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Flight Schedule Revision Planned Beginning April 14

Employee
Employee

As we continue to navigate our way through this unprecedented and unchartered environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen an alarming drop in bookings and sales. We do not have a clear line of sight of when we will see our business return to normal trends, and it is very difficult to determine the duration and severity of the impact. Yesterday, we filed a form 8-K with an update on the impact to our business, which you can read here.   

 

Here are a few notable items in the filing:

“The Company has experienced more dramatic declines in passenger bookings in March and second quarter 2020, as well as an unprecedented increase in close-in trip cancellations. The Company has recently experienced several days of net negative bookings, primarily in March and April 2020, where trip cancellations outpaced new passenger bookings. The Company's month-to-date load factor through March 15, 2020, was approximately 67 percent, with recent days trending toward 50 percent. As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic grows, and based on current booking and cancellation trends, we expect revenue trends for the remainder of March and second quarter 2020 to deteriorate further.

 

Given the continued uncertainty of revenue trends attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company has taken several actions to help manage the near-term financial impacts. The Company will soon reduce its published flight schedules, which will reduce available seat miles (ASMs, or capacity) by at least 20 percent for the time period April 14, 2020, through June 5, 2020. These flight schedule reductions are in addition to the Company's existing capacity impact due to the Boeing 737 MAX groundings. The Company continues to evaluate further flight schedule reductions.”

 

The vast majority of the revisions will be frequency reductions in markets where we offer four or more nonstop flights.  The revisions will vary by day of week and region—some airports and regions will be more impacted than others. 

 

Customers who have already booked their travel and will be impacted by our amended schedule will be notified of their re-accommodated travel according to our flexible accommodation procedures.  If you would like to rebook, you may change your travel up to 60 days from your original flight date by visiting southwest.com/rebook. Flights that have seats available will display as “Available.”  Doing this online is your best option as call volumes are likely to be very high to reach a Southwest Representative.

 

If you are unsure of your future travel plans, you do not need to take any action.  Rest assured, the funds used to pay for this trip will be available for the Customer named on the ticket to use and fly for 12 months from the original date of purchase.  Simply use your original confirmation number as the way to access these funds in the future—similar to “store credit” at most retail establishments.

 

We're working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and government officials and agencies to stay apprised of the latest prevention and containment protocols. Additionally, we’ve created a host of resources for our Employees and Customers with information, updates, and FAQs, which you can find right here on our blog and a Travel Advisory on southwest.com.   

 

We fully realize this has been an enormously trying time for our Southwest Family, our Customers, and our communities. Our hearts go out to all of those who have been impacted by this pandemic. Of course, we regret the inconvenience to our Customers impacted by this change, and we thank them for their patience, trust, and understanding.

 

9 Comments
New Arrival

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New Arrival

Please provide as much information on air travel as possible so people can get home to their loved ones before domestic travel is shut down...

New Arrival

Southwest must consider extending the deadline for Travel Funds beyond the one year existing policy. As someone who routinely books travel early (in this case 6 1/2 months) and as a health care provider and someone who also has a pre-existing condition, I will most probably be unable to use those travel funds and will take a further financial hit. My family and business associates and even my husband who booked air travel on United, Alaska Airlines and other major carriers have been given a full year from cancellation to utilize those funds when they got through to speak to a representative - even if they were promotional fares, the individuals were not penalized. Southwest - please make sure the leadership knows how real this concern is for many of your customers and act to truly take care of the people who have been loyal to you.

New Arrival

I keep getting this error when trying to change my return flight. No matter which way I try to change it, computer, mobile app, full website on phone, nothing is working:

Sorry, we found some errors...

  • There was an issue verifying your flight information. Please go back and re-select your flight(s)
 
Error details
Error detail 1: Tn3jUHZVTluujoXwtRIxow : 56a93075-8dd7-4ee3-8fbe-4b1a63633674 : 400620377
New Arrival

It is great that Southwest has always allowed changes to itinerary without fees.  But these are historical times right now.  Allowing cancelled flights to be credited to travel funds for a period of 12 months from date of purchase is not helping me and I'm sure many others.  We all know the airlines are hurting right now and it is said that the government is making plans to help them.  However, for many people that have paid for a service not provided and have that money now put into travel funds by the airline is not right.  Many people are loosing paychecks and are figuring out how to survive the next several weeks.  Having travel funds, especially funds they may not even get to use is not helpful.  I respectfully request Southwest to reconsider their policy in this temporary but very serious time. 

New Arrival

I couldn’t agree more with JAW1. Every person I have talked to at Southwest regarding my personal situation with unavoidable cancellations totally beyond my control and the anticipated inability to utilize of Travel Funds within 12 months if initial booking, responds with “that’s alway been our Policy” or “ you can contact us after your Travel Funds have expired”. I do not know how to actually get our concerns to someone actually in a position to amend current policies. I’m pretty sure it’s not through a blog or the multiple unanswered emails that I have sent.

Rising Star
New Arrival

Along these lines....where we are being forced to cancel our flights due to the coronavirus and the canceled conventions, etc., we should not be penalized with a non-refundable Early Bird purchase. These historic turn of events is happening beyond everyone's control. I would like to think that Southwest Airlines would lead the pack in refunding Early Bird Boarding purchases along with the corresponding tickets. We are all in financial straights right now. Every cent counts. I, for one, am not happy about "gifting" an airline by allowing them to keep that fee while residents are being asked to "shutter in place".  I beg you to please reconsider your policy on this and make an exception for flights during March and April.  Thank you.

New Arrival

I'd appreciate some clarification on the Amended flight schedule and my options in relation to the ever growing 'Stay at Home' state policies.  

 

I understand the flight schedule revisions and I understand the ability and process for rebooking if I am not happy with an amended flight itinerary so bear with me.   

 

Under normal circumstances if I am unhappy with my modified itinerary I would attempt to rejigger it.  But given that SW is probably not officially cancelling flights in relation to stay at home orders I am a bit flummoxed as to my best action.  The following paragraph in the above statement are unclear. 

 

"If you are unsure of your future travel plans, you do not need to take any action.  Rest assured, the funds used to pay for this trip will be available for the Customer named on the ticket to use and fly for 12 months from the original date of purchase.  Simply use your original confirmation number as the way to access these funds in the future—similar to “store credit” at most retail establishments."  

 

So I am not happy with the amended flight itinerary but more than that my destination will be under a 'Stay at Home' state order so I fail to see how 'not taking any action' results in a travel credit.