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Old Feb 29, 08, 9:37 am   #1
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
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SW Cancellation Policy?

Oddly enough, I can't find the SW cancellation policy anywhere on their website.

I have two legs of trip (one trip, outbound and return) that I probably will cancel. One leg is refundable, one is not.

I tried to use the "modify flight" option, but it doesn't give a cancelling option.

I tried searching this forum but the relevant threads were several years old. From those I figured out I can probably (1) call up and cancel, or (2) be a no-show.

I may not know until the morning of the scheduled travel whether I need to go or not. Is it true that simply being a no show is the same as cancelling? (Sounds like a crazy policy, wouldn't they rather know if there is going to be capacity? And yes, I'll certainly try to call if time permits.)

Also, am I correct that either way (cancel or no show), I'll get a refund to my CC on the refundable portion, and a SW "credit" for the non-refundable portion?
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Old Feb 29, 08, 10:03 am   #2
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1. Never book a Southwest trip as a roundtrip, unless the price is different.

2. In that case, book legs that are only cheaper as roundtrips as individual roundtrips with NO INTENTION OF USING THE 2ND LEG. After traveling the first leg, cancel the remainder of the flight and use the credit later.

3. In the event of a Ding sale that affects only one leg, you can rebook just that leg and capture the price difference.

For example, if TPA-MDW is $200 outbound on 3/1, $125 returning on 3/3 as one ways. But with the fare rules, they are offering a $250 roundtrip, with the legs priced as $125/$125. Book a TPA-MDW roundtrip ($250) with a random return date AND a MDW-TPA one-way ($125). After the outbound leg, cancel the return ($125 credit). Therefore if you need to cancel one leg, the other still exists.

Some FTers think that this is unethical, but it seems to be the only way around the situation.
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Old Feb 29, 08, 11:50 am   #3
 
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There is a "Cancel Air Reservation" link under Travel Tools: http://www.southwest.com/travel_center/cancelAir.html
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Old Feb 29, 08, 11:55 am   #4
 
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Fortunately, in case I wasn't clear, I would be cancelling the entire trip so hopefully doesn't matter that I made as one reservaction.

Tino, thanks for the advice - I'll be travelling SW a lot more now that I have moved to central VA so this is helpful.

Rove, thanks for the link.

If anyone could answer the "no-show" question (ie do you get credit/refund if you are a no-show) i'd be interested in the answer ..
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Old Feb 29, 08, 2:01 pm   #5
 
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Yes, a no-show is treated the same as a cancellation: you're eligible for a refund or credit as allowed for the fare. It would just be more courteous to cancel.
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Old Feb 29, 08, 3:05 pm   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rove312 View Post
Yes, a no-show is treated the same as a cancellation: you're eligible for a refund or credit as allowed for the fare. It would just be more courteous to cancel.
I agree, and would plan on cancelling, esp. since it is a Florida route, sure to be popular this time of year!
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Old Feb 29, 08, 7:02 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rove312 View Post
Yes, a no-show is treated the same as a cancellation:
Sort of the same, but not exactly.

If you cancel (online or over the phone), you can request a refund of the refundable portion while you are cancelling. If you no-show, you then have to later call and request the refund. Refunds aren't automatically processed on a no-show.

Also, if you choose to cancel online be aware that the default is to "hold funds", you have to specifically request a refund.
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Old Mar 1, 08, 7:53 am   #8
 
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That was helpful info Peanutsplease - I'll def call and ask for the refund ...
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Old Mar 1, 08, 9:21 am   #9
 
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Interested to see this question, as I have a similar quandry this morning. I am flying to New Zealand from LAX. But will be flying on WN OAK-LAX first/after. For my return I chose a WN flight 3 hours after the scheduled arrival of NZ. Maybe that's too much time? Would 2 hours be enough--I don't know. This will be an early Sunday afternoon. So I was thinking of also booking the 2-hour-later flight--if I make it fine, if I don't I'll have my 3-hour leadtime flight. These are both Wanna Get Away fares, the others cost a whole lot more.
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Old Mar 2, 08, 7:06 am   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steph58 View Post
Interested to see this question, as I have a similar quandry this morning. I am flying to New Zealand from LAX. But will be flying on WN OAK-LAX first/after. For my return I chose a WN flight 3 hours after the scheduled arrival of NZ. Maybe that's too much time? Would 2 hours be enough--I don't know. This will be an early Sunday afternoon. So I was thinking of also booking the 2-hour-later flight--if I make it fine, if I don't I'll have my 3-hour leadtime flight. These are both Wanna Get Away fares, the others cost a whole lot more.
I don't have much experience at LAX, but I would think returning from an international flight you may be happy to have the 3 hours. You will need to retrieve your luggage, get through customs, and then shuttle from the international terminal to the southwest terminal.

southwest.com suggests on a Sunday to arrive 2 hours before departure (http://www.southwest.com/travel_cent...d_arrival.html) to have time to checkin and clear security.

As for what you propose - just know that the Wanna Get Away fares are non-refundable, so if you choose to book on both flights and then cancel or no-show the other - you won't get a refund, but you will have one year to use those funds to purchase another trip. With Southwest there is no penalty or change fee to do this.
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Old Mar 2, 08, 9:10 am   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steph58 View Post
Interested to see this question, as I have a similar quandry this morning. I am flying to New Zealand from LAX. But will be flying on WN OAK-LAX first/after. For my return I chose a WN flight 3 hours after the scheduled arrival of NZ. Maybe that's too much time? Would 2 hours be enough--I don't know. This will be an early Sunday afternoon. So I was thinking of also booking the 2-hour-later flight--if I make it fine, if I don't I'll have my 3-hour leadtime flight. These are both Wanna Get Away fares, the others cost a whole lot more.
I've actually done that same trip before - OAK-LAX-AUK. I think your strategy is fine, as long as you are able to use the funds from the extra flight later.

Clearing international at LAX is completely random. I've been through in less than 45 minutes, and I've had 4-hour adventures (with nothing remarkable happening). Two hours from landing to next flight is probably the most likely scenario, but you never really know. The main factor is how many other flights are coming in at the same time, and where they are coming in from. New Zealand doesn't interest the customs folks as much as some other, more interesting (to them) countries.

If you decide to stay with just one flight, I would say there is a decent chance that WN would let you go standby without extra $ if you arrived late for your scheduled flight (this might happen anyway, even with the 3-hour flight). Show them your flight documentation, and see what happens. It won't work in reverse - they won't let you board the 2-hour flight if you book the 3-hour flight.
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