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When/Why did SWA stop reinstating expired travel vouchers??

asap59
New Arrival

We all have emergencies in which planned travel must be cancelled and can't be rebooked within the 1-year re-use timeframe. SWA has always offered to reinstate expired vouchers to their full value for a fee. Today we were told this is no longer their policy and were offered only 25% of the full value, which won't even cover an on sale one-way ticket.

 

What is happening SWA? Don't take away the great reasons why people choose to fly with you. 

8 REPLIES 8
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Re: When/Why did SWA stop reinstating expired travel vouchers??

asap59
New Arrival

Clarification - SWA has always offered to reinstate expired vouchers to their full value for a NOMINAL fee.

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Re: When/Why did SWA stop reinstating expired travel vouchers??

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

This is an unpublished policy exception, granted on a case-by-case basis. It is not guaranteed. The fee used to be $50, then it was $75, now it's $100.

 

You are requesting a special exception. Your funds expire per the terms you agreed to when you bought the ticket.

 

If your funds haven't yet expired, there may be an option. Check your messages. 😉

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Re: When/Why did SWA stop reinstating expired travel vouchers??

bec102896
Rising Star

One thing to keep in mind is other airlines charge you to cancel your ticket and if the funds expire your out of luck as all tickets have an expiration date with all airlines so getting some to me is better than getting none which is what you would get from other airlines. But as @chgoflyer said it's an unpublished policy and they can change it at any time and it's not a guarantee that they will make the exception to offer an extension for a fee.

 

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Re: When/Why did SWA stop reinstating expired travel vouchers??

asap59
New Arrival

Thank you for your comment.

 

I understand the reinstatement fee, however, to reduce the amount of the voucher by 75% is disappointing. SWA has been reinstating vouches for years, which I thought was to set them apart from other airlines and to maintain customer loyalty. $81 for a $250 ticket? Just disappointing. It should be a fee to reinstate the full value, as they’ve historically done. If they want to change this policy, fine, but let people with unused vouchers know so they can make a concious decision to use their vouchers or give them up.

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Re: When/Why did SWA stop reinstating expired travel vouchers??

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

@asap59 wrote:

Thank you for your comment.

 

I understand the reinstatement fee, however, to reduce the amount of the voucher by 75% is disappointing. SWA has been reinstating vouches for years, which I thought was to set them apart from other airlines and to maintain customer loyalty. $81 for a $250 ticket? Just disappointing. It should be a fee to reinstate the full value, as they’ve historically done. If they want to change this policy, fine, but let people with unused vouchers know so they can make a concious decision to use their vouchers or give them up.


I'm not sure I'm following what you're saying.

 

Nothing has changed concerning how Southwest treats travel funds reissued as vouchers except the amount of the fee, as noted earlier. (Well, and funds used to be valid for anyone, not just the original passenger, but that changed in 2011.)

 

First, do you have unused travel funds or a voucher? They are two different things, and the difference is important.

 

FYI: Travel funds are the result of a cancelled or changed itinerary. They are held under the original confirmation number. They expire one year from the original purchase date, and are valid towards airfare, taxes and fees for the original passenger(s) only. When you apply these to a new booking, that booking takes on the oldest expiration date of any funds used.

 

Once expired, travel funds may be reissued (as a voucher) for a fee of $100 per ticket, as we've previously discussed. The fee is deducted from the travel funds balance, meaning that it's only worth requesting this exception when the funds balance is greater than $100.

 

Vouchers are given by Customer Relations for things like delays or baggage issues (or when travel funds are reissued after expiration). They are valid for air fare only (no taxes or fees) but can be used by anyone. They generally expire one year (or six months in the case of reissued travel funds) from the date of issue.

 

Vouchers are generally not reissued once expired. However, depending on why/how you received the voucher initially (for example, if it was because of a customer service issue) Southwest may reissue it, and if so, there is no fee.

 

If you have travel funds, have they already expired? If not, you may have an option that would extend your funds for another year, but only if you move fast. (Check your messages.) 😉

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Re: When/Why did SWA stop reinstating expired travel vouchers??

msmeyer
New Arrival

I found this on a search recently and wanted to ask a follow up question on it - I guess my best bet would be to contact SWA customer service but I figured I'd check here.

 

My father had to cancel his travel plans last minute as he was hospitalized and had to have an emergency surgery to clip a brain aneurysm. All this happened within the timeframe of the travel plans. Thankfully he's alive and well, which is very rare given the circumstances, but he hasn't been cleared to fly yet - it will probably be at his 1-year follow up, which will be after the voucher expiration date. It looks like SWA makes no excpetion - but would a doctor's note or hospital discharge information make a difference in this case?

 

That being said - I'm very thankful for SWA's flexibility on changing and cancelling flights but I had hoped that our funds would last a little bit longer.

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Re: When/Why did SWA stop reinstating expired travel vouchers??

chgoflyer
Top Contributor
Solution

@msmeyer wrote:

I found this on a search recently and wanted to ask a follow up question on it - I guess my best bet would be to contact SWA customer service but I figured I'd check here.

 

My father had to cancel his travel plans last minute as he was hospitalized and had to have an emergency surgery to clip a brain aneurysm. All this happened within the timeframe of the travel plans. Thankfully he's alive and well, which is very rare given the circumstances, but he hasn't been cleared to fly yet - it will probably be at his 1-year follow up, which will be after the voucher expiration date. It looks like SWA makes no excpetion - but would a doctor's note or hospital discharge information make a difference in this case?

 

That being said - I'm very thankful for SWA's flexibility on changing and cancelling flights but I had hoped that our funds would last a little bit longer.


 

In this case, I'd recommend contacting Customer Relations with details of the situation (best bet is via Twitter direct message) and a request for a refund review. Good luck!

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Re: When/Why did SWA stop reinstating expired travel vouchers??

msmeyer
New Arrival

Will do! Thank you!