything you need will be on one page.


Hope this helps.

Re: Standardized single page business receipt in a downloadable PDF file

New Arrival

I agree that you have said so before.  But the info you've stated it is not universally correct, depending upon the browser/mail client used.


My email comes via a webmail based client, Squirrel mail, and I use Google Chrome as a browser, either under Windows 10 or Ubuntu.  Under this mail client, the text formatting appears as a right justified column, and the email spans a total of 9 pages.  With this formating, important billing information takes about 5+ pages, not 2, so simply printing or making screen captures is not a viable solution.


I have also tried copy/paste methods to get and print a more space condensed receipt:


    1) I performed a copy/paste of the email contents into MS Word 2016 which results is 9 pages, which appears mostly blank with outlined transparent boxes which I assume to be tables, though they contain no words.  Without any content, the resulting pages are clearly not useful.


    2) I performed a copy/paste of the email contents into MS Wordpad, hoping that any HTML incompatibility might be avoided.  This helped, somewhat.  Wordpad shows a count of 8 pages (based on print preview).  What's good: The content is there - traveler name, flight number, prices, etc.  What's bad: Receipt info spans from pages 2~6 (ttl 5 pages), without any perceivable format (blocks, lines of space, etc.).


Does that mean I don't believe you?  No, not at all.  I believe you are using an email client that reads and formats the text in the email you received to fit into 2 pages, including "...everything you need...", as you say.  But, I don't have your email client, and clearly several other people don't, either.


The sure solution is to provide a fixed page format which doesn't vary by browser/mail client.  Several solutions would work, including various picture formats (PNG, GIF, etc.), text formats (MS Word - with given year/version, RTF, etc.), and of course, standardized portable document files (PDF), as are used for government forms.


To ensure everyone's email receipt prints the same, SW could look into various email clients and browsers, and try to understand which HTML tags are incompatible with each mail/browser, and then adhere to a minimal set of common HTML calls to avoid formatting problems.  But, what I am suggesting is the simple introduction of downloadable PDF receipts, as these would provide a fixed format document which looks, stores and prints the same for all PDF reader applications on all platforms, equally.

Re: Standardized single page business receipt in a downloadable PDF file

Top Contributor



I use the AT&T / Yahoo web e-mail product, and get the results I mentioned regardless of browser selection; Opera,  Maxthon, Mozilla, Chrome, Edge or Internet Explorer.


Out of curiosity are you using Squirrel as a system administrator (you put it on your machine), or as a user (you are using it becasue your company is)- meaning i is your choice?


Based on what you said, the only suggestion I made that would work for you is to either "save page" as soon as you complete a booking (printing it later) or "print page."


Sorry this is being a pain to you.

Re: Standardized single page business receipt in a downloadable PDF file

New Arrival

Squirrel mail user / company choice, kinda locked into it. 

I have tried Firefox/Sea Monkey, Opera, and Chrome, but I avoid IE for security reasons.


Yes, it is possible to print the display screen on a PC at the time of purchase, or to perform a screen capture immediately after purchase.  That won't work when making a mobile purchase, or if the purchase is made by someone else (who doesn't remember to do the capture).  


Our company uses Oracle, and when users need to access an online report, the Oracle server simply generates a temporary online PDF which opens in the user's browser and can then be saved as a local PDF document if needed for records.  This is done pretty much real-time, and results in uniform printable / emailable reports. 


It seems such a model should be easy for SW to implement, with the primary challenge being how best to asthetically provide a link to the PDF file from within a user's web account.  As mentioned above, the receipt PDF's needn't be stored as PDF files in SW's DB, rather simply generated from SW DB online data on demand when a user clicks on a link, then opened in the user's browser with the option to be saved as a PDF if needed.  It's much more green, and some users can even attach the PDF when submitting their reimbursement requests online (though not in my case, due to a "show-me-IN-MY-HAND" accounting model).

Re: Standardized single page business receipt in a downloadable PDF file

Top Contributor

This sounds like something you need to suggest directly to the airline. This is a customer to customer forum, as I as a customer, have been trying to help another customer. Sometimes that works out, but not this time.


I'd suggest an e-mail.

Details on how to send one are at the top left of the contact us webpage. I wish you luck.





Re: Standardized single page business receipt in a downloadable PDF file

New Arrival

Thanks so much.

Like you, I appreciate SW for their great customer service, and for their pricing.

I hope to encourage my company and others to switch to SW, but need to avoid any accounting naysayers.  I will contact SW directly, as I believe this airline is worth the effort, and as my purpose is purely to help their business by improving receipt format compatibility.


Thank you for taking time to reply, and for your effort in helping others.

Re: Standardized single page business receipt in a downloadable PDF file

New Arrival

I too struggle with the format of receipts emailed to me. I am a business traveler and use SW all the time. It is frustrating that more than 3 emails are sent after you book a flight, and it's difficult to find the actual receipt in the email. I don't have time to sift through all the email marketing campaigns that are generated from booking a flight. I would like to see the receipt labeled as such in the email header/to/from and confirmation number. Then I can print as a pdf and attach to my expense report. Southwest - please ask your business community on ways to improve the process!



Re: Standardized single page business receipt in a downloadable PDF file


We are always looking for ways to improve the Customer Experience, and we sincerely appreciate everyone's candid feedback on this. While we aren't equipped to assist you with receipts here, please know I have relayed this topic to our Customer Experience Team.  

Community Manager