Inadequate refund policies
02-20-2019 12:09 PM
I love flying with SWA and it is always my airline of choice when I fly; however, I am very dissatisfied with SWA today. I am cancelling my flight due to the COVID-19 virus. I was informed that because I used a $100 LUV voucher, which expires on 09/30/2020, I must book my next flight by this date, rather than 01/03/2021 which is the date of my original reservation. This is not fair since the end date for the Corona virus is not known. I complained to the representative I spoke with and asked if the LUV voucher could be detached from my cash payment. I was also told that the current SWA policy did not allow her to honor my request. I was also informed that I could file a formal complaint on the web site which I am doing. However, trying to find a place on the SWA site to lodge my complaint was not easy.
I think it is poor business policy to issue someone a discount and then have them lose the ability to book a flight based on the original date of the reservation, especially in light of the fact that my flight cancellation is not my choice, but the result of a pandemic. Now, I am being told that I must call before or by 09/30/2020 and pay $100.00 to extend the deadline by 6 months. This is totally inappropriate given the current circumstance we are in due to this virus.
I wish SWA would follow the model that the Marriott is using during this stressful time.
For more than 90 years, Marriott has lived by a core value established by our founder, JW Marriott, Sr., to "take care of our guests and associates." This enduring value guides us as we face the difficult challenge of responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19), which the World Health Organization declared a pandemic on Wednesday. Our hearts and thoughts go out to the people who have been affected by this unprecedented event and we appreciate the healthcare workers, local communities, and governments around the world who are on the front line working to contain this coronavirus. Please know that we are vigilantly monitoring the COVID-19 situation around the clock and have precautions in place to ensure a healthy stay at any of our hotels across the globe. In this climate, we know travel may not be your first thought, but I want you to know the safety of our guests and associates is our top priority. I want to thank you in advance for putting your trust in Marriott as you plan for future travels. Below is an update on what we are doing, keeping your safety top of mind.
When You Book
You should have confidence when you book a stay at any of our hotels across the globe that we are doing everything we can to have accommodations ready for you. We are closely monitoring the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and local health agencies for the latest developments related to COVID-19 and following the guidance of government and public health officials. We are reinforcing these agencies' recommendations on the appropriate health and safety measures with our own hotel management teams and the hotel operators in our portfolio.
Before Your Stay
Given the impact of COVID-19 on how we work, socialize and travel, we have been adapting our cancellation policy over the past several weeks to the evolving nature of this epidemic. Today, we are updating our policy to provide our customers the most flexibility we can offer during these challenging times. Generally speaking, for guests with existing individual reservations , including reservations with pre-paid rates that are typically more restrictive, we will allow changes or cancellation without a charge up to 24 hours prior to arrival as long as the change or cancellation is made by April 30, 2020. For guests making new individual reservations between today and April 30, 2020, we will allow those reservations to be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before a guest's scheduled arrival date. Please visit our website for the most up-to-date information and for additional details about availability and exclusions.
During Your Stay
We recognize that the COVID-19 virus has required all of us to be more mindful as we go through our regular activities. Daily, our hotels around the world are working to ensure that they meet the latest guidance from the CDC and WHO on hygiene and cleaning. Our hotels' health and safety measures are designed to address a broad spectrum of viruses, including COVID-19, and cover everything from handwashing hygiene and cleaning product specifications to guest room and common area cleaning procedures. Specific steps we are taking as a company can be found on our website.
For Our Marriott Bonvoy Members
We are focused on how the coronavirus is impacting our Marriott Bonvoy Members and have made some important updates to our loyalty program to provide greater flexibility when planning future travel. Specifically, we have paused points expiration until August 31, 2020 allowing Members ample time to redeem their points. In addition, we have extended the expiration of suite night awards (SNAs) with an expiration date of December 31, 2020 by one year to December 31, 2021. Lastly, Members who currently have an active Free Night Award (FNA) expiring in 2020 as part of their credit card benefit, annual choice benefit, promotions or travel package will be able to use it through January 31, 2021. We understand that earning status for 2021 may also be on your mind. As the current situation is still evolving, it is too early for us to make any changes. We will keep you updated on all loyalty program changes through our Marriott Bonvoy member benefits website. We recognize that these are unsettling times and whether you are traveling now or in the future, we want you to know that your safety and wellbeing are our first priority. Whenever you travel, we are waiting with open doors and open
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