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Southwest Airlines Community

A Message from our SVP and Chief Marketing Officer

Employee
Employee

To our valued Customers,


As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, the world around us is changing rapidly. And while many things are changing, our commitment to your safety and providing travel flexibility has not changed.


First, and most importantly, your safety and that of our other Customers and Employees is our top priority. Please make sure you’re following CDC guidelines when traveling, and as always, please do not travel if you’re not feeling well.

 

Also, I fully appreciate the uncertainty, anxiety, and questions some of you may have regarding how your travel might be impacted. Please know we are working around the clock to keep our commitment to your safety and providing travel flexibility.

 

Aircraft Environment and Cleanliness

There has never before been a higher focus on the cleanliness of our aircraft, and we are making sweeping changes across the board to keep our planes cleaner than ever.

 

  • In my previous note to you, I mentioned our enhanced cleaning procedures, which you can learn about here. Everything we’re doing meets or exceeds recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

  • We equip each of our aircraft with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter, which filters out recirculated air onboard each plane to remove airborne particles. The air in the cabin is fully exchanged with fresh air 20-30 times per hour. These same HEPA filters are also used in hospitals to provide patients with clean air.

  • Effective March 18, we have also temporarily adjusted our inflight food and beverage service to limit Customer and Flight Attendant interactions. Our Flight Attendants will now hand out unopened cans of water and a pre-packaged snack on flights greater than 250 miles.

Additional Flexibility if You Need to Adjust Your Travel Plans

With the unprecedented cancellations of events and foreign countries issuing travel restrictions, we understand your travel plans may change. So, we have made additional changes to our already very flexible policies.


If you decide not to travel, as long as you cancel your flight before its departure, the funds used to pay for a nonrefundable ticket are normally valid for one year from the date of purchase. However, in recognition of the current travel environment, we are extending the expiration date of some travel funds:

 

  • Customers’ funds that have expired or will expire between March 1-May 31, 2020, will now expire June 30, 2021

  • Any travel funds created because of a flight cancellation between March 1-May 31, 2020, will have an expiration date of June 30, 2021

  • It will take our technology teams a few weeks to make these changes, and once you’re ready to use these funds, simply reference the PNR number on the reservation and use it as you would use “store credit” at most retail establishments.

Also, any travel planned through the end of April can be changed online for up to 60 days from the original date of travel without paying any difference in fare if you are traveling between the same origin and destination.

 

A-List Preferred, A-List and Companion Pass Qualification

I know many of our A-List Preferred, A-List, and Companion Pass Members—or those working to qualify for these benefits—have questions about how the current environment may impact their ability to qualify for status this year. While I don’t have an answer for you today, we are closely monitoring this and will follow up at the appropriate time on how we will address this situation.

Upcoming Schedule Revisions

We are aggressively managing our business so that we can continue to serve you and deliver the Hospitality you expect from Southwest Airlines into the future. If one of your upcoming flights is impacted, you will receive a notification from us making you aware of the change. Wait times to speak to a representative in our call centers are likely to be very high, but you can always make modifications online.

 

To stay abreast of the latest information and frequently asked questions in this continually changing environment, we have created a resource center on southwest.com.


On behalf of the entire Southwest Family, I want to thank you for your loyalty, trust, and understanding. Our hearts go out to all those impacted by this pandemic.

 

We look forward to seeing you onboard for your next trip.

 

Ryan Green
SVP & Chief Marketing Officer

7 Comments
New Arrival

I say shame on Southwest, in this time of our country's  crisis, for not being willing to refund cash or credit cards for "getaway" flights that long standing customers have to cancel because of the crisis.  This 83 year old senior and his wife obviously must now stay home and not travel to Florida. Our Florida trip is the only flight we take each year and who knows, at our age, if we'll travel next year. And - this is the industry looking for a major bailout from Congress!

New Arrival

Francis & Natalie Haggerty 

 
March 18, 2020, I requested to extend a combination of a voucher and paid airfare for one additional year 
 
March 19, 2020 -SW says voucher ends March 28, 2020 and airfare Sept 2020 
 
A complaint about extending flights during world pandemic, national emergency, closures of restaurants, and social spacing.
 
We understand that Southwest has rules about using vouchers and extending dates with credits from the date of booking etc. 
 
I am 73 years old and made the choice for my wife and me not to fly on the air trip to Florida on March 25, 2020, and returning April 1, 2020.
 
We also acknowledge we used a voucher from a trip last year.  
 
The flight from Providence to Florida   $ 249.96 
The flight from Florida  to Providence  $ 197.96
Also paid for early seating for both      $ 100.00 --  I understand the early seating is not refundable 
 
Total                                             over $ 500.00                                                  
 

Confirmation #  there are two -one down and one back 
 
I only use Southwest to travel to Florida one time a year for the past few years. 
 
Our request is that you overlook your current rules due to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) warnings.
 
Our request is that you provide at least a $ 400.00 voucher good for one year that we could use to go to Florida next year 
 
 
Thanks for your attention
 
Frank & Natalie Haggerty  
 
March 18, 2020images (45).jpgdownload (40).jpg
New Arrival

To all this concerns at Southwest:

 
I am a very unhappy customer in light of the COVID-19 pandemic situation we have in our country. 
 
I have a Luv voucher that cannot be honored because it has already been extended, however the extension time frame that I would like to travel within has now affected my travel plans because of the pandemic in which locations, businesses and such are closed as well embracing social distancing. 
 
All I wanted to do was to have my voucher extended or refunded because of pandemic and no one can help in Customer Relations Dept. in TX. My "ticket" has now been closed without an extension and without someone at Southwest Airlines having the time to consider ALL situations regarding travel including exhausted Luv voucher extensions or not!  
New Arrival

SW DOES NOT CARE ABOUT ANY OF YOUR PERSONAL SITUATIONS! You are just a # to them and a source of income. They will not add the human side to their policies and make any exceptions. They have changed LUV into HATE. Once you use your credit then never fly them again, spread the word, there are petitions with over 3500 signatures asking for refunds for any paid ticket (Change.org). Looking for an law office to start a class action suit. All unhappy customer can ban together. Bring bad press to SW. They will not listen to your plea or sob story. They just do not give a dam about anything but their bottom line. They hide behind their positions and layers of management and policies. SHAME ON SW.

New Arrival

What a disappointment in Southwest Airlines for not refunding or transferring funds back to me from a flight I paid for. This ticket was purchased for my granddaughter who will not be traveling because of the virus.  Customer Service expressed to me that the ticket can only be credited to her because it was in her name.  She is 14.  She won’t be taking a trip alone.  This was a one time event. Again, I paid for the ticket. Circumstances are unfortunate,  but a company that touts their flexibility.......I think not!

New Arrival

I saw and appreciate the message from Ryan Green. But you are missing what could be a win/win for you and your customers.

 

Currently, if people have paid for Early Bird Check-in and cancel their flight, they lose the Early Bird funds ($100 per couple round trip).  

 

Therefore, the only thing that makes sense as a customer is to reschedule instead of canceling, even if one doesn't have a real date for the new flight.  This can often result in multiple reschedulings.

 

All that would be fine except that you don't allow flights that include a Companion Pass to be rescheduled online.  They can only be canceled online, which would result in...well, see above.

 

This means that in order to not lose Early Bird funds when using a Companion Pass, customers have to call Southwest to make (multiple) changes, therefore tieing up your phone lines and service agents unnecessarily.

 

Two options to make this a win/win - better for the customer and less taxing for customer service.

 

1) allow Early Bird fees for flights that are canceled to be part of future travel funds, at least during this crisis.

 

and/or 

 

2) fix your website so that Companion Pass trips can be rescheduled online and not just canceled.

 

Win-win.

 

Thank you.

New Arrival

Dear Mr. Green,

 

I understand travel fund expiration date will be changed  for flights that were cancelled by Southwest or the consumer. Thank you for that! My question is this...

 

We have a trip planned and it's come down in price so we re-booked the trip at the new prices. Will the funds that result from these price changes be given the same date to expire even if the planned trip is taken? It may be impossible to use the funds if the original guidelines exist. 

 

Thank you