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Unprecedented extension of travel funds expiration dates

Unprecedented extension of travel funds expiration dates

Old Mar 19, 20, 4:34 pm
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Unprecedented extension of travel funds expiration dates

Southwest extended expiration of certain TTFs: https://www.southwestaircommunity.co...inkId=84657186


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Policy Update & Clarification: Extending Travel Credit and Refunds


rgreen1
EMPLOYEE
2 hours agoWith the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our Customers, our operation, and especially our Employees, we wanted to update you all on some decisions that have been made regarding extending travel credit for Customers and refunds of our Wanna Get Away fares. Please keep in mind this is a rapidly changing and dynamic situation that requires constant assessment and adjustment. The good news is we are making some Customer-friendly changes based on your feedback, which I hope will be welcome and appreciated. I’ll outline the updates and clarifications in the following four buckets:


  • Travel Funds Extension Policy
  • COVID-19 Mandates and Requirements
  • Flight Schedule Revisions
  • Irregular Operations

Travel Funds Extension Policy*

With the unprecedented cancellations and airport closings happening around us every day, we understand travel plans are changing for many Customers. So, we are making a temporary exception to our already very flexible travel funds policy. As you know, our current policy outlines that nonrefundable tickets not flown on the travel date, but canceled in accordance with Southwest’s No Show Policy, can be applied to future travel up to one year from the original purchase date, but must be used by the individual named on the ticket.



In recognition of the current travel environment, we are extending the expiration date of some travel funds:


  • Customers’ funds that have expired or will expire between March 1-May 31, 2020, will now expire June 30, 2021
  • Any newly created travel fund because of a flight cancellation between March 1-May 31, 2020, will have an expiration date of June 30, 2021
It will take our Technology Teams a few weeks to make these changes to the expiration date of the funds, and we appreciate your patience while our Teams work quickly to make this happen. This gesture of goodwill gives Customers an additional year to use their funds and take the same trip next year as they were planning to take this year.


COVID-19 Mandates and Requirements

If we are forced to cancel a flight because airports are closed or if travel bans are put into place due to the extraordinary environment and response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will work with each Customer to book flights at a later time or issue a travel credit for the value of the ticket. The only compensation we will offer in these instances—for non-refundable Wanna Get Away tickets—are Residual Travel Funds. These cancellations are not eligible for a cash refund. Current examples of where this policy applies are Grand Cayman, Aruba, the Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica—however, this list is likely to grow.



We hope the extension of the travel funds* mentioned above (through June 30, 2021, which is an exception to our policies for these circumstances) will give our Customers peace of mind that they’ll have plenty of time to use those funds for future travel. We understand that some Customers may be disappointed if they would have preferred a cash refund.


Flight Schedule Revisions

As we’ve announced, we plan to revise our flight schedule by reducing available seat miles (ASMs) by at least 20 percent for the time period of April 14, 2020, through June 5, 2020. Customers impacted by these reductions, we will work with each Customer to book alternate flights or issue a travel credit for the value of the travel funds. As of now, we will also offer refunds to the original form(s) of payment upon request if a Customer’s flight is impacted and they do not travel and do not wish to use their credit for future travel, but please keep in mind this is subject to change.

Similar to the previous example, we hope the extension of the travel funds* mentioned above (through June 30, 2021, which is an exception to our policies for these circumstances) will give our Customers peace of mind that they’ll have plenty of time to use those funds for future travel. We hope that will incentivize our Customers to keep the travel funds, rather than requesting a cash refund.


Irregular Operations

There is no change to our current practice around normal business operations during the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g. we cancel a flight for maintenance, Crew issues, other operational reasons like weather, etc.). Customers impacted by these situations, we will work with each Customer to book alternate flights or issue a travel credit for the value of the travel funds. We will also provide a refund to the original form(s) of payment consistent with our current practices upon the Customer’s request if they choose not to be rebooked or are unable to travel. For Customers receiving a travel credit, we will extend* the dates of eligibility for unused travel funds to June 30, 2021, under these circumstances (similar to the above two examples).



We hope the above information is helpful in assisting our Customers, and we thank all of our Employees for their hard work and patience as we navigate through this unchartered territory.



*Important note: the exception of extending travel credit was made now to assist our Customers during this challenging time. Again, we ask for patience while we make this change, which will take several weeks to see the new expiration date on these funds.
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Old Mar 19, 20, 4:46 pm
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LUV Vouchers expiring during the same timeline?
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Old Mar 19, 20, 4:53 pm
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Check out the latest from WN - extend to middle of next year - within certain guidelines.

https://www.southwestaircommunity.co...103844#U103844

Last edited by NoStressHere; Mar 19, 20 at 5:11 pm
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Old Mar 19, 20, 5:35 pm
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Originally Posted by NoStressHere View Post
Check out the latest from WN - extend to middle of next year - within certain guidelines.

https://www.southwestaircommunity.co...103844#U103844
I posted over in this thread thinking it was the best title for it: Travel Funds Extensions?

I'm thinking keeping the discussion of the new policy all in the same place would be helpful.
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Old Mar 19, 20, 7:00 pm
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This is a great goodwill effort on behalf of Southwest. Bravo.

That said, it's curious that they won't offer a refund if the flight is cancelled due to travel ban. Interesting.

Also, I don't see EBCI referenced at all. Presumably they're just keeping those fees?
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Old Mar 19, 20, 7:05 pm
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  • Any newly created travel fund because of a flight cancellation between March 1-May 31, 2020, will have an expiration date of June 30, 2021
This is really not very clear. Does this only apply if WN cancels the flight? Or if I cancel my trip myself?
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Old Mar 19, 20, 7:17 pm
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Originally Posted by ursine1 View Post
This is a great goodwill effort on behalf of Southwest. Bravo.

That said, it's curious that they won't offer a refund if the flight is cancelled due to travel ban. Interesting.
Reasonable to assume the State Department's Level 4 Travel Ban ("Do Not Travel") would apply.
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Old Mar 19, 20, 7:48 pm
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Originally Posted by LegalTender View Post
Reasonable to assume the State Department's Level 4 Travel Ban ("Do Not Travel") would apply.
That is not for domestic travel.
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Old Mar 19, 20, 7:49 pm
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Originally Posted by spongenotbob View Post
This is really not very clear. Does this only apply if WN cancels the flight? Or if I cancel my trip myself?
For sure if YOU cancel - this is an extension of their normal policy.

As to WN cancelling - you should get your money back. But - they have to CANCEL the flight first.
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Old Mar 19, 20, 10:08 pm
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Originally Posted by NoStressHere View Post
That is not for domestic travel.
The State Department reference needed that footnote.
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Old Mar 19, 20, 10:26 pm
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Originally Posted by NoStressHere View Post
For sure if YOU cancel - this is an extension of their normal policy.

As to WN cancelling - you should get your money back. But - they have to CANCEL the flight first.
Unless they cancel because of a governmental travel ban, in which case no refund (travel credit only).

And this would apply to domestic travel, if there is a domestic travel ban enacted.
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Old Mar 19, 20, 11:07 pm
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Southwest trying to hide a huge change in basic fair consumer policies is pretty disgusting, as bad as United's attempt at 25 or 6 hour rescheduling with no refund. If the airline can't fly a flight reasonably close to the contracted, purchased, scheduled time, and the customer chooses not to fly (that day or another time), they are not entitled to keep the money, period. It's one thing to not owe *additional* compensation or consequential costs/damages, of course, but refusing to refund on request is really really bad.

Hopefully the credit card disputes and DOT reports will correct these behaviors. If Southwest is or plans to be out of cash, then go bankrupt; that's the way the system is intended to work; don't take it out on innocent customers who may have an even greater need for their money in these trying times.
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Old Mar 20, 20, 12:02 am
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Originally Posted by jmastron View Post
Southwest trying to hide a huge change in basic fair consumer policies is pretty disgusting, as bad as United's attempt at 25 or 6 hour rescheduling with no refund. If the airline can't fly a flight reasonably close to the contracted, purchased, scheduled time, and the customer chooses not to fly (that day or another time), they are not entitled to keep the money, period. It's one thing to not owe *additional* compensation or consequential costs/damages, of course, but refusing to refund on request is really really bad.

Hopefully the credit card disputes and DOT reports will correct these behaviors. If Southwest is or plans to be out of cash, then go bankrupt; that's the way the system is intended to work; don't take it out on innocent customers who may have an even greater need for their money in these trying times.
I'm not sure what exactly you're talking about. Southwest is following their Contract of Carriage -- the same policies as always. The exception being in cases where they are forced to cancel due to airport shutdown or governmental ban, which I suspect fall under the "Force Majeure" section of the CoC.

If they cancel, you get a refund. If they reschedule and it doesn't work for you, you get a refund. If you cancel, you get travel funds, now with an extended period for redemption. If they cancel because of airport shutdown or governmental ban, you get travel funds with the same extended period for redemption.

EarlyBird Check-In remains non-refundable, so purchasers get screwed there. (Unless you change to a future flight instead of cancelling.) But EBCI is explicitly non-refundable.

Otherwise, all is well within their CoC.
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Old Mar 20, 20, 6:14 am
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Originally Posted by jmastron View Post
Southwest trying to hide a huge change in basic fair consumer policies is pretty disgusting, as bad as United's attempt at 25 or 6 hour rescheduling with no refund.....
What are you talking about.

WN is not hiding anything. And they surely are not doing anything like UA.

Poster just above outlines what they are doing very well.
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Old Mar 20, 20, 7:59 am
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Originally Posted by jmastron View Post
Southwest trying to hide a huge change in basic fair consumer policies is pretty disgusting, as bad as United's attempt at 25 or 6 hour rescheduling with no refund. If the airline can't fly a flight reasonably close to the contracted, purchased, scheduled time, and the customer chooses not to fly (that day or another time), they are not entitled to keep the money, period. It's one thing to not owe *additional* compensation or consequential costs/damages, of course, but refusing to refund on request is really really bad.

Hopefully the credit card disputes and DOT reports will correct these behaviors. If Southwest is or plans to be out of cash, then go bankrupt; that's the way the system is intended to work; don't take it out on innocent customers who may have an even greater need for their money in these trying times.
This is just nonsense, IMO.
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