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Travel Funds - SWA should enhance the ability to assign these funds

New Arrival

While I appreciate Southwest's policy of holding travel funds for non-refundable cancellations, I'm frustrated by the limitations for later assigning those funds.

 

I often buy tickets for two of our daughters, traveling to/from college, which have resulted in occasional cancellations for a variety of reasons. It's really annoying to pay for their tickets on my SWA Rapid Rewards card and then not be able to access those funds for myself or my spouse later, if our daughters are unable to reschedule for the same general timeframe.

 

Southwest really needs to tweak this policy so that people can assign/direct their travel funds to be used by someone else within the one year timeframe! Why would they not do this?

9 REPLIES 9
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Re: Travel Funds - SWA should enhance the ability to assign these funds

Top Contributor
Solution

Southwest has already announced that it will "enhance the ability to assign these funds" by allowing travel funds to be converted into RR points that can be used by anyone -- and the points never expire.

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Re: Travel Funds - SWA should enhance the ability to assign these funds

New Arrival

What about those that don't have Rapid Rewards?  I have a situation where I have unused travel funds for myself as well as for my husband.  I am flying in July and would like to use my unused funds to purchase my husband's tickets.  Essentially I would be combining the funds (his and mine) to pay for his new ticket.  It doesn't seem fair for me. 

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Re: Travel Funds - SWA should enhance the ability to assign these funds

Top Contributor

Every person who has Rapid Rewards points may use those points to buy a ticket for any other person -- including those the do not have a RR account.

 

No you may not combine RR points from two different accounts to buy one ticket, but you can use one account to buy a one way ticket outbound, and the other account to buy the one way return trip.

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Re: Travel Funds - SWA should enhance the ability to assign these funds

Top Contributor

@Sojourner wrote:

While I appreciate Southwest's policy of holding travel funds for non-refundable cancellations, I'm frustrated by the limitations for later assigning those funds.

 

I often buy tickets for two of our daughters, traveling to/from college, which have resulted in occasional cancellations for a variety of reasons. It's really annoying to pay for their tickets on my SWA Rapid Rewards card and then not be able to access those funds for myself or my spouse later, if our daughters are unable to reschedule for the same general timeframe.

 

Southwest really needs to tweak this policy so that people can assign/direct their travel funds to be used by someone else within the one year timeframe! Why would they not do this?


 

Unfortunately, airline tickets are non-transferrable, and by extension that applies to travel funds as well. This is now an industry standard -- every carrier does it the same way. (Since 2011, when Southwest stopped allowing travel funds to be used for anyone.)

 

The best way to avoid having travel funds for someone who doesn't need them is to book flights for other travelers using Rapid Rewards points whenever possible. Points flights can be cancelled at any time, and the points simply return to the point holder's account.

 

For now, as was mentioned earlier, you will at some point be able to convert the travel funds into RR points for each traveler. Then those points can be used to purchase travel for anyone.

 

 

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Re: Travel Funds - SWA should enhance the ability to assign these funds

New Arrival

So basically we are screwed because we have to spend extra money (even though we have unused travel funds) even if they are in the name of someone else.  That to me just doesn't make sense.  It is not right and it is unfair.  Southwest used to be my number one choice for airlines but now not so much.  I don't think it is appropriate to penalize someone for cancelling their trip because of the pandemic and not provide a full refund.  I am not a happy camper at all.  Not that it matters since you have millions of customers. 

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Re: Travel Funds - SWA should enhance the ability to assign these funds

Top Contributor

@yari0780 wrote:

So basically we are screwed because we have to spend extra money (even though we have unused travel funds) even if they are in the name of someone else.  That to me just doesn't make sense.  It is not right and it is unfair.  Southwest used to be my number one choice for airlines but now not so much.  I don't think it is appropriate to penalize someone for cancelling their trip because of the pandemic and not provide a full refund.  I am not a happy camper at all.  Not that it matters since you have millions of customers. 


 

A few things:

 

1) This is primarily a customer-to-customer forum, so you are speaking to other customers here, not Southwest. If you want to contact them directly, you can do so using any of the options at the bottom of this pages under Contact Us.

 

2) Air travel tickets are non-transferable. Meaning that someone else can't travel on your ticket. This is the industry standard -- all carriers do this, not just Southwest. This also applies to travel funds. Keep in mind that Southwest at least lets you use 100% of your travel funds, unlike other carriers that may charge a cancellation, rebooking or change fee, of as much as $250.

 

3) With regards to cancellations due to the pandemic: If Southwest cancelled your flight you are entitled to a full refund. If that's the case, reach out to Customer Relations (not the reservation number) and request a refund.

 

Contact Customer Relations 

 

If, however, you cancelled your flight, you'll receive travel funds, held in the name of each passenger on the original ticket(s). This is the letter of the law per DOT regulations, and all carriers are sticking to it. Southwest has at least made some accommodations to help customers due to the special circumstances:

  • Instead of expiring one year from the date of purchase, travel funds from pandemic-related cancellations now expire September 7, 2022, giving customers over two years in which to use their funds.
  • Soon, Rapid Rewards members will be able to convert those funds into Rapid Rewards points, which never expire and can be used to book travel for anyone.

 

Hope this helps!

 

 

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Re: Travel Funds - SWA should enhance the ability to assign these funds

Active Member

I agree w you. The Intent of the Customer should be the issue not the technical law Common law in our Great Country always states that if there is confusion between 2 parties the Contract is interpreted against the one who drew the contract up

Regarding you Venting here I would think SW❤️ Airline would want to know what their Customers expect and are thinking. To jump to. Policy is standard in the Industry. Maybe that Policy was made before the Pandemic? 
I support your Forthwright Honesty and thank you for questioning the Policy as a Construtive way to improve for all why should All the Labor be put on you the. Ciustomer. In India many Businesses maintain Customer Serviceime the USA did years ago.   Small Merchants now still do in India. but World Population so big it is ama zing how SW does so many good things but right now refunds seem to be not so good. 
Yes Please 

Dash

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Re: Travel Funds - SWA should enhance the ability to assign these funds

New Arrival

My youngest son had some travel funds that fell outside the extension period (Mid October). I booked a flight for him last night but due to depressed pricing, there is still $60 of available travel funds.  Unlikely, he'll fly again before they expire (September trip we planned was canceled) so is there anything else I can use the funds for before they expire? If I can't use the funds can they be donated?

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Re: Travel Funds - SWA should enhance the ability to assign these funds

Top Contributor

@PSU85 wrote:

My youngest son had some travel funds that fell outside the extension period (Mid October). I booked a flight for him last night but due to depressed pricing, there is still $60 of available travel funds.  Unlikely, he'll fly again before they expire (September trip we planned was canceled) so is there anything else I can use the funds for before they expire? If I can't use the funds can they be donated?


You can use the funds to buy a new ticket (and maybe add a few bucks to get to the price of he new ticket), and then cancel the new ticket before 9/7/20 and you will have a new travel fund that is good thru 9/7/22.