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Transplant Survivor 12/29/18 denied $189.00 in travel funds

New Arrival

Hello, my name is Rhoda. I am a transplant survivor as of 12/29/18. That's when my new journey began. It was the most selfless, kind and loving gift that my donor gave me...life. In September of 2017, I was diagnosed with end stage liver disease. I was given less than a year to live if I didn't receive a transplant. My story is very miraculous and there is a lot to tell, however, it would be a very long post. I am very blessed to be alive and to have a second chance of life. Prior to my transplant, I was in grave condition in ICU. My children and family didn't think I would make it much longer. I did! Five days after getting out of the hospital, I received the news of a potential donor. We were a match. When I was originally diagnosed, I was told that I could not travel. I had purchased tickets with Southwest Airlines prior to becoming very ill. My illness began suddenly and was progressive. I called Southwest and told them my situation. They assured me that my travel fund of $189.00 would be available when I was able to travel. A few days ago, I called Southwest to use my travel funds towards a vacation in January. I was so excited to finally be cleared by doctors to travel. I will be coming up on my one year post transplant. My fiance, soon to be husband on December 9, 2019 was excited as well. He is a transplant survivor. How we met is a miracle in itself. Another long story that is unique and inspiring. I have called Southwest three times and each time I have been told that they will not honor the $189.00 it expired. I was completely surprised considering that I was told differently. When I spoke with a supervisor, I told her all of my health issues again. I have all of my documentation to fax them since 2017. I was told no. I hung up the phone feeling sad and disappointed. I felt that $189.00 trumped over all that I have been through. Not only that, they didn't honor what they originally told me. Today is my birthday. Last year I didn't even think I would be alive to celebrate it. I'm not angry with Southwest, I am very disappointed in their lack of compassion. I paid for the ticket and I am certainly not asking for a freebie. I am only asking for what they originally told me. They wouldn't even give me a chance to fax all of my documents and then make a decision. They quickly said "No." Thank you all for reading my post and Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

4 REPLIES 4
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Re: Transplant Survivor 12/29/18 denied $189.00 in travel funds

Top Contributor

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving to you. I'm happy that you had a successful transplant. I'm helping take care of a person with leukemia who is trying to get  to remission so that he can have a stem cell transplant and be where you are a year from now.

 

Southwest does not normally extend travel funds, but if you were told that the airline would do so, then it should honor it's commitment.  Normally whoever you originally    talked with  in 2018 would document the conversation along with your confirmaton number. I don't know who you recently have been talking with, but if it's not customer relations, then that's where you should take your appeal.

 

https://www.southwestaircommunity.com/t5/Knowledge-Base/Submitting-a-Suggestion-and-or-Complaint/ta-...

 

If they don't want to help, you could always write the CEO including whatever documentation you might have:

 

Gary Kelly

CEO

Southwest Airlines
P.O. Box 36647 
Dallas, Texas 75235

 

Good luck and stay well!

 

 

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Re: Transplant Survivor 12/29/18 denied $189.00 in travel funds

Rising Star

My guess is the person you originally spoke with did not understand the length of time you would be unable to fly and figured since Southwest allows you to use travel funds from a canceled reservation up to a year after you originally made the purchase, that would be enough time for you to use the funds. You didn't specify the original date of purchase, but it does sound like it was several years ago. Without some exception to the rules those funds are expired, as you have found out. It's worth writing to Southwest about, but I wouldn't count on the funds being reinstated.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

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Re: Transplant Survivor 12/29/18 denied $189.00 in travel funds

Top Contributor

@TheMiddleSeat wrote:

You didn't specify the original date of purchase, but it does sound like it was several years ago. Without some exception to the rules those funds are expired, as you have found out. It's worth writing to Southwest about, but I wouldn't count on the funds being reinstated.


Agree with @TheMiddleSeat I think you should have a "Plan B" where asking for travel funds to be extended may be a hard thing for most people you talk with to do., but one of those people may be able to offer you a LUV voucher to offset your experience although not necessarily the whole amount. I'd have something in mind that would make you feel better...$100 or $150 perhaps if not the whole $183. This allows them to keep the rules intact (funds are not extended) but offer a customer retention gesture.

 

i wish you had gotten a better answer back in 2017, then you may have been able to call and ask for a refund submitting the documentation in advance since the timeline to fly was unknown and could be years. 

Good luck, and congratulations on your transplant.

 

if customer relations is not able to help you I will second @dfwskier suggestion to write a letter.

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.
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Re: Transplant Survivor 12/29/18 denied $189.00 in travel funds

Active Member

@Transplant29

Now that @DancingDavidE and @dfwskier have said to write in and send a copy of some records, I can only add information about what issues to discuss in your letter.  I sent in a private message to you so you will hopefully see a notice in the upper right.  I sent privately because of the few people who might copy the info and send in to get their vouchers renewed, which is part of the reason why Southwest does not renew many vouchers beyond the expiration date.  

 

I am so glad that you are doing well now.  Good luck and I hope SWA will issue a new voucher.  If not, please try not to let it get you down.  You are a survivor and a

fighter and have handled many greater challenges than a bureaucratic policy.