Southwest Airlines

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Mar 27, 2021
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0
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I purchased airline tickets in January 2020 for a flight to Columbus, Ohio on March 3, 2020. The pandemic was just beginning to escalate so I decided NOT to travel. I am told by Southwest that my travel credit expired January, 2021. I missed the "COVID" travel extension window by one week apparently. I would argue that I should not be punished for being proactive. I would also argue that most people have not been traveling "recreationally" during the 1/2020 - 1/2021 time period. I think people are just now considering the possibility of recreational travel - which is is why I started investigating the use of my $245.00 credit. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
 
Dec 19, 2014
801
2,789
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Unfortunately, you are not alone. There have been several other posts with the exact same issue over the past several weeks. The best advice is to contact Southwest via social media or contact the executives. Some are reporting success, others not so much.

 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
2,065
4,234
Your success in writing to the execs of Southwest will be to ask for an exception to the rule. Please don't use words like 'punished' and 'argue' in your communication. The airlines have also been 'punished' by the pandemic and can 'argue' all day long how unfair its been on travel companies. You want the person reading your correspondence to want to help you, not feel defensive.
 
Jun 24, 2019
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2,329
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You are not alone. We missed out on an offer to change our flights at the beginning of the pandemic at no cost, so we paid far more for last minute tickets. We missed by a few hours. Southwest turned us down on our request for an exception.

I'm grateful that Southwest got us home safely. Write and ask. I wish you success.
 
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Comicman

Jul 13, 2020
869
1,821
You have to see both sides here. The airlines did not have to give you anything but for good they will gave you a voucher good for 1 year. They told you it was good for 1 year. You were not able to use it.
You are not being punished. Those that were allowed to extend theirs were lucky not the other way around as the airlines could have just said "nuts you do not get anything". You bought a NON refundable rate but even so they did give you a voucher. These are hard times for all.
So for this reason when you contact them be polite , do not be accusatory ( you chose to cancel your non refundable flight not the airline) and just say you made the mistake of letting it expire and creatively beg for a good will gesture of extending this voucher. You might have success. Saying things like I will never use your airline again is the fastest way to fail ,as why would the airlines give a good will gesture to someone who will not be spending money with them in the future.
 
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mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
1,410
1,788
NAPLES FL or Denver CO
From a different perspective~
we all need to understand that while everyone has been shouting at us to stay home, wear masks, not travel, and we have all been compliant, now these giant companies who are getting COVID relief funds paid by our taxes for their loss, are washing their hands of any obligations to turn around and provide some relief to individuals who have losses.
Disclaimer - I personally have no losses nor do any of my family members. I don’t hold any vouchers nor did I lose any deposits or prepayments.
 

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
1,410
1,788
NAPLES FL or Denver CO
Both United and AA announced this week they are extending credits for another year. Delta gave passengers two years to use their credits.

The discount airlines seem to be the ones that are not offering this. So some companies are doing the right thing.
Not sure SWAir can now be considered a discount airline.
Bags fly free is of little value to travelers who only have a carryon and personal item. (Many of us have learned to travel light.)

A round trip now costs $50/person to get an EarlyBird place in line which sometimes puts you at the end of the B section, which is not exactly great. (Well, I admit I don’t know what’s going on in that regard currently as I haven’t travelled since one trip to TX last August.)

SWAir may have Suffered more from the grounding of the 737Max airplanes and not so much from COVID. They may not have had the aircraft to transport the masses in any case. Someone Else certainly knows more about that than me.

@Comicman ~ I could argue that pax who obeyed are being punished. They followed instructions and stayed home. Oops ~ your voucher ran out.
 
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Sam

Jan 22, 2015
221
474
Colorado
When I was able to get my credit from Southwest I did not go to the executives. I started by reaching out to their social media team via Facebook (Twitter also works)
They were able to help me (my story was the first one mentioned)
I did not have to go to the executives. So I'd start with the social media team
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
2,065
4,234
Both United and AA announced this week they are extending credits for another year. Delta gave passengers two years to use their credits.

The discount airlines seem to be the ones that are not offering this. So some companies are doing the right thing.
Delta has been the most accommodating airline during the pandemic. We only had one trip planned last summer with them but they immediately, without question, refunded our tickets. Late last fall we booked a trip then decided to make it into a road trip so cancelled. We have been using the credit for other trips this month as well as this summer. It has been so easy to work with them. Booked online using the credits and, since the price was less than the original, we got another eCredit number. I love the fact that there are no longer any change fees!
 

Comicman

Jul 13, 2020
869
1,821
I would argue that these are the risks of buying a non refundable rates on a flight or hotel to save money. I would argue that the airlines were not the ones saying do not travel ( again passengers and airlines losing all the same) .
You buy a non refundable rate and in the airlines terms and conditions it says they are not responsible for any refunds if there is a Force majeure. So they could have done nothing for those with non refundable tickets ( this would have been a disaster for the airlines if they did this, but they could have).
This pandemic has shown many the risks of buying non refundable rates. Even more so the importance in having a good travel insurance.
There are two sides to most things and in this situation both sides are losing .. a lot.
 

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
1,410
1,788
NAPLES FL or Denver CO
I would argue that these are the risks of buying a non refundable rates on a flight or hotel to save money. I would argue that the airlines were not the ones saying do not travel ( again passengers and airlines losing all the same) .
You buy a non refundable rate and in the airlines terms and conditions it says they are not responsible for any refunds if there is a Force majeure. So they could have done nothing for those with non refundable tickets ( this would have been a disaster for the airlines if they did this, but they could have).
This pandemic has shown many the risks of buying non refundable rates. Even more so the importance in having a good travel insurance.
There are two sides to most things and in this situation both sides are losing .. a lot.
In that a Pandemic is more/less a one hundred year phenomenon ~ buying a refundable ticket would not have been deemed necessary in most cases. Especially since purchasing insurance for use during COVID time did not cover most of the cancellation reasons.
Those of us who have been users of this site longer term than some know that previously, the chant was to ‘Buy Insurance.’ Now you are sayng ‘Buy Refundable?’
20/20 hindsight......
 

Comicman

Jul 13, 2020
869
1,821
No, I am saying when you buy non refundable tickets and hotels, know what your risks are. I said that way before Covid and say it now.
On a side note my travel insurance paid up even though the cancellation was Covid related. So I got lucky there.
 
Last edited:
Feb 21, 2018
283
833
59
While its true that many limited travel in 2020, it was still quite possible to do so...and from my experience on Southwest in August 2020 it felt very safe. I flew out of Baltimore during the summer on that airline, and there were less than 30 people on a plane that seats 175 or so...between the distance and knowledge that cabin air changes over fully multiple times per hour, I felt very safe.

Unfortunately, these 'special windows' for extensions and exceptions to normal policies always have a start and end, and there will always be people just on the other side of each line. It's certainly worth a well-worded letter asking for an exception, but be realistic in expectations.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
11,040
13,231
San Francisco
I absolutely see both sides of the virus disaster ... people are losing the value of their tix and airlines are looking at possible insolvency. Airline employees are under constant threat of losing their jobs. If more consumers understood this reality, they would stop thinking that they deserve extraordinary treatment from the airlines. If a traveller approaches an airline in the proper way ... and we have dozens of threads on how ... their request is often granted. "I'm too old, I'm angry, I don't have any money, I would argue that I'm right, I deserve, I don't want to travel any more, t's not right" ... often come across when consumers communicate. We all truly are in this together and successful requests will reflect that.
 
I purchased airline tickets in January 2020 for a flight to Columbus, Ohio on March 3, 2020. The pandemic was just beginning to escalate so I decided NOT to travel. I am told by Southwest that my travel credit expired January, 2021. I missed the "COVID" travel extension window by one week apparently. I would argue that I should not be punished for being proactive. I would also argue that most people have not been traveling "recreationally" during the 1/2020 - 1/2021 time period. I think people are just now considering the possibility of recreational travel - which is is why I started investigating the use of my $245.00 credit. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

I had Travel Credits on Southwest that I converted to Rapid Reward Points and there were LUV Vouchers that I applied to a flight and cancelled due to our trip to China being cancelled as well as cancelled a Hawaii trip due to their travel restrictions and it was hard to get a PCR Test back in November. Unfortunately an airline can chose when and if to enact a COVID Travel Refund policy and sadly the OP while being proactive lost their Travel Voucher.

What the OP can do is to write to Southwest Customer Relations on their website and state that they realized that their Voucher has expired and to ask them to reinstate it. They may or may not chose to do so. There was an option that if you booked a Flight and Cancelled it before September 7th,2020 you would have had that Voucher extended to September 7th,2022. SW May offer to extend it for 6 Months but they will more than likely ask for $100 to do so. Is it worth paying $100 for a $245 voucher? Me says it depends. if you retain $145 maybe that can be of value to you if you are definitely going to travel before the 6 months is up. You also get Rapid Reward Points albeit the value going down somewhat. If someone at SW is sympathetic they may opt to refund it.

It helps to know the policies of the airline and right on their website they had clear information about how to transfer any Vouchers/Ticketless Funds to Non Expiring Rapid Reward Points which I did. If you have questions your best bet is to call 1800-435-9792 before the expiration of the voucher.

Wishing you all the Best!
 
While its true that many limited travel in 2020, it was still quite possible to do so...and from my experience on Southwest in August 2020 it felt very safe. I flew out of Baltimore during the summer on that airline, and there were less than 30 people on a plane that seats 175 or so...between the distance and knowledge that cabin air changes over fully multiple times per hour, I felt very safe.

Unfortunately, these 'special windows' for extensions and exceptions to normal policies always have a start and end, and there will always be people just on the other side of each line. It's certainly worth a well-worded letter asking for an exception, but be realistic in expectations.
I flew on SW from SJC-LAS-SJC and my Parents and I were going to go to Hawaii had it not been hard to get the negative PCR Test. I would not want to be stuck in a resort room for 2 weeks!