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WARNING: Refundable ticket is sometimes NON-REFUNDABLE!

New Arrival

Ever seen this beauty from the May 9th 2017 policy change

  • Modifying a fully refundable fare will result in the fare becoming NON-refundable. Non-refundable fares may be applied toward future travel on Southwest Airlines for the originally ticketed passenger only.

Just another example of the Heartlessnes of SWA.

Customer relations advised that I aught to cancel full fair flights rather than change.  This will ashure I am refunded, in the event the flight get's cancelled.


I spend 1hour and 40 minutes on hold for 1 hour 30 to speak with corporate customer relations, to speak with the heartless agent.



Re: WARNING: Refundable ticket is sometimes NON-REFUNDABLE!

Top Contributor

That warning appears every time I change a reservation. Seems pretty well publicized to me. 

Re: WARNING: Refundable ticket is sometimes NON-REFUNDABLE!

Top Contributor

Publicized or not, it's one of the stupidest things I've ever seen Southwest do.


(Also, that message appears on every change -- refundable or not. Which makes it even more nonsensical.)


Refundable fares, that become non-refundable if you make any change to the itinerary?!




Yes, the solution is to simply cancel and rebook all refundable fares. But if, as Southwest says, this is caused by a limitation in the new "next generation operating system," then why not fix that limitation? Or make it so that any "change" to a refundable fare is processed behind the scene as a "cancel and rebook"?


I think we know the answer.


This is going to burn many people. Especially those Business Travelers that Southwest has tried so hard  -- with varying success -- to get.


Say your company requires the purchase of a refundable fare, so they book Anytime. Then the flyer pays out of pocket to upgrade to Business Select. Then they need to cancel. The ticket is no longer refundable to the company, but is now locked in use to the flyer.


What might be the effect on companies using Southwest going forward?


Stupid, short-sighted decision, Southwest. 😞