Southwest Airline

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Nov 18, 2019
I had a booked a flight to Cancun from Charlotte for a once in a lifetime opportunity to go to Cancun with a friend for just the cost of my airfare ($482.34 - Reservation #XXXXX). A few weeks before we were supposed to leave, my friend (who had the hotel bookings that were complimentary) received news that her mother had terminal cancer and my friend had to cancel her trip. Needless to say, I had to cancel my flight as well since the hotel booking was under her name.

I had used gift cards (that I've been saving for a special occasion) to pay for about 1/3 of the cost of the flight and the remaining 2/3 of the cost was paid via my credit card which was difficult because I really didn't have the money to spare but, as I said, it truly was a once in a lifetime opportunity. When I canceled my flight, I did receive a credit; however, as I later found out (most likely my fault), the credit is only good for 12 months from the date of booking. Fast forward to now and I have been unable to use the credit since I can't afford to go anywhere . Even if I booked a flight just to visit my friend, I would still be either (1) forfeiting some of my credit or (2) having to pay extra to book that flight. Either way, I am losing money that I just can't afford to lose!

I wholly understand that SWA is under no obligation to refund my funds. I have called them 2x to see about at least extending the credit and have been rejected. It would be awesome if they could at least extend the credit or at least appreciate receiving that credit on a SWA gift card so that I can use the funds to travel in the future. I would still fly on their airline but I can't use the credit by the expiration date (I'm told if I wait until it expires, the credit can "usually" be extended by paying a fee - more money). I didn't cancel my trip on a whim and surely would rather have used those funds but I just can't use them by the expiration date and that's a whole lot of money to forfeit!! I would so appreciate some assistance with this matter. I'm just torn up about the fact that I'm going to lose money that could be put to use for bills or a future trip when I have a travel partner and the extra funds!!

Modified by moderator to remove booking number.
Last edited by a moderator:

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Dec 27, 2014
New York
Did you purchase travel insurance or did the credit card you used for the booking offer travel insurance? That is what would have reimbursed you for this.

Southwest is the only airline that offers you a credit like this. What I would suggest you do is use our company contacts and start writing to Southwest and ask them if they can extend the credit for six months. Many times they will but you will need to make sure you use that credit if they do. They have no reason to give it to you on a gift card as that extends the credit for too long.

Tell them in your letter that you understand you are asking for a favor and that you know they don't have to extend but you would greatly appreciate it if they could. We call it artful begging and they often will help when you let them know you know this is unusual.

Go to our company contacts on top of the pages and start with the first executive shown since you have already dealt with customer service. This is how to write - one at a time leaving a week in between letters.
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