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Voucher expiration unfair

upsetmomofthree
New Arrival

After a horrible experience with Southwest in 2016, we were granted $1,400 worth of vouchers to compensate us for our distress, which we didn’t realize had a 1-year expiration date. We since had another baby and were not able to travel easily in the last couple of years. We’ve been told those vouchers are now worthless, and now that we’re able to travel again, cannot be used. It seems very unfair to put an expiration date on a gesture of goodwill and not to have compassion for a young family who wasn’t able to make use of them right away.

15 REPLIES 15

Re: Voucher expiration unfair

chgoflyer
Top Contributor
Solution

The expiration date for the voucher(s) is noted on the voucher itself or in the email you received if you received the voucher electronically. If your voucher had just expired, perhaps in the last couple of months, there is a small chance that Southwest may have been able to reissue it for you. But if you were granted this voucher in 2016, then it expired in 2017, nearly two years ago. I'm sorry you weren't able to use it prior to expiration.

Re: Voucher expiration unfair

upsetmomofthree
New Arrival

It seems like an exception for a family who couldn’t travel in that time because they had a baby isn’t unreasonable. The spirit in which the vouchers were given was to make up for a horrible horrible experience and encourage us to continue using Southwest. The lack of understanding in this instance doesn’t accomplish that.

Re: Voucher expiration unfair

dfwskier
Rising Star

Sorry, you lost out on the voucher,  but as chgoflyer mentioned, you WERE notified of the  voucher expiration date. You bear some responsibility in the matter for not paying attention. If you had paid attention to the details, you could have given the voucher to a friend or relative to use.

 

Companies don't want to incur liabilities without end dates. They accumulate and eventually have the potential to affect the company stock price which affects the owners of the company - the stockholders. That's why drink coupons have expiration dates. That's why travel funds must be used within a year of original purchase date, and that's why vouchers have expiration dates.

Re: Voucher expiration unfair

upsetmomofthree
New Arrival

I think you’re both missing the point. The intention of the vouchers was to make good on a very bad experience with the airline. It could have been cash, spa treatments, whatever, but I wouldn’t have expected it to expire. Having three children under 5 and working full time means I sometimes miss details including unexpected expiration dates on gestures of goodwill. Additionally, I’ll point out that instead of getting more money from us for an upcoming trip (which is what brought my attention back to the vouchers in the first place and which would have worked out to about $1k for the airline after the vouchers), I’ll be making a point of booking with another airline for this trip and avoiding Southwest for all future trips. Seems like it would have been an easy win over of a “mom/head of household purchaser” by offering something to make up for the loss.

Re: Voucher expiration unfair

TheMiddleSeat
Rising Star

Sure, perfect world there'd be no expiration dates on anything, but it's just not realistic. Sorry that you weren't able to travel, but I don't see how Southwest is to blame and avoiding them at all cost in the future is your choice, but seems extreme to me especially when my travel experiences are almost always better with Southwest than with another carrier. 

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Voucher expiration unfair

upsetmomofthree
New Arrival

I still think you’re focused on the wrong issue, which correctly is the original bad experience and trying to make it up to us. Sure, it was three years ago now but it wouldn’t cost them much to provide us something new in recognition of that, given they chose to make it flight vouchers and not cash at the time. In California, by the way, gift cards can’t expire and federally they can’t for five years. Granted this is different than gift cards, but you all seem to be making a similar comparison. These vouchers aren’t five years old. My point is this is about customer experience and not the financial liability of carrying unused vouchers on the books.

Re: Voucher expiration unfair

TheMiddleSeat
Rising Star

You posted, we offered opinions different than you'd like, sorry we just don't agree. Southwest did offer a gesture of goodwill for the original problem and at that point I'd consider that you're even and the issue closed. You're welcome to contact Southwest as others have mentioned, we're just customers like you and can't change anything for you.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Voucher expiration unfair

upsetmomofthree
New Arrival

I already have contacted them and received an unsatisfactory reply, hence my posting here to vent my frustration. If I had known at the time the vouchers had an expiration date, I would have argued my case back then for something different as compensation.

Re: Voucher expiration unfair

bec102896
Rising Star

Just want to add all airlines (that I am aware of) that issue vouchers as compensation have expiration dates some as short as 3-6 months but most are 1 year just like Southwest's vouchers. Some of the other airlines vouchers are person specific while with southwest's vouchers anyone could use them. The expiration date is clearly noted on the email and paper vouchers as others have mentioned.

 

You could always try reaching out to customer relations if you haven't reached out to them at 855-234-4654 but I'm afraid that might be a waste of your time since the voucher expired so long a go and they probably won't be able to do anything.