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Old Aug 17, 09, 11:56 am   #1
 
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Order of applying unused Ticketless travel funds?

I have 4 unused TTF that I would like to apply to a new ticket--three small ones expiring fairly soon, and one larger one that expires much later. Does anyone know if I can choose to have the system apply the oldest ones first? I don't want to be left with one of the small ones that expires soon because I may not be able to use it in time.
Thanks for any light you can shed.
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Old Aug 17, 09, 12:30 pm   #2
nsx
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You have no choice. Howver the system will tell you which ones are going to be used, giving you a chance to remove one or more of them if you prefer.

I have had many occasions recently when the system grabbed 100% of later-expiring funds in preference to earlier-expiring funds that I began the payment process with. This happens when your later-expiring funds are a wholly unused ticket and your earlier expiring funds are partially used.

The solution is to "break" your later-expiring funds by using a small fraction of them. For example you could book a $2.50 award ticket with them. Then you when you apply other partially used TTFs in front of this one, it will take its proper place in line.
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Old Aug 17, 09, 1:14 pm   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nsx View Post
You have no choice.
Clarification: within each category (wholly unused tickets or partially used ticketless funds) you control the order of funds application by the order in which you enter the confirmation codes. Wholly unused tickets are applied in preference to partially used ticketless funds even if the confirmation codes for the partially used ticketless funds were entered first.
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Old Aug 17, 09, 3:37 pm   #4
 
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Thanks, nsx. I appreciate the education!
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Old Aug 25, 09, 10:38 am   #5
 
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My Issues with Travel Funds

Applying Travel Funds has become a frustrating game.

SWA puts Travel Funds into two groups:

1. Unused Tickets -- Tickets purchased and then cancelled that were purchased without any Travel Funds originally (pd by Cr. Card)

2. Other Payments -- Funds from cancelled tickets that were purchased with Travel Funds. Also incl. gift cards and LUV Vouchers.

If you have both Unused Tix and Other Payments, they apply Unused Ticket funds first regardles of Expir. Dates. ie. I was buying a ticket for $250. I put in 2 Other Payments totaling $60. Wanted to pay the diff. with Unused Ticket Fund worth $240 as it had a later expiration date.. System took $240 from Unused Funds and $10 from Other Payments area. Leaving me with $50 of earlier expiring credits.

I did NOT do this. One can book an bogus flight with the Unused Credits, immediately cancel - which turns the Unused Funds into Other Funds. When in Other Funds, they are used in order of expiration. Actually I bought a Comp. Pass flight and paid the $2.50 form the Unused Credits, and the balance turned into Other Funds. Then bought my flight using Other Funds.

Also in the Apply Travel Funds section it says one can use up to 4 Other Funds and one Credit Card. I have 4 Other Funds listed and system said I needed to delete one of Other Funds to be able to use a Credit Card to pay for balance. I did the "consolidation of Funds" trick mentioned elsewhere (new reserv. and then cancel) and then purchased ok.

Also I found out I had a cancelled Reserv. with funds thet showed one Expiration date when I look it up in Travel Tools area. When I applied the funds for a ticket, the Applied travel funds showed there were two amounts with different expiration dates for that one confirmation code - on seperate lines. I deleted the one with much later expiration date and system only used the amount remaining. But nowhere earlier was I able to see that there were 2 amounts with different expiration dates. Not sure why?

It is very confusing and I am sure most would not use the workarounds to use their funds as they wish.
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Old Aug 25, 09, 11:20 am   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAPMAN View Post

1. Unused Tickets -- Tickets purchased and then cancelled that were purchased without any Travel Funds originally (pd by Cr. Card)

2. Other Payments -- Funds from cancelled tickets that were purchased with Travel Funds. Also incl. gift cards and LUV Vouchers.
Complete Unused Tickets will fall into the unused ticket category regardless of how they were paid for (credit card, southwestgiftcard, Southwest LUV Voucher, or exchanged funds).

Other Payments will include downgrades from other tickets, leftover funds from a previous exchange, or nonrefundable funds leftover from a refund request of a mixed refundability ticket.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SAPMAN View Post
If you have both Unused Tix and Other Payments, they apply Unused Ticket funds first regardles of Expir. Dates. ie. I was buying a ticket for $250. I put in 2 Other Payments totaling $60. Wanted to pay the diff. with Unused Ticket Fund worth $240 as it had a later expiration date.. System took $240 from Unused Funds and $10 from Other Payments area. Leaving me with $50 of earlier expiring credits.
You are correct that "unused tickets" are always applied before any "other payments"... this is indicated on the entry screen:

Up to two unused tickets per passenger may be applied. Unused tickets are always applied first

Payments are applied in the order entered by the Customer, if you prefer to apply them in a different order (ie:expiration date) you can use the "remove" feature to remove a payment from the top of the list, and then re-add it to the bottom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SAPMAN View Post
I did NOT do this. One can book an bogus flight with the Unused Credits, immediately cancel - which turns the Unused Funds into Other Funds. When in Other Funds, they are used in order of expiration. Actually I bought a Comp. Pass flight and paid the $2.50 form the Unused Credits, and the balance turned into Other Funds. Then bought my flight using Other Funds.
The balance of your original ticket became "other funds" because it was now leftover funds from a previous exchange as noted above. The $2.50 would also become other funds because it is a partial leftover fund (the actual award coupon was the rest of the "funds"). If you had purchased a revenue ticket and canceled it, the canceled ticket would be an "unused ticket".

Quote:
Originally Posted by SAPMAN View Post
Also in the Apply Travel Funds section it says one can use up to 4 Other Funds and one Credit Card. I have 4 Other Funds listed and system said I needed to delete one of Other Funds to be able to use a Credit Card to pay for balance.
Actually, it says:

Up to two unused tickets per passenger may be applied. Unused tickets are always applied first. Up to four of the following may also be applied in any combination: southwestgiftcards™, Southwest LUV Vouchers, leftover electronic ticket funds, and one Credit Card.

"one credit card" is part of the "up to four of the following". In other words, you can apply up to 2 unused tickets per passenger, and a total of 4 other payments for the whole reservatoin. . one of which would be the credit card.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SAPMAN View Post
Also I found out I had a cancelled Reserv. with funds thet showed one Expiration date when I look it up in Travel Tools area. When I applied the funds for a ticket, the Applied travel funds showed there were two amounts with different expiration dates for that one confirmation code - on seperate lines. I deleted the one with much later expiration date and system only used the amount remaining. But nowhere earlier was I able to see that there were 2 amounts with different expiration dates. Not sure why?
In the old ticketing system, expiration dates were at the PNR level. In the new system, each ticket within a reservation carries its own expiration date.
For some this is good news because if you are buying multiple tickets and have a small amount of funds that are soon to expire - that amount may only be applied to one of the tickets you are buying and the rest will have later expiration dates - ex: Today you are buying 4 - $200 tickets in one reservation, and applying a $100 "unused ticket" or "other payment" that has an expiration date of 11/1/2009. The first of the 4 tickets will be paid with the $100 credit plus $100 from a credit card and will expire on 11/1/2009. However the remaining 3 tickets will all be paid by credit card - and that $600 will not expire until 1 year from today.

For simplicity, the funds lookup screen simply shows the earliest expiration date of all the tickets that may be within that one confirmation number.

While it can be very confusing - the vast majority of tickets are purchased with 100% credit card. FT'ers by nature tend to travel more and have more available funds floating around out there.
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Old Aug 25, 09, 11:40 am   #7
nsx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAPMAN View Post
It is very confusing and I am sure most would not use the workarounds to use their funds as they wish.
I agree. The current system is probably fully understood only by ftnoob.

I recently booked some flights and had to take the time to book and cancel two dummy reservations in order to combine funds before the system would use my earlier-expiring funds the way I wanted it to.

I'd like to repeat the suggestion I made some time ago: Southwest should add a web page allowing you to merge ticketless funds. You enter the PNRs and it merges them into one TTF PNR or gift card, assigning the earliest expiration date. This would be easy to explain and solve all these expiration issues.

I hope it doesn't happen, but I would not be surprised if some legal beagle were to try to line his pockets with a coupon class action on the website's refusal to exhaust the earliest-expiring funds before tapping later-expiring funds. Southwest really ought to preemptively protect itself, and the above suggestion (plus a notice on the purchase page pointing to and explaining this feature) should do the job.

Even a web page that allows you to change a WUT PNR into a TTF PNR with the same value and expiration date would be a help.
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Old Aug 25, 09, 12:10 pm   #8
 
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Thanks SWA Victor for more detailed explanation. We here always appreciate your insight. However, how is one suppose to know the expiration dates in a Record (Confirm #) if there is more than one? Is there a way to see this?? In my case, I thought I had $80 expiring on 10 Nov, but found out when making reservation only $10 of that expired then and the rest expired 10 Apr 2010. (yes I did delete then 10 Apr expiring funds and used others -- but not obvious to most)

-----

To add to the confusion, that I did not mention, is the "sub numbers" after the Confirmation number (AQ2RTV - 1346) -- most showing $0 available.

Why not just be able to apply any confirm. #s in the same box and use them by Expiration date -- then allow as they do now one to delete any record you do not want to use? Or let you change the sort into the sequence one wants the Funds used?

The ability to consolidate Funds under the one Conf # that expires first would be better than it is now.

Best would be a section where all unused funds are listed with expir. dates and a sequence box to use the funds ones wants to when buying a ticket.


At least I have all my Funds used up now, so can start over from scratch.

Last edited by SAPMAN; Aug 25, 09 at 12:20 pm.. Reason: change
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Old Aug 25, 09, 2:50 pm   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAPMAN View Post
Thanks SWA Victor for more detailed explanation. We here always appreciate your insight. However, how is one suppose to know the expiration dates in a Record (Confirm #) if there is more than one? Is there a way to see this?? In my case, I thought I had $80 expiring on 10 Nov, but found out when making reservation only $10 of that expired then and the rest expired 10 Apr 2010. (yes I did delete then 10 Apr expiring funds and used others -- but not obvious to most)

-----

To add to the confusion, that I did not mention, is the "sub numbers" after the Confirmation number (AQ2RTV - 1346) -- most showing $0 available.

Why not just be able to apply any confirm. #s in the same box and use them by Expiration date -- then allow as they do now one to delete any record you do not want to use? Or let you change the sort into the sequence one wants the Funds used?

The ability to consolidate Funds under the one Conf # that expires first would be better than it is now.

Best would be a section where all unused funds are listed with expir. dates and a sequence box to use the funds ones wants to when buying a ticket.


At least I have all my Funds used up now, so can start over from scratch.
I completely agree that the "View Available Funds" screen needs to be revamped to show all funds and their corresponding expiration dates, and I will be sure to pass that one up the pipe to the appropriate teams.

With limited resources and time deadlines, the decision was made to use the earliest expiration so that you would at least have a vague idea that the funds needed to be used by that date (had we used the latest expiration you would have had a false belief that your funds had a longer validity, and then when you came back you would see that some of them had expired). Of course, during purchase you see the full list, and as you pointed out, you can remove the ones you choose not to use. We visited the idea of allowing you to move payments up/down the list using arrows and it got really confusing, busy, and downright ugly real fast.

We actually made a conscious decision to allow you to "remove" etc, and to add payments to the list in order entered rather than forcing expiration date. Many Customers don't necesarilly want to use the funds in order of expiration, they would rather use up smaller amounts first, etc.. We were attempting to give you freedom of choice by allowing you to determine the order used by the order that you enter them.

When building out the new ticketing system, some things were outside of our control (for example: applying unused tickets before other payments).

Consolodating funds is not possible with the system as it exists today, and would require a coding effort to achieve. Based on the vast majority of purchases being pure credit card purchases, and the data on the number of other payments average transactions include, along with other important projects being worked right now - this notion (although valid) is just not at the top of the priority list right now. Thats not to say it never will be.

What we have now is the best option we could come up with for the majority of Customers within the alloted timeframe. Its always a work in progress and I am happy to share the thoughts that you, nsx, and others have shared here.
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Old Aug 25, 09, 7:44 pm   #10
 
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Always a pleasure hearing the background from your side. Most other airlines would not give us the time of day.

System can work -- just sort of hard to figure out for us "crazy" flyers
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