Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

use of travel vouchers co-mingles funds and expiration date

pinkytime
New Arrival

I discovered today, after nearly 8 cumulative hours of phone calls, that when one decides to use "unused travel funds" towards a purchase, that ALL funds used in that purchase will now have the expiration date of the oldest travel funds used.  For example, I applied "unused travel funds" in the amount of $40 towards the purchase of a ticket which cost over $250.  I did this in July, 2016, for travel in December, 2016.  The $40 worth of unused travel funds was set to expire in December, 2016, shortly after my flight was planned for.  As Southwest often does, their plane fares were going way up and down until October, when I noticed that the fare for the same December 2016 flight was now approximately half of what I had paid for it.  So I canceled my flight and repurchased it, which should have put about $125 credit in my account.  Then, I tried to book a new flight here in January, 2017, for a flight in March, 2017.  Not only was I given no credit for the $40 (since it had expired in December, 2016), but Southwest told me that the entire $125 credit was now expired, because by co-mingling unused travel funds with the cash/credit card funds for the rest, the entire amount would now expire at the same time as the $40 unused funds.  They told me they would do me a "favor" and extend my unused travel funds after subtracting $100 from the amount.  So the bottom line is that anytime you try to use unused travel funds, you better go through with that ticket, because if you need to cancel for any reason, ALL of the funds will expire on the earliest date of any of the unused travel funds.  I think this is terribly unfair, and completely misleading as this detail is nowhere within the Southwest policies that I could find.  I can completely understand the oldest funds expiring "on time," but there is no reason to expire ALL funds when only some of the funds are expiring.  And Southwest is very misleading about this!

9 REPLIES 9

Re: use of travel vouchers co-mingles funds and expiration date

LindseyD
Retired Community Manager
Solution

Hi @pinkytime,

 

We do our best to educate Customers about how to use their travel funds, and how the expiration date works. We send an email when a flight is booked that clearly states the expiration date (one year from the date of purchase) and then we send an email after any subsequent changes that also states the expiration date of the reservation. I'm sorry that this has been a disappointing situation for you. Many of our Customers are thrilled to know that they've got an entire year to use up any travel funds under their name, as we've got one of the most flexible policies in the industry. 

 

 

Re: use of travel vouchers co-mingles funds and expiration date

loyal323
New Arrival

No its not. I have been a customer for years. I just received a credit in december for my family members and I. They expire february 22 2017. I had a spinal fusion surgery in Jaunaury we cannot travel we now have $931.00 of unused travel funds that are all expriring because of this back dating. $931.00 we are losing without stepping foot on an aircraft. Totaly unfair I was told to send an EMAIL today...... regarding my issue and I was told in the reply email that I will not get a response for more than 30 days - totally unacceaptable customer service - 30 days - they will all expire by then.

please do not have anyone from you company - click the LOVE button

This is Poor poor customer service and you are taking my money without providing a service - we cancelled on time and put in a request . You cant even find the ticketless travel finder box anymore on you website - its like a puzzle for a customer to even locate it . ADMIT YOU MAKE IT DIFFICULT FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS TO USE THIER TICKETLESS TRAVEL FUNDS!!!!   PLEASE DONT GIVE THE BEST LOWEST IN THE INDUSTRY SPEECH- BECAUSE HONESTLY WE ARE GETTING WHAT WE PAY FOR WORST CUSTOMER RELATIONS................

Re: use of travel vouchers co-mingles funds and expiration date

MAMABEAR-CO
New Arrival

I just went thru this today. I swore that in years past I was able to use expired refunds without any issue? But today they told me that you CAN still use them - you can extend them up to 6 months actually - however you pay a $100 fee to do so 😞 - So in most cases like mine - it didn't pay too.  I had about $200 worth of funds that I couldn't use since my return flight was past the expiration date. Ugh. The rep today that I spoke to was super friendly & helpful - she helped me cancel and rebook another upcoming flight that I just so happen to have to another destination & it was still same price thankfully- so that I could at least use some of the funds before they expired.  I still have $93 to use for another flight before June 4th - so I may lose that one still. Bummer.  

 

 

Re: use of travel vouchers co-mingles funds and expiration date

Allie12721
New Arrival

Yes, we get the emails about the dates...but that is the only time we have been made aware of the "policy"! I'm wicked disappointed I used a nexpiring $20 flight credit in Feb 2017 on a $294 flight, then had to move to a day earlier and paid about $80 more. Then we decided to head to San Antonio for a night. Changed the flight ($384) to a flight that cost $140ish and the $236 credit now expires May 2017, 2 months later because I used the $20 credit. I will never be able to use that...I fly Southwest all the time and can't believe this is how it works.

Re: use of travel vouchers co-mingles funds and expiration date

tnguyen
New Arrival

Yep, same thing happened to me. I also have rapid rewards account and it doesn't show cancelled reservation or unused fund so it's easy to forget using your any unused fund at time of booking.

Re: use of travel vouchers co-mingles funds and expiration date

SWloyal1
New Arrival

I also encountered the same issue of using a $26 credit on my one way ticket. Lucky for me that I booked my 2 segments separately. The other segment is not affected by the oldest expiration date. The customer reps I waited for a long time to speak with keep insisting that if I read the contract, I would know this. Once home, I looked for my printed copy and it is no where that it states that. I went on line to see where I can find this rule, and this is where I ended up. A rep is supposed to call me back within 2 days. I will just have to ask her to walk me through the SW website to find this rule. Knowing now that others have this same experience and frustration, I am more determined to find find out about this rule and where it is in their website. I am a loyal SW flyer and I always recommended SW. I appreciate that we are allowed to change flights without any charge. If this comingled funds rule is easily available to us, I would concede.

Re: use of travel vouchers co-mingles funds and expiration date

DavidLAX
New Arrival

I discovered this policy today.   Older travel funds shortened the expiration date on additional funds used to purchase travel by about 4.5 months.  Southwest is unapologetic.  While the policy does appear to be stated on the booking page ("The new reservation inherits the earliest expiration date from any funds applied"), there is no good reason for this policy, other than Southwest's own inability or refusal to figure out, from a technical point, how to segreate the older travel credit from "newer" travel credit.

Re: use of travel vouchers co-mingles funds and expiration date

rameshb2
New Arrival

I too am faced with hundreds of dollars of wasted travel funds because of combining reservations with a few dollars from another travel fund.

I agree this policy makes zero sense and is completely unfair.

 

I escalated to customer service and they refused to budge on this topic even though they clearly understood  the unfairness of the policy.

                   I doubt CEO Gary approves of the unfair policy buried in fine print where new cash  inherits the earliest expiration date from  other funds in the reservation.

                  GARY - PLEASE CHANGE THIS POLICY.

 

Combining expiring travel funds, and then getting a replacement voucher for a $100 fee seems to be the best solution. 

       https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/southwest-airlines-rapid-rewards/1627097-luv-voucher.html

 

Outside of this unfair rule I really love Southwest airlines. I love the policy of being able to change bookings without a fee - all-in-all  SWA  is the best airline with regard to policies around changes in reservations.

The gate agents are awesome and very flexible.

Re: use of travel vouchers co-mingles funds and expiration date

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

I'm certain Gary Kelly is well aware of the policy, and the money it returns to Southwest in the form of unused travel funds.

 

Keep in mind that -- for now at least -- Southwest still allows you to cancel or change and use funds toward future travel without fee.