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Travel Funds Policy Needs to be amended for pandemic

New Arrival

I had travel funds that were set to expire on April 7 so I booked a Disney cruise in Orlando for the end of March. My travel funds weren't enough to cover the total cost for 4 to fly so I had to pay about half in cash. Well, Disney has cancelled their cruises due to the pandemic and being that we no longer had a reason to take this flight, I cancelled it, intending to use these funds for a future flight when we were able to re-book our cruise. After cancelling, I see that the entire amount of travel funds now expire on 4/7/20 (including the part I paid for in cash). After speaking to a customer rep over the phone, I understand the policy is to apply the oldest expiration date to all travel funds and the only extension available would require a $100 penalty per person on my reservation which would result in only a $29 voucher for each person. This will cause me to have a total loss of nearly $500 which is completely unacceptable. 


I think it's completely absurd to have a policy where you can use $1 of travel funds towards a flight and pay the rest in cash and if you cancel that flight, the entire cost of the flight is issued in travel funds that expire when the $1 was set to expire.


SWA has always shown me great customer service but considering this pandemic, if they do not change their policy or make an exception with the travel funds then they will be losing me, and I'm sure many others, as a customer. 




Re: Travel Funds Policy Needs to be amended for pandemic

New Arrival

I agree, they act as if it's our fault 

Re: Travel Funds Policy Needs to be amended for pandemic

Rising Star



Travel funds can be used up to one year from the date they are purchased (not the date you fly). If you apply a travel fund to a new reservation, and that reservation is cancelled, the travel funds for that reservation take on the earliest expiration date, which would be from the travel funds applied. This has always been Southwest's policy on using travel funds, which is very unique to the industry since no other airline has this practice. In addition, Southwest does not charge any fees to change flights (you can pretty much change a flight as many times as you want) or to cancel flights, which no other airline does - until now. Now airlines are waiving fees, but Southwest has never had to since they have never charged fees.


If Southwest makes any further changes to their travel fund policies, an announcement will be made.

Let us know if you have any further questions about the current policy. 




Re: Travel Funds Policy Needs to be amended for pandemic

New Arrival

It doesn't matter to me that this has always been "Southwest's Policy". I think it's ridiculous that no matter what amount of travel funds you apply to a reservation, when you cancel, the entire amount is subject to the expiration of the travel funds.


Example: My family of 4 each have $25 of travel funds that expire on January 1st. On December 1st, I book a flight for 4 that departs on December 25th. The flight will cost me $600. I pay $100 of the reservation with travel funds and the other $500 with cash (credit, debit, whatever). On December 28th, I find out that we are no longer able to fly and I cancel my flight and receive travel funds for future flights in the amount of $600 ($150 each). These new travel funds now expire on January 1st leaving me 3 days to use. I am then told that I "may" be able to extend the expiration date of travel funds if they are over $100 each, which they are. BUT.....there will be a penalty of $100 per ticket to extend it for 6 months. So now, I am in possession of $50 of travel funds for each of my family of 4. I paid out of pocket for the original $100 of travel funds and I paid out of pocket for the $500 but now I'm left with only $200 of travel funds.


I agree, this is a very unique policy!