Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

Highlighted

early bird check in refund policy

New Arrival

I had to cancel my flight plans for upcoming trip to San Antonio, due to the corvid-19.

The hotel was shutting down as well as the attractions.  I went online due to the high calls and cancelled my flight getting the credit as I expected.  I got upset when I could not get the credit for the early bird check in of $100.  I called and when I got through she told me it is not refundable.  She told me that I should have rescheduled the flight and the early bird would not be lost.  That is all and good if the on line told me something like that but all it said was cancelled, which I thought my early bird would also follow.  All the customer service person said she is sorry but that as the policy.  I don't think it is the best interest  of the airline or myself that I reschedule for a future time until I know when I could go when the cities would be open again.  I tried to explain it to the agent but all she kept saying was she was sorry but that is the policy. I had to reschedule instead of canceling the flight.  I have been needing to use a wheelchair for the past year when I fly but I always buy early bird check-in so I do not feel like I am cheating the airline out of the extra revenue for boarding early.  Now I feel like the airline has cheated me out of that money by not refunding the early bird money of $100 so I can use it on a future flight.

6 REPLIES 6
Highlighted

Re: early bird check in refund policy

Rising Star
Solution

I would reach out to customer relations at 855-234-4654 and maybe they can help based on your situation. You could also try and reach out to Southwest on Facebook or Twitter. 

 

-Blake

Highlighted

Re: early bird check in refund policy

New Arrival

I wholeheartedly agree with original poster. For Blake to tell her to call CS, she already said she did. I did too and was told the same thing “sorry, it’s our policy.”  Well, SWA needs to immediately re-evaluate the policy because none of this is anyone’s fault and for SWA to pocket all the early-bird rates during this time is FRAUDULENT as they will make millions in these fees without having to provide any kind of service and possibly be receiving bailouts/loans from the US Govt. 

SWA, you REALLY need to re-think this non-refund policy immediately. 

Highlighted

Re: early bird check in refund policy

Top Contributor

Unfortunately, Southwest is firmly refusing to refund EarlyBird Check-In fees. Even on flight that they've cancelled, which some believe to be contrary to DOT guidance.

 

I've seen social media posts from customers who were given a small amount of Rapid Rewards points as a goodwill gesture, after persistently contacting Southwest to express their disappointment in not receiving a refund of their EarlyBird Check-In fees. There are also reports of customers being flat-out denied anything, even after multiple inquiries. So, your mileage may vary.

 

Personally, it seems odd to me that Southwest would want customers to have to repeatedly contact their already over-extended front line representatives, just to receive any sort of even meager accommodation. But apparently, that's what it takes.

 

Good luck.

 

 

Highlighted

Re: early bird check in refund policy

Active Member

Both the DOT and the CoC are very clear that if SWA cancels the flight, EBCI fees and fare paid should be refunded. This is not true if the customer cancels the flight. I agree with SWA enforcing the rules about EBCI being enforced when the customer cancels, but they must also follow the rules when it works against them too. If the reports are true, they appear to be acting in bad faith. For fun, queue the lawsuits in small claims court. I'm not a lawyer, but I do believe that their are additional penalties for acting in bad faith. Wouldn't it be fun after everything is over to start seeing airplanes impounded at gates?

Highlighted

Re: early bird check in refund policy

Top Contributor

To be clear: There is no federal regulation that requires the refund of non-refundable fares and/or any ancillary fees when the carrier cancels a flight. The often-referenced information is DOT guidance, which is based primarily on existing carrier policies. DOT guidance is unenforceable and can change without notice. It's likely the specific guidance in this situation will change sometime in the future.

 

Southwest's Contract of Carriage never mentions EarlyBird Check-In, and in fact doesn't reference any ancillary fees (being one of the carriers without bag fees, change fees, etc.) except with regards to fare/fee refunds due to involuntary denied boarding (which is specifically mandated by federal regulation).

 

That said... is Southwest acting in "bad faith?"

 

I would sadly have to say yes.

 

They are not following their own posted policy.

 

ebci.pngebci 2.png

 

This is all very disappointing.

 

 

Highlighted

Re: early bird check in refund policy

New Arrival

When my wife and I recently had to cancel our round-trip flights due to the Coronovirus issue and "essential travel only" edict, we were highly surprised to see the $80 ($20 per person per leg) was not refunded or credited in any way.  We were simply told it was non-refundable.  This seems to fly in the face of their bold advertisement on their site, "No Cancel Fees, No Change Fees, No Questions Asked."  So NOT TRUE.  And, when we purchased the Early Bird Check-Ins, nowhere did we see, nor were we advised, that the expense was non-refundable.  We think this is an extremely poor policy by Southwest, particularly during the Cornovirus dilemma we are all facing.  Our opinion of, and likelihood of ever again using, ,Southwest has dropped to near zero.  We will also advise all of our friends and associates of the incredibly poor practice, the hidden practice that flies in the face of their statements of "No Fees."  To put salt in the wound, I wrote a complaint/request for refund to Southwest who advised me they would reply within 48 hours.  Six days later, I have not heard a word.  Poor business practices.