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Travel Fund....Poor Customer Service

Bshatc01
New Arrival

First and foremost, I firmly believe SW is the best air carrier out there. With that said, the latest round of customer service, or should I say lack of, has left a bad taste in my mouth. March 2020, tix were purchased to MCO to be used October 2020. Clearly, that trip had to be put on hold because of Covid. Fast forward to January 15, 2021, I rebooked a trip to a different destination with the same passengers. These tix were purchased with the existing credit and they were set to expire in March. We then had to change these tix to Feb 2021 (next month) but also paid 350’ish dollars more between the four traveling passengers. The cost of these tix went down so I called SW and received a credit for the difference, approximately 400 dollars. I then purchased another completely separate trip to Tampa for April 2021. Insert my issue!  I was not allowed to use the credit because the funds were applied to the old tix that expired in March. So, even though that money was spent January 15 of this year, SW is only giving me until March to use or lose the 400 dollar credit. In no way can you justify giving me 1.5 months to use these funds. I have tried everything. I called customer service, escalated with customer service and was told there is no exception to help me.  I tried to have them extended 15 days to use for my Tampa trip but no luck.  I was also told that I need to read the fine print because it is there. If SW’s answer is to push back on the customer for not reading fine print, I’ll have to move on to another carrier. Quite frankly, it gets no more lame than that especially in the environment we are working with. I strongly recommend to everyone waiting until the last minute when you know you will for sure be making your trip to purchase your ticket. If not, there is a real risk of loss of funds, flight changes etc. 

34 REPLIES 34

Re: Travel Fund....Poor Customer Service

bec102896
Top Contributor

@Bshatc01 

 

Ok so this may sound strange but I heard it worked for someone else. 

 

Go book a flight IN MARCH between March 11th-March 31st from where you would depart and arrive (find the cheapest ticket) then once booked for example you want to go from HOU-TPA go book that flight in March then after you book it go to change it to April it might let you because of Southwest's schedule changes. Important book a flight that is less than 30 days from when you really want to travel. Example you want to go HOU-TPA on April 7th book a flight in March for say March 17th then you should be able to change it to April 7th. 

 

Sorry if this sounds confusing. 

 

-Blake

Re: Travel Fund....Poor Customer Service

Bshatc01
New Arrival

Thanks for the feedback. I still circle back to why do I have to do this in the first place. It’s ridiculous that money spent 15 days ago gets tied to an old ticket and there’s NOTHING they can do?!  Please. I even told them I was fine losing the other credits I have tied to the tickets purchased a year ago. That I understand, it has been a year. I can’t get on board with losing money spend 15 days ago. It’s wrong, policy or not it is theft...I have somehow donated 400 dollars to SW for no service provided. 

Re: Travel Fund....Poor Customer Service

dfwskier
Top Contributor

You are not going to like what I have to say, but what I have to say is fact.

 

The rules are clearly stated and they say that when you add funds to a travel credit to buy a ticket, then all funds tied to that ticket adopt the expiration date tied to the travel fund.

 

You have to pay attention to rules when driving, voting, filing your taxes etc. You have to pay attention to airline rules, too.

 

The good news is that you'll be able to convert the expired travel fund into a voucher for a fee of $100. The fee is $100 per TF, so if you have several of them you could use them to buy

one ticket and then cancel that ticket and pay one fee instead of several. Conversions must be done within 6 months of a TF expiraton, and the resultant voucher (good for use by anyone) is good for 6 months.

 

There are $1000+ next day travel  Business Select  RT fares out there.

Re: Travel Fund....Poor Customer Service

Bshatc01
New Arrival

Fine and dandy. Here’s my argument against. This is all friendly debate. But...

 

I used old funds to be applied to new tickets. That part is clear. However, I was short the cost of the new tickets by 400 so when rebooking I paid 400 dollars on top of the existing funds. Fast forward...The cost goes down the following week so I call to get reimbursed. The tickets were purchased prior to there ever even being a reimbursement.  How can I agree to a policy that was not relevant at the time of purchase? How is it okay that this money, new money that was spent over the cost of last years tickets be applied to tickets from a year ago. That makes zero sense.  None. 

 You buy a pair of pants. The receipt expires 30 days after purchase. On the 30th day you return them for a new pair. The price of the pants went up so you can have a complete refund or pay the difference. You pay. On what would be the 31 day, you return the newest pair but they say no because the new pair inherits the receipt expiration of the old pair because it was mostly paid from old funds. It’s bogus to the foundation.  

Re: Travel Fund....Poor Customer Service

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@Bshatc01 wrote:

Fine and dandy. Here’s my argument against. This is all friendly debate. But...

 

 

 You buy a pair of pants. The receipt expires 30 days after purchase. On the 30th day you return them for a new pair. The price of the pants went up so you can have a complete refund or pay the difference. You pay. On what would be the 31 day, you return the newest pair but they say no because the new pair inherits the receipt expiration of the old pair because it was mostly paid from old funds. It’s bogus to the foundation.  


 

 

Again, as I said upthread, the rule is clear. New funds added to a travel fund adopt the expiration date of the travel fund.

 

Here's a better scenario than yours. You are blissfully driving down the street at 50 mph

in a zone with a 50 mph speed limit. The limit drops to 30 mph and you are notified via sign.

You don't notice ( or maybe you ignore  ) the sign and continue to drive  at 50 mph.

Then blue and red flashing lights appear in your rear view mirror. The cop pulls you over.

You say "I didn't see the speed limit change." The cop gives you a ticket for speeding (breaking the rules).

 

Bad things happen when you don't follow the rules.

 

I get that you don't like the rule, but that doesn't lessen the fact that it is a rule.

Re: Travel Fund....Poor Customer Service

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

Southwest, unlike other carriers, allows you to reuse funds from cancelled flights without any additional cancellation, change or rebooking fees. With the exception of some current temporary covid accommodations, no other carrier allows this. The trade-offs for this are limitations on those funds -- use by the original passenger(s) only, and most importantly expiration dates. It's unfortunate that new money is tainted by older funds, and it's possible that at some point Southwest may update their systems to change that. But frankly it's unlikely. From your viewpoint, you didn't discover this until you tried to get back monies when the fare dropped. (Which, fyi, isn't something you can do on any other carrier.) But in reality, those monies already had the expiration date, and again, that was disclosed to you when you made the purchase (as I showed in the screenshot earlier). Southwest's system isn't perfect, but I'll take it over any other carrier's any day. At lest you now know not to co-mingle cash with older travel funds.

Re: Travel Fund....Poor Customer Service

Bshatc01
New Arrival

There’s a disconnect in our arguments. The intent of my post was the policy is bad. I concede there is a policy in place. My stance is Southwest is better than the policy in place. Take my money for the year old tix...I get it. Don’t take my money that was spent fifteen days ago. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. I’ve moved on and since bought more tickets with SW for another trip. I do stand by SW is the best out there as stated in my original post. I just expect more from them than what happened here.  That’s all. My debate ends here. 

Re: Travel Fund....Poor Customer Service

gsking
Active Member

I appreciate your analogy,  and it's a good one. 

 

But to your point,  if your new pants got a new expiration... and then you returned them in 30 days for a new paid... and so on and so on.   You'd always have new pants.

 

That's the problem SWA has to avoid... people getting around the 1 year rule by buying a new ticket and inheriting a new expiration.   I'm not smart enough to know why having unlimited fund expiration is a bad thing,  but the rule you suggest would allow that.   It does seem to me to not be such a bad thing. 

Re: Travel Fund....Poor Customer Service

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@gsking wrote:

 That's the problem SWA has to avoid... people getting around the 1 year rule by buying a new ticket and inheriting a new expiration.   I'm not smart enough to know why having unlimited fund expiration is a bad thing,  but the rule you suggest would allow that.   It does seem to me to not be such a bad thing. 


It's an accounting thing. Travel funds and FF points  are accrued liabilities. As long as they are o the books, thee's nothing to prevent a lot of people (many more than normal) from using them at one time. TFs with no expiration could gow to be such a large amount that it could impact the airline financially.

 

That's why some organizations (I'm thinking hotels) put a expiration date on  hotel points. It's use it or lose it..