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How to extend your own travel funds expiring soon during COVID-19

New Arrival

I see a lot of complaints about travel funds expiring in the next few days, weeks, or months. While there hasn't been any official extension of these expiration dates, there is a workaround you can use to extend your own travel fund expiration if they expire sooner than June 5th, 2020.

 

Step 1:

Use travel funds for a flight that falls into the allowed rebooking window of the next few months due to COVID-19. It's not completely clear what that window is, and it probably will continue to change, but at the time of writing this it seems to be anywhere between now and June 4th or 5th. If your funds expire in that window, I'd say buy a ticket for the expiration date itself.

 

Step 2:

In your account, go to "Change flight" for that reservation, and move it out 60 days into the future. You'll get errors if you go further than 60 days, but based on the rebooking policy in the event of cancellations or these types of unusual circumstances, you are allowed to move it 60 days in either direction without charge or even paying the difference in fares, even if that means you'd be traveling after the expiration of the original funds.

 

Step 3:

Cancel the reservation, and hold the funds for future use.

 

And just like that, the travel funds resulting from the cancellation in step 3, will have a new expiration date of the original expiration + 60 days. You can probably repeat this process to bring all of your funds at least out to early August expiration.

 

Disclaimer, this is a crazy time, and while this process seems to work right now, it may not work the same way in a few days, or even a few hours. Also, I'm just another customer, and I don't claim to know how the system works exactly, so this may not work for you at all. Try it out at your own risk.

8 REPLIES 8
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Re: How to extend your own travel funds expiring soon during COVID-19

Rising Star

Have you actually tested this?  I would be very surprised if this extended the travel fund expiration date, but it's an interesting find if it does actually work.  Thanks for sharing.

As I've said numerous times before I still have hope that Southwest will adjust policy somehow to allow people more time to use travel funds so hopefully something like this workaround isn't necessary.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

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Re: How to extend your own travel funds expiring soon during COVID-19

New Arrival
Solution

Yep, I had funds expiring in two weeks, and now they expire in August. I agree that would be best, but in the meantime, this is hopefully a way that folks can at least buy a bit more time and not have to fly during such uncertain times to use their funds.

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Re: How to extend your own travel funds expiring soon during COVID-19

Top Contributor

@crazygood7565 wrote:

Yep, I had funds expiring in two weeks, and now they expire in August. I agree that would be best, but in the meantime, this is hopefully a way that folks can at least buy a bit more time and not have to fly during such uncertain times to use their funds.


I've proposed a similar approach if the flight has to be cancelled, but the funds don't expire for a while, then book something further out to hold your spot.

 

It is not desirable for Southwest to have tickets booked that people don't intend to fly, so be wary of this approach in that way. But it is also in Southwest's interest for people to self-serve their temporary solution on the internet and not clog up the phone lines, so worth a shot in that regard. Your approach as well for the expiration extension.

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.
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Re: How to extend your own travel funds expiring soon during COVID-19

New Arrival

So we cancelled our Florida trip next Month (April 8-14) and our 1 year date is Nov 29th, 2020.

Does that mean we have to travel no later than that day this year or purchase tickets by that date this year.

 

Thanks, I'm new to Southwest:)

 

Duane

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Re: How to extend your own travel funds expiring soon during COVID-19

Employee
Employee

Hi @dpcarroll. Any travel funds created because of a flight cancellation between March 1-May 31, 2020, will have an expiration date of June 30, 2021, so your funds will now expire June 30, 2021. It's going to take our Technology Teams some time to implement the changes, so thank you for hanging in there with us!

 

Nicole
Community Manager
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Re: How to extend your own travel funds expiring soon during COVID-19

New Arrival

I hope that there will be a continuation of this extension by Southwest.

They have been liberal so far. Please Sw keep it up. We all have funds expiring and will jump in and use them as soon as we can.

 

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Re: How to extend your own travel funds expiring soon during COVID-19

Rising Star
Solution

Southwest just updated their policy:

 

https://www.southwestaircommunity.com/t5/Blog/Policy-Update-Clarification-Extending-Travel-Credit-an...


Customer | Home airport DCA | Community Champion
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Re: How to extend your own travel funds expiring soon during COVID-19

New Arrival

I wanted to add that if you call Southwest an agent can go over your own travel funds to let you know which will be extended under this new policy.  I had seven travel funds and he took the time to take them all down and go over each one. Some were cancelled by SW, others I cancelled myself. He also said they are working on getting everything updated on our accounts to show this but it will be two-three weeks before we can view them. You need your confirmation numbers to discuss. Unless they extend the cancellation policies some of my won't extend. But I am hopeful that they will continue reviewing this policy. I assured him (and you should too) that we will take to the skies as soon as we safely can.