Go Back   FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Southwest Airlines | Rapid Rewards
Sign in using an external account

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jul 16, 10, 10:54 am   #1
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: SJC and ONT
Programs: WN A-List/CP, HHonors Diamond, CX J with AA miles, US Gold/*G
Posts: 2,083
"Bank of Southwest" has restricted TTF withdrawals effective April 29, 2011

I just noticed this today when booking some flights:

"Effective January 28, 2011, unused travel funds may only be applied toward the purchase of future travel for the individual named on the ticket."

Does anyone know how long it's been there...in any event, not a very good sign when TTF flexibility is constrained like that.

Are we the proverbial frogs in water and WN is ever so gradually turning up the heat?
__________________
Hang up the phone, Barkley. I'm taking you to the hole!

Last edited by curbcrusher; Oct 26, 10 at 6:25 am. Reason: updated title to make thread easier to find in searches
jrpaguia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 16, 10, 11:39 am   #2
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Nashville, TN
Programs: WN A+ w/CP, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Platinum
Posts: 7,397
First, it was nice to get 6 months warning.

Second, not nice that they will do this. Not surprising either.
InkUnderNails is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 16, 10, 11:51 am   #3
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Programs: HH Gold
Posts: 8,319
OP, thanks for pointing this out! It's very important to me! Another change making WN more like a legacy carrier.
formeraa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 16, 10, 1:05 pm   #4
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: SJC and ONT
Programs: WN A-List/CP, HHonors Diamond, CX J with AA miles, US Gold/*G
Posts: 2,083
Quote:
Originally Posted by formeraa View Post
OP, thanks for pointing this out! It's very important to me! Another change making WN more like a legacy carrier.
You're welcome.....and the illustrious website printed that notice with a half micron font in invisa-gray.
__________________
Hang up the phone, Barkley. I'm taking you to the hole!
jrpaguia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 16, 10, 1:21 pm   #5
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Programs: WN CP
Posts: 6,360
This language is also displayed now when you lookup TTF balances. Good catch, jrpaguia. Disappointing change.
curbcrusher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 16, 10, 2:12 pm   #6
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Programs: HH Gold
Posts: 8,319
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrpaguia View Post
You're welcome.....and the illustrious website printed that notice with a half micron font in invisa-gray.
Those of us with less-than-perfect eyesight often miss these notices. Sometimes I simply can't see the invisa-gray font at all.

While I like the colorful WN website, their programmers really don't think much about those of us who may be slightly visually impaired. (I'm waiting for those 20-something programmers to turn 50-ish and start having eye issues!)
formeraa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 16, 10, 2:19 pm   #7
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Programs: WN Rapid Rewards, Hertz 5*
Posts: 1,811
As the person who coordinates travel for about 12 family and friends, this is going to be a disaster to keep track of. I normally book flights each way, each person. Now if they don't fly, or if the price drops $5, only that exact passenger name can use it? Ugly.

The flip side fo that is what happens if I book 8 passengers on one PNR. Can all 8 passengers have full unrestricted access to the funds? or can each only access 1/8th of the funds?

Here's my prefered method for how they impliment this:
The name on the funds should either be ONE of the flyers OR the one logged in to do booking.

My second choice:
The name of the person on the funds should be ONE of the flyers. If my spouse has $200 in funds and we are each buying a $100 ticket, we shouldn't need to provide an additional form of payment.
expert7700 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 16, 10, 4:35 pm   #8
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: ORD, MDW or MKE
Programs: No change fees keep me tied to WN. Choice hotels primarily.
Posts: 4,469
Can they retroactively do that? Reservations have been made on the assumptions that cancellations are usable for a year. I don't understand how they can do that without a 1 year notice.

Can they now change all use of TTF on a whim?

I would love to hear some official comment about these changes, but we haven't had much official words lately.
lougord99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 16, 10, 5:59 pm   #9
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by lougord99 View Post
Can they retroactively do that? Reservations have been made on the assumptions that cancellations are usable for a year. I don't understand how they can do that without a 1 year notice.

Can they now change all use of TTF on a whim?

I would love to hear some official comment about these changes, but we haven't had much official words lately.
Read the CoC, it's been it there forever... Just not followed strictly.
bryanw20 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 16, 10, 7:38 pm   #10
nsx
Moderator: Southwest Airlines & Travel Safety/Security
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: California
Programs: WN CP & A-list preferred, Interstate BBQ at MEM B17, fan of Hyatt, Priceline, and Hotwire
Posts: 15,951
Well, *$)#%!

This change takes the single most complicated and annoying aspect of being a Southwest customer, re-use of ticketless funds, and makes it even more complicated. Yet another column needed on the spreadsheet.

I'm not saying that it couldn't be worse, because change fees would be 20 times worse than this. Still, I have always told my friends and family to buy Southwest tickets. My number one reason was that I could easily use their funds and pay them back if the fare went down or they needed to change or cancel. They had a free option to change or cancel. I book between $1000 and $2000 per year of travel on Southwest for people other than me.

Now the option to change or cancel will no longer be effectively free for infrequent travelers. With this change, my family members and friends will be less likely to fly Southwest.

I imagine that this change was motivated by sales of unused ticketless funds on Craigslist and elsewhere (but not on FT, where it's not allowed). If so, I believe that this tiny potential loss is being weighed incorrectly against the larger gain of encouraging people to buy Southwest tickets in the first place.

I can't be the only one promoting Southwest enthusiastically to friends and family, even booking their tickets so I don't lose track of the TTFs and so I can give them the full benefit of the very best price. Southwest has made a lot of money on those tickets, the great majority of which were flown as booked. This policy change is a clear mistake.
nsx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 16, 10, 8:02 pm   #11
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Programs: WN CP
Posts: 6,360
Quote:
Originally Posted by nsx View Post
I'm not saying that it couldn't be worse, because change fees would be 20 times worse than this.
I disagree. A change fee would at least allow you to reuse the remaining funds for someone else. This is more punitive. If the named passenger can't fly, and can't reuse those funds in time, they are effectively socked with a cancellation fee equal to their ticket price.
curbcrusher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 16, 10, 8:38 pm   #12
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: LAS
Programs: WN A-List; WN CP; UA-1K long gone (1995-2003).
Posts: 1,567
Quote:
Originally Posted by nsx View Post
I'm not saying that it couldn't be worse, because change fees would be 20 times worse than this.
I have to agree with nsx on this one. This does take away what had been a highly flexible benefit of booking of WN. It potentially penalizes the once a year flyer who has to make a last minute cancellation, can't use the funds before they expire and no longer will be able to have a relative/friend use them. This makes WN more like the legacies (who have never allowed name changes AFAIK).

Under current conditions, if WN is $20 or $30 higher than a change-fee legacy, that infrequent flyer may pay that "no risk" premium knowing his brother/cousin/friend, can use the funds if his trip is cancelled. Now, knowing the funds cannot be used by another person, that infrequent flyer may be willing to take a chance on a change fee when the fare is lower. That becomes a negative to WN.

However, concurring with nsx, the absence of change fees is still the WN differentiator. Once they make that policy change (and part of me is beginning to feel it is inevitable they will introduce change fees), then brand loyalty to WN goes out the window.
Nevada1K is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 16, 10, 8:46 pm   #13
nsx
Moderator: Southwest Airlines & Travel Safety/Security
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: California
Programs: WN CP & A-list preferred, Interstate BBQ at MEM B17, fan of Hyatt, Priceline, and Hotwire
Posts: 15,951
Why should Southwest create a new reason for the once a year flyer, but not the frequent flyer, from booking Southwest? It makes no sense.

Southwest has a crucial differentiator with no change fees, and now they throw it out the window for customers who are infrequent travelers.

Maybe they believe that people are too oblivious to notice. That's not correct. Every customer is as aware as his most knowledgeable friend or family member.
nsx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 16, 10, 8:50 pm   #14
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: LAS
Programs: WN A-List; WN CP; UA-1K long gone (1995-2003).
Posts: 1,567
Quote:
Originally Posted by curbcrusher View Post
I disagree. A change fee would at least allow you to reuse the remaining funds for someone else. This is more punitive. If the named passenger can't fly, and can't reuse those funds in time, they are effectively socked with a cancellation fee equal to their ticket price.
Curb, are you saying that implementing a change fee but still allowing unused funds to be used by another party would be preferable? What makes you think WN looked as this as an either/or situation and that they would still allow name changes on unused funds if they had also announced a change fee?

Yes, the infrequent WN passenger may be hurt by this; he/she could "effectively [be] socked with a cancellation fee equal to their ticket price" -- however, doesn't that simply mean that WN's new policy will be the same as the legacies, who also do not permit name changes. And WN still has a big advantage (IMO): WN changes are still without the $150 change fee applied by UA, AA, DL, US.
Nevada1K is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 16, 10, 9:39 pm   #15
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: ORD, MDW or MKE
Programs: No change fees keep me tied to WN. Choice hotels primarily.
Posts: 4,469
Quote:
Originally Posted by nsx View Post
Well, *$)#%!

This change takes the single most complicated and annoying aspect of being a Southwest customer, re-use of ticketless funds, and makes it even more complicated. Yet another column needed on the spreadsheet.

I'm not saying that it couldn't be worse, because change fees would be 20 times worse than this. Still, I have always told my friends and family to buy Southwest tickets. My number one reason was that I could easily use their funds and pay them back if the fare went down or they needed to change or cancel. They had a free option to change or cancel. I book between $1000 and $2000 per year of travel on Southwest for people other than me.

Now the option to change or cancel will no longer be effectively free for infrequent travelers. With this change, my family members and friends will be less likely to fly Southwest.

I imagine that this change was motivated by sales of unused ticketless funds on Craigslist and elsewhere (but not on FT, where it's not allowed). If so, I believe that this tiny potential loss is being weighed incorrectly against the larger gain of encouraging people to buy Southwest tickets in the first place.

I can't be the only one promoting Southwest enthusiastically to friends and family, even booking their tickets so I don't lose track of the TTFs and so I can give them the full benefit of the very best price. Southwest has made a lot of money on those tickets, the great majority of which were flown as booked. This policy change is a clear mistake.
I couldn't have said it better. I repeat. This seriously questions my loyalties.
lougord99 is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Bookmarks


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 1:26 am.