Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

Policy Update & Clarification: Extending Travel Credit

Employee
Employee

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our Customers, our operation, and our Employees, we wanted to update you on decisions regarding extending travel credit for Customers. Please keep in mind this is a rapidly changing and dynamic situation that requires constant assessment and adjustment. The good news is we are making some Customer-friendly changes.

 

With the unprecedented cancellations and airport closings happening every day, we understand travel plans are changing for many Customers. So, we are making a temporary exception to our already very flexible travel funds policy. As you may know, our current policy outlines that nonrefundable tickets not flown on the travel date, but canceled in accordance with Southwest’s No Show Policy, can be applied to future travel up to one year from the original purchase date, but must be used by the individual named on the ticket.

 

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 newly created travel fund 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 to the expiration date of the funds, and we appreciate your patience while our Teams work quickly to make this happen. This gives Customers an additional year to use their funds and take the same trip next year as they were planning to take this year. 

 

We hope the above information is helpful in assisting you as we navigate through this unchartered territory.

 

117 Comments
New Arrival

Thank you so much for this extension!

New Arrival

Thank you so much Southwest Airlines !!! 

New Arrival

So what if your travel funds expire on June 4, 2020?

 

And what about Luv vouchers that expire on June 8, 2020?

New Arrival

This is awesome.  However, because I purchased my April 27-April 29 flights on February 5, my funds still expire next year February 5 next year.  This new policy won't help me.  Need a bit more of an extension to just expand it to the dates of travel versus dates of purchase.  I can then rebook for the same dates next year.

New Arrival

This is great!  However, I have travel funds that expire in August.  I have no way to use the funds before they expire.  The trip I had booked for next week was my only chance to use them between now and the expiration.  A longer extension would be greatly appreciated.

New Arrival

Just confirmining this statement:

 

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

 

Is this if Southwest Cancels the flight or if I cancel my flight due to the reason I was flying was cancelled.  I will be looking to book flights for a similar time next year 2021 and want to confirm that if I cancel the flight, the travel funds will expire on June 30, 2021.  Thanks

 

 

 

New Arrival

This doesn't help my situation, April 2020 tickets to Cancun were purchased in December of 2019,  not sure how we're going to use all that credit by then.

New Arrival

Thank you for your extension.  I have funds that will expire in September 2020.  Will you be extending those as well?  I'm not sure why just the March - May 2020 are extended out until June 30, 2021. 

New Arrival

This is a great news. Thank you for hearing your customers. 

New Arrival

ok, wait, now I see, if I CANCELLED my flight between March and May, it will be extended.  Got it!  Thank you!  Since my travel fund was CREATED between March and May, it will be extended.  Ignore my previous comment.  Sorry for confusion, private happy hour.

New Arrival

I have a ticket that was purchased in November 2019. This ticket was partially paid for with Travel Funds that expire on June 7, 2020.  I canceled my reservations because of the COVID-19 pandemic. When I check my confirmation number, it shows the whole ticket expires on June 7, 2020. So does this mean I loose the $232. I paid for on my credit card in Nov 2019? This doesn't seem fair as it would not be a year from purchase. Can the Travel Funds (worth $100) that expire on June 7, 2020 be extended to 1 year from my actual credit card purchase date of November 2019, i.e. November 2020?

New Arrival
New Arrival
I purchased my tickets in September of 2019 for travel the first week of April so under standard policy travel credit would expire in April.  The government is recommending no travel (even domestic) to stop the spread of covid19.  I have to hope my flight gets cancelled to get the same extension through 2021?  That's disappointing customer service.  You can't expect families to vacation right now and it's completely out of our control.  Everyone affected by this should be offered the extension through June 2021

 

New Arrival

This is a good step toward helping customers who are following the advice of public health professionals and cancelling or not making non-essential travel plans right now. I hope your company will eventually recognize the other people, who have travel funds setup to expire in the months that follow this time period will likely lose months of time when they may have been planning to use their travel funds. If you choose not to extend the expiration date for all funds impacted by this public health crisis, then please consider at least allowing us to donate that money to other people who may have to travel as part of their efforts to deal with this virus, rather than just have the money go to waste.

New Arrival

This is why we love SW! It’s the only airline we fly! Thank you!

New Arrival

The ones with loves vouchers will have the same credit. We originally were to travel March 24. We change for Abril 13. And we are thinking that it won't possible to travel at that time. We are going to Puerto Rico. 

New Arrival

This is FALSE information provided by Southwest on FacebookSouthwest1.png!!! I had a flight scheduled for April 1st. I just cancelled based off this and other similar posts made by Southwest. My travel credit expires in September 2020. I called customer service who was polite but said I did not qualify for the extension and there was nothing he could do for me.

New Arrival

It would be awesome if SWA would consider extending companion passes that we can’t use!

New Arrival

Would love to see companion passes extended as well. 

New Arrival

I called the Southwest Corporate offices for clarification and I was told that if the Travel Funds are created during March 1 - May31, 2020 by a flight cancellation by Southwest or by the customer, then the expiration extension date will apply and be June 30, 2021.

New Arrival
Southwest Airlines COVIS-19 National Emergency: 73 YR O Rhode Islander Cancels Trip To Florida 3/18/20
 
3/19/20 Company policy won't extend vouchers and airfare 1 YR  from the cancellation date ?     So what is the new policy ??images (45).jpgdownload (40).jpg
 
Southwest Airlines Response SR #2314440929585
New Arrival

LOVE ❤️

New Arrival

We purchased our tickets for a May 2020 trip on Feb 20, 2020.  Our expiration was not extended which is very unfair.  Our trip was cancelled due to the travel restrictions of Covid 19.  I believe the extension should apply to any travel booked from the first of the year.

We were also informed that the $100 we paid for early bird boarding would not be refunded.  Why would SW keep a $100 fee for a trip we are unable to take?

New Arrival

Why are you extending only certain dates for travel funds?  We have funds expiring in July and at this point it does not seem possible to use them.  Why not extend all funds out for another year?

New Arrival

Hello, I also think that this is a wonderful gesture.  But I also agree with the many comments about extending Travel Funds that expire after the time frame.  If we can not take the trip like I expect in April 2020, the travel funds would expire in October 2020.  So by booking and paying so far ahead of time, I am under the stress of trying to decide what to do. I would not expect a refund with your already flexible policy, but a little more time to use Travel Funds would be extremely beneficial and appreciated.

New Arrival

Thank you for the relaxed policy. Can you please clarify the term, "flight cancellation"? As in, "Any newly created travel fund because of a flight cancellation"? Does that refer only to flights cancelled by Southwest or does it include a reservation cancelled by a customer? TIA.

New Arrival

Question: Why are you extending only certain dates for travel funds?  We have funds expiring in July and at this point, it does not seem possible to use them.  Why not extend all funds out for another year? 

 

Answer:  They won't extend for another year from my cancel date.

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, 2020 

 

 

New Arrival

I have over $1000 in funds expiring in June.  Depending in what happens I don't know if I will be able to use them,  I originally had to cancel in Nov. due to a cancer diagnosis and had hoped to use them this past week.  Please consider extending your policy for another 6 months to a year.  It doesn't seem fair to limit your policies to tickets that were recently purchased or travel funds that are expiring in the next few months.   Alot of us need more time.  I have recently been laid off.  I am also in the hospitality business and this is affecting so many people.  Please Southwest  do the right thing!!

New Arrival

Southwest Airlines has ALWAYS been my go to for travel. I have utilized the cancellation policy in the past when having to postpone or cancel flights. The events of today are not typical circumstances. 100's of people are losing their jobs every day and the financial future is uncertain for many of us. I had to cancel a trip because of Covid-19 and have been REFUSED a refund because of this policy. It's sad and quite frankly disgusting that in this trying time for all of us, Southwest outright denies offering a refund given this circumstance. 

New Arrival

While I applaud Southwest Airlines revised policy on extensions to Travel Funds usage, given the absolute halt to the US economy, the funds being held by Southwest are likely going to be needed by its customers NOW and should be made available via direct refunds.  While future travel may be in the plans of some, Southwest needs to come to the realization that is may not be the case for all.  Holding these funds which represents a financial benefit of Southwest, is NOT for its customers as they face loss of employment, closure of businesses, and similar economic impacts.  I would respectfully ask that Southwest management reconsider its policy.   Thank you.

New Arrival

Thank you, Southwest! I hope this gets extended further though. My funds expire June 13th and there's no way we're going anywhere on vacation by then 😞 

New Arrival

Thanks for the extension. Please clarify if the funds are extended for flights canceled by the passenger due to the virus, or just those flights canceled by southwest. Also, what about the early bird purchase? I know they are not normally refundable, but it seems like that should also be included with the travel funds. Especially now when it is $25 per flight.  Thank you for addressing your loyal customers concerns!

New Arrival

I have $277 in travel funds that expire june 2, 2020.  Southwest has been my favorite airline, but that will change, unfortunately,  if you do not protect funds that I cannot use during this health crisis for at least until june 2021.  Your policy is shortsighted, at best, and unfair to your most loyal customers.  If you don't change the policy, I will change my preferred airline for all future flights.  I don't expect a refund, although that would be acceptable, but your new policy, will not work for me, as I cannot fly by June 2,  to age and health concerns.

New Arrival

I purchased flights for my husband and myself to fly into LGA on April 26 for a cruise....I will more than likely have to cancel due to this pandemic.....Now normally I would say Southwest is fantastic but since I used a $6 credit from a previous reservation to apply to my tickets purchased in January 2020 my tickets would go to a travel fund but instead of getting a year from date of purchase I will only get travel funds that must be used by the 15th of August 2020 due to this $6 credit. Now my cruise was suppose to go out of New York flying into LGA and we all know how this virus is affecting the world but it seems to be really affecting New York. I understand the rules for travel funds but I wish Southwest could at least give me the year from the day I purchased my tickets and not from a 6 month old credit of $6 which was applied to my purchase in January......I can not even consider having my husband and I fly before August 15, 2020 with this Covid 19 going on especially since my husband has been on oxygen due to a medical condition. I am not asking for a refund all I'm asking for is that Southwest just give me a year from the date that I purchased the tickets taking into consideration with what is going on with this pandemic.

New Arrival

I agree with a lot of the comments mentioned above, the extension is confusing about extending Travel Funds. Would love if SW can clarify expiration time frame.  If we can not take the trip or had to cancelled due to Virus I expect SW to extended for all. I purchased tickets for 6 people in November to attend a wedding in Mid May 2020 and had to cancel due to Covid 19. Because they were purchased in November 2019 I was told yesterday I would have to use voucher by November 2020.So by booking and paying so far ahead of time, I am penalized? I would expect to be granted till June of 2021 to reuse travel funds as well.

New Arrival

Can anyone confirm if my Travel Fund will be extended if I purchased my ticket back on Sept 28, 2019 form Chicago to Orlando, but now I have to cancel since Disney World is closed.  Thank you! 

New Arrival

Thank you so much for the update and extension for refunds/funds.  I do have a question to clarify for my families travel. 

 

Existing flight expiration date is 10/24/2020 and I have funds available to rebook, therefore the follow statement from your updated Coronavirus my new dates for expiration is June 30, 2021, correct?

 

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

I apologize if this seems unnecessary, but terminology sometimes is critical to understand.

New Arrival

I called the Southwest Corporate offices for clarification and I was told that if the Travel Funds are created during March 1 - May31, 2020 by a flight cancellation by Southwest or by the customer, then the expiration extension date will apply and be June 30, 2021.

New Arrival

Lets hope there are no exceptions or technicalities to this policy and it is straight forward in its application.

New Arrival

While my flight wasn't cancelled I did have to cancel my reservation due to COVID-19 and received my travel refund with a 1 Jan 21 expiration.  Will this expiration date be extended even though the flight wasn't cancelled?

New Arrival

This might sound un-trusting, but I'm not going to believe the updated policy until it is posted on their website- not just the forum.

 

Also, when SW cancels a flight, they should offer a refund option. (a full refund including all add-ons purchased) 

New Arrival

My travel was originally booked on Sept 29, 2019 for a work conference. Because the conference's dates were revised slightly, I cancelled the original booking and re-booked travel using the available travel funds from the first booking. Fast forward to March and my conference was cancelled altogether because of Covid-19 and I had to cancel my ticket (on March 12th) purchased from Travel Funds, not only because of Covid-19 but because my employer withdrew approval for the conference and work related travel. Can someone from SW confirm that my current travel funds will be in fact extended to June 2021? Or do the travel funds have to be created/generated after March 1st? The decision yesterday was a great start to reassuring customers, but has the potential to penalize individuals who book travel early. Wouldn't extending all Travel Funds to June 2021 be the most reassuring move and make it far less cumbersome to implement?

New Arrival

Southwest Edited My Post -So what does that tell you ?

 

Subject: Edited post
From: NicoleAshley
Date: 03-20-2020 01:52 PM

Hi @FrankHaggerty ,

 

You may have noticed I edited the service request number out of your post per our Community guidelines. The Community is a peer-to-peer support forum, so we are not equipped to assist you there. We recommend you reach out to Customer Relations regarding your issue via the options in the link below. Thank you.

 

New Arrival

I have 2 Southwest LUV Vouchers that expire on April 7, 2020 that I cant use do to the Coronavirus. Will they extend my date because of this?  If so do they reissue new travel vouchers with a correct expiration date?

New Arrival

Well after reading all this about the lack of compassion on SWA's part for early bird charges, (not refunding during Covid-19), I just want to voice my displeasure.  Our cruise was canceled, I was going to have to rent a car to get from Pensacola to Mobile as there are no flight into Mobile from Nashville so I would have had to use twice as many points to get to Mobile.  Since my wife has not been on a plane in 30 years, I felt it important to get the early bird so we would be sure to gets seats beside each other.  Now SW wont refund the $ 80 that will not be used.  My contribution to SW ongoing profit sharing.  NO LOVE.

New Arrival

I have $1000 in travel funds from Nov 2019 that expire in Nov2020...we planned to use those funds for a trip in May 2020...now will not be going...will the funds still be available after Nov 2020?

New Arrival

Your new "policy" does nothing for those that booked trips before that timeframe but were scheduled to fly during it. Obviously, if I would known what was going to happen when I booked my trip in December for a March 25th travel date, I wouldn't have done it. Now you're holding me hostage to using MY MONEY on your airline to a December expiration? Unreal.

New Arrival

I think we need Southwest to clarify:

 

If cancelled flights after March 1 were originally booked with existing Travel Funds, and now there are “new travel funds”, does the extension apply. 

New Arrival
SWA is being very crafty/sketchy with their new policy and even their employees are confused.  I got an answer by Twitter different that what I was told over the phone.  SWA must be trying to help some customers, but is handling this very poorly. 

SWA is dividing customers with cancellations between March1-May31, 2020 in two classes:  "newly created" travel funds vs "already existing" travel funds.  I booked a trip in June 04, 2019 for December 2019 travel, I had to cancel that trip.  I used those travel funds for a trip in April 2020 (prior to the June expiration).   We are in a National Emergency so I will have to cancel my trip.  My expiration is still June 2020 because this is not a "newly created" travel fund. SWA knows very well many “existing” travel funds are about to expire... starting in June. Unreal!!!   This is not The Highest Quality of Customer Service.
 
SWA, please continue to LISTEN to your customers and extend expiration dates for ALL cancellations during this crisis (March, April, May).
New Arrival

Update March 26 - People are reporting being told by actual SWA representatives that whether SW or the passenger cancelled the flight (between March 1 and May 31, 2020), the expiration for travel funds is now June 30, 2021. Since SWA do not have a crystal ball, I still have an issue with them deciding that people will be able to safely travel to safe destinations by that point. We may all have to renew our efforts if the virus situation does not resolve as quickly as SWA thinks it will. There is still the unfairness of SWA keeping Early Bird Check-in funds for flights cancelled by passengers. Their current policy says those funds will be refunded if SWA cancels a flight, so they are halfway there. Without the dangers and restrictions related to Covid-19, hardly anyone would have cancelled their flight this month. Not our fault. So why not refund this cost? Not done with this.    

 

(Apparently no longer applies.) Why does the extension for cancelled flights apply only when YOU cancel a flight? It does not help a traveler who cancels a flight because they are diagnosed with Covid-19 or because they are forced to self-quarantine. The extension does not help travelers over 70 (like me), a category the CDC said should not undertake nonessential travel, who cancelled a March 16 flight to Las Vegas for fear of contracting the virus during 13 hours of travel through four airports and on two planes (did you hear the city was ordered to shut down the next day?). 

 

Can you guarantee that the virus will be gone, large cities will have lifted their social movement bans, and it will be safe to fly by June 30, 2021? If no, then how can you define this as an expiration date? Apparently domestic travel could become limited to essential travel only, or shut down entirely for an unpredictable period of time.  

 

Rather than pressure people who might still be sick, and people who do not feel it is safe to travel, to fly for fear of losing their travel funds, please consider ALL your passengers and waive the expiration date entirely for now. You can reinstate it once the pandemic has passed on. People will appreciate this. If you take my funds - an exorbitant $731 for a Wanna Get Away fare - I will not fly Southwest again.