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Travel Funds Expiration/Refund

mjyork
New Arrival

I had planned to go on a trip with friends from RDU to BNA on 4/16/2020. The flight was booked on January 5th before COVID had hit the US. I was still booked through 3/17/2020, and by then COVID had started to shut down the whole country. So I cancelled my flight. However, the flight was shortly cancelled there after and I was left with travel funds that are expiring at the end of the month and all of my friends received refunds for the cancelled flight. Flight confirmation # was WGBYWT. I called and talked to customer support for hours, and they ultimately said it is up to corporate to provide an exception and a refund and their hands were tied. So here I am trying to talk within the community to get some assistance. I have $190.96 worth of travel funds that are set to expire on 5/28/2021. I hate to lose this money when the flight was cancelled in the end. Please help. 

10 REPLIES 10

Re: Travel Funds Expiration/Refund

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

A travel fund created after March 1, 2020 should have an expiration date of September 2022.  Double check your expiration date and date you cancelled the flight.  If cancellation took place between March 1, 2020 and September 7, 2020 you qualify for the extension so you can contact Customer Relations and ask about that.  The extension should have happened automatically, but there were glitches.

 

Contact Customer Relations 

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Travel Funds Expiration/Refund

mjyork
New Arrival

So here is what happened. I used the travel funds to schedule a flight in December. When I did that, these travel funds were applied to that trip. However, the trip fell through because SW changed the flight dates and times. So we had to cancel. This left the travel funds in limbo. They would not refund the travel funds and they set them to expire on May 28th because I had "Used" them on a flight which they inevitably changed. I would not be out of my money had SW not changed the flights. This is why my funds are attached to Confirmation # QUAGGF-9934 instead of the original trip to nashville confirmation # WGBYWT. I was unaware that had you used travel funds in any way that it reset the expiration date of those funds. I think this was a rotten deal. 

Re: Travel Funds Expiration/Refund

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

Here's the policy that was applied:

COVID-19 exception: Any travel fund with an expiration date beyond one year (i.e. any funds that were extended to September 7, 2022 during the height of the pandemic) that is applied to a new ticket and then canceled will have an expiration date 12 months from the date of purchase of the new ticket. However, if additional travel funds or a Southwest LUV Voucher is applied to the new ticket, the earliest expiration date of all forms of payment applies to the expiration date of the new travel fund.

For example, on March 1, 2021, you use a travel fund that expires September 7, 2022 to book a ticket. Later you cancel that ticket. The new expiration date is March 1, 2022.

https://www.southwest.com/faq/travel-funds

 

Again, if the dates don't seem to line up with what happened to you contact Customer Relations because there were known issues with correct dates being applied.

 

@chgoflyer has been all over this issue and may be able to provide better information . additional clarification.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Travel Funds Expiration/Refund

mjyork
New Arrival

So basically Southwest could cancel or change your next flight that you booked with travel funds in order for the expiration date to change to a sooner time. I see that they set themselves up for success at the customers expense. 

Re: Travel Funds Expiration/Refund

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

Yes, I'm sure they changed the flight times just to screw you.

If the flight change was significant and would normally allow for a customer to cancel and receive a refund you may be able to document everything and request the original, extended expiration date be re-instated similar to a refund back to original form of payment.  You can always try asking.  Or you can just complain here if that makes you feel better.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Travel Funds Expiration/Refund

SWFlyer007
Rising Star

@mjyork One of your comments you stated, "I wasn't aware that SWA...."  so that leads me to feel you have part of the blame.  Do I agree that sometimes the "fine print" of things is a raw deal, YES.  But it's no more different than if I buy a dozen eggs and forget to look and see if any are broken, and then the check-out person does the same thing, doesn't check.  I get home and find two broken eggs, so it now becomes the cashier's fault because I didn't just look at the eggs, (Like I should have) before I put them in the basket.  

Re: Travel Funds Expiration/Refund

SWFlyer007
Rising Star

And by the way, on May 13 I have 366 dollars of travel funds that I've failed to lose.  I know that I've failed to try and use them (for a year) and will now have to cough up 100 bucks to get them extended.  I'm just putting that on me as, MY BAD.  Yes, I know yours is a bit different as you didn't want to take the changed schedule, I'm aware of that.  Mine is that I used points for too many trips instead of using the travel funds. 

Re: Travel Funds Expiration/Refund

mjyork
New Arrival

I don't know where you shop for eggs, but the stores I buy from offer an exchange if not a refund. Also, this has been such an issue that even USA today has written on it https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/airline-news/2021/03/08/flight-credit-covid-pandemic-canceled-... . I have contacted SW via every possible contact method. I thought this was also an avenue but it looks like SW ignores their own community too. So I guess mentioning anything on here is just a waste of time. Good luck with coughing up $100 or more....

Re: Travel Funds Expiration/Refund

NicoleAshley
Employee
Employee

@mjyork We're sincerely sorry for the frustration. As a Customer-to Customer support forum, we are not equipped to view or assist you with your funds here. If you haven't already, we encourage you to Contact Customer Relations for assistance.

 

Nicole
Community Manager