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Southwest refund policy - abuse

mhunter
New Arrival

I saw this post yesterday and wanted to make everyone aware of it before it gets out of hand.

 

https://millionmilesecrets.com/guides/how-to-easily-pass-through-airport-security-to-walk-your-loved...

 

Basically, this person is making a reservation at the last minute then obtaining the boarding pass for the sole purpose of walking through the TSA checkpoint.  After he does this, he cancels his flight  and obtains a refund. 

 

Another example of some people trying to game the system. 

 

I believe Southwest has done a good thing with their trying to be helpful to people who have last minute change in plans and can't fly.  What I would suggest is that the policy be changed so that once you check-in and obtain your boarding pass, no refunds or credits. 

 

It's a shame but you always need to stay ahead of the scammers.

10 REPLIES 10

Re: Southwest refund policy - abuse

dfwskier
Rising Star

So if Icheck in 24 hours in advance to get a good boarding  spot, and two hours later my wife has a stroke, I shouldn't be able to cancel and get a refund or credit?

 

Is that what you are proposing?

Highlighted

Re: Southwest refund policy - abuse

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

@mhunter wrote:

I believe Southwest has done a good thing with their trying to be helpful to people who have last minute change in plans and can't fly.  What I would suggest is that the policy be changed so that once you check-in and obtain your boarding pass, no refunds or credits. 

 

It's a shame but you always need to stay ahead of the scammers.


 

As many changes and cancellations do happen within the last 24 hours before departure (after check-in and boarding pass is received) that would be a very bad idea.

 

I suspect Southwest has systems in place to prevent things like this when if they become a problem and "stay ahead of the scammers," without having to resort to a drastic policy change that nevgatively affects everyone.

 

Re: Southwest refund policy - abuse

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

@mhunter wrote:

I saw this post yesterday and wanted to make everyone aware of it before it gets out of hand.

 

https://millionmilesecrets.com/guides/how-to-easily-pass-through-airport-security-to-walk-your-loved...

 

Basically, this person is making a reservation at the last minute then obtaining the boarding pass for the sole purpose of walking through the TSA checkpoint.  After he does this, he cancels his flight  and obtains a refund. 

 

Another example of some people trying to game the system. 

 

I believe Southwest has done a good thing with their trying to be helpful to people who have last minute change in plans and can't fly.  What I would suggest is that the policy be changed so that once you check-in and obtain your boarding pass, no refunds or credits. 

 

It's a shame but you always need to stay ahead of the scammers.


I think that's not going to be feasible, too many business people need to change last minute.

 

I'm not sure the issue about buying a ticket, which is refundable by law for 24 hours, is that big - you can ask for a gate pass after all if you needed one. So there may be some subset of people that do this that don't technically need one...the airline is probably just as happy that someone might do it and forget to cancel, or accidentally choose travel funds instead of a refund.

 

There was an article I saw that someone was doing this same thing for international lounge access - since the airline was incurring expenses in that case they put a stop to it. (Not Southwest, I forget which airline it was.)

 

I do expect that Southwest might have someone that looks at tickets that are bought last minute and cancelled, they wouldn't want someone habitually tying up seats but I would expect you could do this on an infrequent basis. 

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

Re: Southwest refund policy - abuse

CareforNOLA
Active Member

interesting.  The millionmilesecrets website had already deleted the link. I am not sure what would make people want to go through a TSA checkpoint other than a flight.  The clubs are not comfortable to me unless there is a cubbie I can sneak into, but they are not going to be more comfy than my residence or my hotel, so it seems odd to me.

 

I fly short hops so I have the choice to drive or fly.  I have bought, gone through security, had a delay and cancelled out, but not to get access to the terminal.  @mhunter, I hope they keep the policy as is because it is a key differentiater.  

Re: Southwest refund policy - abuse

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

@CareforNOLA wrote:

interesting.  The millionmilesecrets website had already deleted the link. I am not sure what would make people want to go through a TSA checkpoint other than a flight.  The clubs are not comfortable to me unless there is a cubbie I can sneak into, but they are not going to be more comfy than my residence or my hotel, so it seems odd to me. 


The club guy had regular tickets, and also bought the international tickets, went to the lounge, then refunded the international ticket and flew his regular flight -- apparently trying this weekly.

 

 

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

Re: Southwest refund policy - abuse

mhunter
New Arrival

Yeah, I'm happy they deleted the link - it was damaging the reputation of the website IMHO.  The vast majority of comments there were outraged that someone would try to game the system in that way.  It's just selfish and was a classic example of one bad apple spoiling the whole barrel.   The reason the OP gave was he wanted to walk a loved one to the gate - which I can surely appreciate - but you should have a better reason than just wanting to do a last minute PDA. 

 

 

Re: Southwest refund policy - abuse

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

@mhunter wrote:

Yeah, I'm happy they deleted the link - it was damaging the reputation of the website IMHO.  The vast majority of comments there were outraged that someone would try to game the system in that way.  It's just selfish and was a classic example of one bad apple spoiling the whole barrel.   The reason the OP gave was he wanted to walk a loved one to the gate - which I can surely appreciate - but you should have a better reason than just wanting to do a last minute PDA. 

 

 


There is one airport offering this to everyone now, subject to application in advance of course.

 

http://www.flypittsburgh.com/mypitpass

 

Maybe this will catch on.

 

 

 

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

Re: Southwest refund policy - abuse

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

PIT is basically a shopping mall, they needed a way for customers who want to visit a store but aren't flying out could do so. I could see this happening at some other airports that have similar large retail sections.

Re: Southwest refund policy - abuse

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

@chgoflyer wrote:

PIT is basically a shopping mall, they needed a way for customers who want to visit a store but aren't flying out could do so. I could see this happening at some other airports that have similar large retail sections.


Interesting! I haven't been through PIT. I was going to say MCO but their retail section is actually outside of security, so this wouldn't be needed for that purpose here.

 

Maybe MSP T1.

 

 

 

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