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Unused Travel Funds

MFARRY
New Arrival

I canceled a flight a few days ago and have attempted 7 times now to book again with the travel funds, but it continually says my confirmation number is incorrect.  I have tried it all caps, all lower case---7 times.  What could be happening

13 REPLIES 13

Re: Unused Travel Funds

LindseyD
Retired Community Manager

Hi @MFARRY,

 

There could be a couple different things going on - a common error is when a confirmation number contains the letters "O," as in "October," or "I," as in "Indigo." These can be confused for the numbers 1 and 0. Are you trying to book travel for after the expiration date of the funds? Travel must be completed (not just booked) before the expiration date. Also, make sure you've got the name exactly the same as it was in the original booking. 

 

Re: Unused Travel Funds

idonlikepudding
New Arrival

I had unused Travel Funds that traveled through 3 different flights, and I've had to keep canceling them because I've been too busy. I finally have time to book a flight, but I believe the Travel funds are expired.

 

There should be a way to see your current Travel Funds balance from your Southwest account page. Instead, I need to search through old emails to find the confirmation numbers of cancelled flights. I called Customer Service, and all of those Travel Fund Confirmation Numbers came up with nothing. She gave me a different number to call to see if I can get the expiration date extended, because Southwest is holding around $550 of my money. I haven't had time to travel anywhere for over a year.

 

Now I'm on hold with Customer Relations. I'm on hold for 79 minutes. This the worst customer service I've received since I last tried to cancel my internet with Comcast (they rerouted me to 3 different customer service reps. The call lasted over 90 minutes). In fact, I think this is even worse than Comcast.

 

Give me my money back. If I'm charged a fee to use my OWN travel funds that I paid for with my Southwest Credit card, which has an ANNUAL FEE, then I'm leaving Southwest and will never fly with it again. I will also tell all of my network of over 1,000 LinkedIn professionals about my experience.

Re: Unused Travel Funds

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

FYI: The funds aren't "your money," they stopped being your money when you gave them to Southwest in exchange for a non-refundable ticket.

 

If you want the ability to get your money back at any time, buy a refundable fare.

 

Southwest gives you a full year from purchase in which to complete travel on even non-refundable tickets. Then, if you're not able to do that, they'll often even extend the funds for another 6 months for a fee ($100). This is way better than every other carrier out there.

 

I agree that there should be a way to see and track your travel funds through your Rapid Rewards account. But that's unlikely to happen. So for now, customers need to do that themselves if they want to maintain the value of their ticket purchase.

Re: Unused Travel Funds

idonlikepudding
New Arrival

Sorry, who are you?

 

Also, I accidentally closed my phone out of habit using the side button and it ended my call. Yay! Now I'm on hold for 82 minutes.

 

So I guess I'll wait a total of 150 minutes to pay $100 to use $500 of "not my money." 

Re: Unused Travel Funds

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

I'm a person who posts on this public forum, just like you. Smiley Wink

 

Sadly, very long hold times for Customer Relations are pretty much the norm these days.

 

Note: The $100 fee is per confirmation number. If you have multiple funds across many confirmation numbers, you'd want to combine them all together before calling. (This may not be possible if they have different passenger names, or if already expired.)

 

Another option for customer service is to reach out via Twitter.

 

Good luck.

Re: Unused Travel Funds

idonlikepudding
New Arrival

Thanks!

 

I actually got a hold of a rep after 46 minutes (was expecting an 82 minute wait, so that's nice!).

 

She took $100 off per voucher for tax reasons, but now I'll be able to use $550 towards flights for me, or any friends, that will need to be completed 6 months from today. Luckily, I'm flying early November!

 

Not too shabby Smiley Happy was expecting worse. I'll stay with Southwest. Thanks for the input about the policies being worse at other airlines!

Re: Unused Travel Funds

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

No problem! You already know, but I forgot to mention, the funds are now a voucher, good for use by anyone (not just the originally named passenger, like travel funds). The only negative is that vouchers are only good for airfare -- they can't be used for taxes or fees.

Re: Unused Travel Funds

Marisol
New Arrival

You seem to be very familiar with SW policies and I am a newcomer. I would like to ask for your advise.  If I have a round trip ticket and I need to change only the return portion, which would be more convenient (for the use of the travel funds): make a change in the trip or cancel the whole thing and re-book?  I know the price would make a difference but what I want to know is which would be more convenient in order to be able to use the Travel Funds.  Thanks for your input.

Re: Unused Travel Funds

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

@Marisol wrote:

You seem to be very familiar with SW policies and I am a newcomer. I would like to ask for your advise.  If I have a round trip ticket and I need to change only the return portion, which would be more convenient (for the use of the travel funds): make a change in the trip or cancel the whole thing and re-book?  I know the price would make a difference but what I want to know is which would be more convenient in order to be able to use the Travel Funds.  Thanks for your input.


 

If you've bought EarlyBird Check-In, change don't cancel -- changing will retain that (cancelling would cause you to lose it). And, assuming this is a Wanna Get Away fare, there's no downside to changing vs cancelling & rebooking (like there is with "refundable" fares, where changing causes you to lose the refundability). 

 

Otherwise, there's no difference really. Either option will give you Travel Funds, good for the original passenger only, which expire one year from the date of the original purchase.

 

Keep in mind that when you apply those funds to a new booking, that new booking will take on the expiration date of the funds applied.