Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

Re: Business receipts,,, NOT PAST TRAVEL...

CareforNOLA
Active Member

@Guerry

 I acknowledge that the SWA email receipt system can be somewhat frustrating.  However, I have a reply/issue on your comment about the IRS only caring about what you spend and not caring if you go.  Internal Revenue Code Section 162 allows a deduction for “ordinary and necessary” business expenses. So if one does not travel on the ticket, it may not be considered a necessary expense (except for an occasional missed flight due to specific emergency circumstances).  

 

Different businesses have different documentation requirements, but in my company, in the old days, we had to turn in the paper boarding passes to prove we actually traveled.  Now they will accept some other type of documentation such as a hotel or transportation receipt from the the destination as proof that travel actually took place.  Keep reading for the reason I think SWA set up the “past travel” receipt system.

 

For tax purposes, the travel costs have to be ordinary and necessary, so an auditor will be looking for not only the expense but also documentation for the business purpose of the travel including names and titles of meeting attendees and/or description of work performed at the travel location.

 

Unfortunately, refundable tickets can make documentation requirements more challenging because an unscrupulous person might book travel one day and refund it another day, so there would be no ultimate expense (yay, no change fees on SWA!).  So if that unscrupulous person had to only produce expenses for tickets, they could run up a lot of inappropriate deductions that may not ultimately have cost the person/business any money after being refunded.  

 

SWA gives a receipt via email to say what is paid when the ticket was booked, and it can be challenging to research if not immediately captured when booked.  I seem to remember that SWA’s “past travel” receipt was set up when they had reusable plastic passes and businesses wanted their employees to provide more complete documentation that they actually traveled.

 

Please excuse the long reply but I wanted readers to know that the IRS requires more information than just what was paid (and most of that responsibility lies with the business and not the airline).  The airline was helping business travelers with the “past travel” receipt rather than trying to make it more complicated.

 

Hopefully this information helps explain why the system may have been initially set up that way.  “Ordinary and necessary” are the key words when documenting travel expenses for tax purposes.  Actual cost is often viewed by businesses and the IRS as not just what was paid but that the travel actually took place.

 

SWA, maybe a specific searchable word in the subject line at purchase to cut through the other emails that push hotels/rental cars, etc? “Payment” is probably too common. SWAReceipt as one word? (But new passengers won’t know to look for that.) I do not have the perfect solution unfortunately.

 

@Guerry, I am wishing you safe travels (and simple yet thorough documentation) in the future.

Re: Business receipts,,, NOT PAST TRAVEL...

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

@Guerry wrote:

...

They could care less whether you actually received the product or service you paid for. Therefore i's a requirement in virtually all organizations that business expenses have to be reported in the month they occur. When or if the travel for a pruchased airline ticket actually takes place is entirely irrlevant. And quite honestly, it's a no-brainer that SWA is obligated provide a receipt for something thaty have already been paid for.

...


I don't think that's universally true for organizations that send people on business travel.

 

But I agree, when I spend the money, I need to document that expense, sometimes I won't have the simple receipt yet to do that...but we do get a receipt when they take our money, which is the confirmation email. I agree it could be simplified, but for my use at a consulting company these emails have always been accepted. 

 

I'm sorry it seems to be a burden, especially for organizations using paper, but for most companies using electronic documentation the summary email works fine when printed to PDF.

 

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Business receipts,,, NOT PAST TRAVEL...

Markhochgesang
New Arrival

I also would like to know what I paid for a flight prior to taking the flight. When I go to my account area and my flights it shows everything but the price I paid. This must be by design so customers don’t shop their existing flights and change them when the prices drop. I can’t think of any other reason why it wouldn’t be included with all the other pertinent information. 

 

Sincerely,

Mark Hochgesang. 

Re: Business receipts,,, NOT PAST TRAVEL...

dfwskier
Rising Star

@Markhochgesang wrote:

I also would like to know what I paid for a flight prior to taking the flight. When I go to my account area and my flights it shows everything but the price I paid. This must be by design so customers don’t shop their existing flights and change them when the prices drop. I can’t think of any other reason why it wouldn’t be included with all the other pertinent information. 

 

Sincerely,

Mark Hochgesang. 


Evening, Mark.

 

I think you were told what you paid for a flight when you booked the flight. All you have to do is save your confimration e-mails and refer back to them if that is what you need to do.

Re: Business receipts,,, NOT PAST TRAVEL...

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

Totally understand, I was hoping the gap was where you bill the end-client based on completed travel.

 

I don't know of a way to self-service the purchase confirmations from the website between the time of booking and prior to flight, I'm only aware of the email confirmation containing the payment detail prior to flight. After the flight the receipt page is available from the past flights, but it sounds like you are looking to download copies of the confirmation email which would have to be requested if the purchaser didn't forward them. 

 

I agree it would be helpful on the current flights tab to have a button to "resend receipt" or something similar, although these would still go to the purchaser and not to a third party unless you have their login information.

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Business receipts,,, NOT PAST TRAVEL...

kgrens
New Arrival

I agree - I am trying to expense my future flight receipts today. This is totally ridiculous that you can't access a simple, clear receipt.  I just did it for both United and American with ease.

Re: Business receipts,,, NOT PAST TRAVEL...

vernneal
New Arrival

I bought a fllight--I want a receipt simple one page with flight information and THE COST. I fly weekly. If I cannot get this receipt with a simple call I will switch airlines. And so will my 20 salesman who work for me. Hello SWA are you listening??????

Highlighted

Re: Business receipts,,, NOT PAST TRAVEL...

dfwskier
Rising Star

@vernneal wrote:

I bought a fllight--I want a receipt simple one page with flight information and THE COST. I fly weekly. If I cannot get this receipt with a simple call I will switch airlines. And so will my 20 salesman who work for me. Hello SWA are you listening??????


Good morning.

 

The second you book a reservation Southwest sends you a 3-4 page e-mail that confirms your reservtion.

 

The first two pages contain everything you need: name, confirmation number. date of travel, flights, flight times, fare paid, amount paid in taxes, total amount paid, payment method,  date reservation was made, etc.

 

  You can print  the first two pages of that e-mail at 50% and you'll have everything you want on one page .OR. you can print the first wo pages side by side on one page.  Either solution gets you what you seem to want: a complete receipt on one piece of paper.

 

B e advised that this is a customer to customer forum. So I as a customer am advising you   how to  get the information you want as a one page document. 

 

If that's not enough, then i suggest that you  contact Southwest customer relations:

 Here's how (information on top left of web page)

 

https://www.southwest.com/contact-us/contact-us.html?clk=GFOOTER-CUSTOMER-CONTACT-US

Re: Business receipts,,, NOT PAST TRAVEL...

TammieD
New Arrival

Then there are occassions when you do not send a receipt.  I can't tell you what is different, but it happens that I don't receive one.  So, like so many customers have suggested before me... you need an easier system for us to get receipts other than the automated emails.  Funny how this has been such an issue for so long and you guys defend your system, despite customer feedback.  Where's your transparency?  Are you listening?!

very frusrated and disappointed!

Re: Business receipts,,, NOT PAST TRAVEL...

dfwskier
Rising Star

@TammieD wrote:

Then there are occassions when you do not send a receipt.  I can't tell you what is different, but it happens that I don't receive one.  So, like so many customers have suggested before me... you need an easier system for us to get receipts other than the automated emails.  Funny how this has been such an issue for so long and you guys defend your system, despite customer feedback.  Where's your transparency?  Are you listening?!

very frusrated and disappointed!



Hello. This is primarily a customer to customer forum where fliers try to help other fliers. Other fliers may respond to you here, but ...

 

If you want to lodge a complaint or make a suggestion you are better off contacting the company instead of participants on this forum. The ways to contact the company are listed on the upper left of the contct us web page

 

https://www.southwest.com/contact-us/contact-us.html?clk=GFOOTER-CUSTOMER-CONTACT-US