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Using travel vouchers - booking placeholder tickets

Three-Nuts
New Arrival

Greetings.

 

I too have been caught in the COVID cancellation merry-go-round.  We booked for October 2020 back in March 2020, non-refundable tickets.  Obviously, cancelled. 

 

We were granted travel funds, but were unable to use them within the extended 1-year window (btY March 2021).  We have to wait to convert the funds to a travel voucher for the $100/per fee. However, I can't request that until June 1 & it may take a few more weeks (I am told) for this process to complete. 

 

We are going to MCO in late October 2021 and need to book. I am concerned that the flights we want (which are available today) will be fully booked / unavailable by then.

 

It occurred to me that I can book two business-class seats on these flights that are fully refundable, as a placeholder.  Then, book the cheap fares and get the credit when we are able to use the vouchers - if there are still seats available.  If successful, I could then (AFTERWARDS) cancel the other reservation for a full refund. If the flight is fully booked, I am skeptical that capacity will magically appear if I cancel the BC seats first, then try to book cheap seats - so the only real risk I see here, is that I may pay 2-1/2 times more to fly in comfort.

 

Are there any other downsides that I am missing here?  Thank you!

 

5 REPLIES 5

Re: Using travel vouchers - booking placeholder tickets

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor
Solution

Sounds like you have thought it through pretty well. My only thought is that if you plan to fly Southwest within the next year you could purchase the Wanna Get Away fare now, cancel that once you get the voucher, repurchase the Wanna Get Away fare with the voucher (price may be higher though due to the later purchase date), then use the travel funds you will receive from the cancelation on another flight within the next year.

 

There is one other major flaw in your thinking. Business Select tickets are NOT business class. Business Select gives you refundability, an A1-A15 boarding position, and a free drink, all in the exact same seats. You also earn more Rapid Rewards points on the flight.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Using travel vouchers - booking placeholder tickets

Three-Nuts
New Arrival

Hmmm thought the section at the front of the A/C  was different seats.  Thank you!

No difference though - it's booking them that matters, & a fighting chance at an exit row...

 

Unfortunately, it's unlikely that we'll be travelling  within the year after booking these, because that is an excellent idea.

 

Thank you for your responses!  Now excuse me while I go tie up a couple thousand bucks for (hopefully) a short while! 🙂

Re: Using travel vouchers - booking placeholder tickets

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

All seats are the exact same on Southwest, but as you alluded to, there are options for more legroom. Still, these seats are open to all ticket holders except preboarders. The Business Select name has certainly led to more than one person incorrectly believing there's a business class product. 

The front of the aircraft is actually narrower than the rest so the window seats have slightly less elbow and shoulder room. I think it widens up around row 8, but I could be off a few rows.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Using travel vouchers - booking placeholder tickets

gsking
Active Member

TMS logic is sound.   The only real way to lock in low priced fares is to lock in funds permanently as non refundable TF.  

 

So if I have a flight I'm not sure I'll take, or it's way out in the future, I use "new money" instead of TF to get the maximum expiration time.    Yes, it takes a bit of foresight into your future travel plans.   Then I use the TF for nearer flights, or ones I'm sure I won't cancel. 

Re: Using travel vouchers - booking placeholder tickets

bwallet
Active Member

@Three-Nuts "We booked for October 2020 back in March 2020, non-refundable tickets.  Obviously, cancelled."

 

Why 'obviously canceled'? A lot of us flew quite a bit in October.