Suspension of Mexico Flights

Old Mar 20, 20, 9:25 am
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Suspension of Mexico Flights

Apparently Southwest will be suspending all flights to Mexico beginning Monday. First available flights showing up on May 4.
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Old Mar 20, 20, 12:12 pm
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Originally Posted by acasteve View Post
Apparently Southwest will be suspending all flights to Mexico beginning Monday. First available flights showing up on May 4.
And even that date is a "maybe" in my book.
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Old Mar 20, 20, 2:10 pm
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mexico border shuts down tonight per CNN...
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Old Mar 20, 20, 3:45 pm
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I want a refund, not "store credit"

Originally Posted by acasteve View Post
Apparently Southwest will be suspending all flights to Mexico beginning Monday. First available flights showing up on May 4.
Southwest has "suspended" my April flight to Cancun. Via email they have stated that I can get "store credit" to be used for 12 months. But I don't want "store credit"; I want a full refund. My understanding is that the Contract of Carriage requires them to deliver transportation in a reasonably timely fashion or refund my money. They can't transport me on (or even near) my travel date. I don't think they can deny me a full refund, and if I demand one -- rather than "store credit" -- it seems to me they are legally bound to provide a refund. Thoughts?
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Old Mar 20, 20, 5:33 pm
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Did you look at the COC when you agreed to the terms? Rules 4 and 9 make it clear that if WN cancels the flight, it may either refund the ticket to your original form of payment or issue a travel credit, at its option. It is the only US carrier which does it. But, you agreed to the term.

Whether WN does refund the ticket is an open question as you have not even made a request yet. Historically it has.

I would ask for a refund and not cite to documents you have not read. Just ask for a refund because the flight is cancelled. If there is a problem, it is an open question as to whether the provision will stand up, but you are nowhere near that yet.
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Old Mar 20, 20, 9:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Did you look at the COC when you agreed to the terms? Rules 4 and 9 make it clear that if WN cancels the flight, it may either refund the ticket to your original form of payment or issue a travel credit, at its option. It is the only US carrier which does it. But, you agreed to the term.

Whether WN does refund the ticket is an open question as you have not even made a request yet. Historically it has.

I would ask for a refund and not cite to documents you have not read. Just ask for a refund because the flight is cancelled. If there is a problem, it is an open question as to whether the provision will stand up, but you are nowhere near that yet.
Southwest isn't refunding flights that are cancelled due to airport closure or government ban. You can certainly make the request, but it's probable it will be denied.

The Contract of Carriage does use the word "or," but it does not say specifically that the choice is at Southwest's discretion. It is arguable that it is not, but that's something really for lawyers to fight about. That said however, the force majeure sections essentially allow Southwest to do anything they want in times like these, by making standing policies essentially null and void.
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Old Mar 20, 20, 9:57 pm
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Originally Posted by ursine1 View Post
Southwest isn't refunding flights that are cancelled due to airport closure or government ban. You can certainly make the request, but it's probable it will be denied.
.
I got several emails for my March/April upcoming Mexico trips.

At 9:10am PST subject was "all Mandated travel restrictions could affect your trip... If you would like to rebook, you may change your travel up to 60 days from your original flight date by visiting Southwest.com/rebook."

At 12:10pm PST subject was "Flight Status Change from Southwest Airlines" Southwest Airlines Flight 1213 on March 27 from SAN has been cancelled. To rebook go to: www.southwest.com/rebook3 and use XXXXXX. To request a refund for any unused portion of your itinerary, please call us at 1-800-435-9792.

I'll call in a few hours to request my refunds back to original form of payment. We used existing travel credits for these.
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Old Mar 21, 20, 1:11 am
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Originally Posted by expert7700 View Post
I got several emails for my March/April upcoming Mexico trips.

At 9:10am PST subject was "all Mandated travel restrictions could affect your trip... If you would like to rebook, you may change your travel up to 60 days from your original flight date by visiting Southwest.com/rebook."

At 12:10pm PST subject was "Flight Status Change from Southwest Airlines" Southwest Airlines Flight 1213 on March 27 from SAN has been cancelled. To rebook go to: www.southwest.com/rebook3 and use XXXXXX. To request a refund for any unused portion of your itinerary, please call us at 1-800-435-9792.

I'll call in a few hours to request my refunds back to original form of payment. We used existing travel credits for these.
You don't need to call. Your flight was cancelled, so you should now have travel funds held under the confirmation number(s) of the cancelled flight. These funds are covered by the temporary accommodation extending their expiration to June 30, 2021 (although the system will not yet reflect that).

I am curious though as to the response your refund inquiry would receive if you had used a credit card instead of existing travel funds. Southwest is stating that flights cancelled due to a governmental travel ban will not receive refunds -- travel funds (with a June 30, 2021 expiration) are the only option. I'm seeing reports elsewhere from angry customers who are being told that this is in fact the case. I suspect the notification system language hasn't been changed to reflect the current situation, but is generically worded in a way that protects Southwest. Any request can always be denied, per the new policy.

EDITED TO ADD: This may now have changed. See my post here:

Unprecedented extension of travel funds expiration dates


Last edited by ursine1; Mar 21, 20 at 1:42 am
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Old Mar 21, 20, 12:19 pm
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Originally Posted by ursine1 View Post
Southwest isn't refunding flights that are cancelled due to airport closure or government ban. You can certainly make the request, but it's probable it will be denied.

The Contract of Carriage does use the word "or," but it does not say specifically that the choice is at Southwest's discretion. It is arguable that it is not, but that's something really for lawyers to fight about. That said however, the force majeure sections essentially allow Southwest to do anything they want in times like these, by making standing policies essentially null and void.
It clearly says "or".

That is why WN maintains that it can refuse a refund and issue a credit.

This will need to get sorted out and I would certainly advise anyone who wants a refund to initiate a CC chargeback. Will be interesting to see if it is sustained.

Credits are fine for people who regularly travel and will travel again. There are many people who rarely travel and for whom a future credit is worthless.
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Old Mar 21, 20, 2:39 pm
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To quote the US DoT's website at https://www.transportation.gov/indiv...ection/refunds, "A passenger is entitled to a refund if the airline cancelled a flight, regardless of the reason, and the passenger chooses not to be rebooked on a new flight on that airline."

That's pretty plain language, and perhaps it is an oversimplification, but the page is frustratingly citation-free. If the CoC truly conflicts with US CFR, though, the law surely wins.
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Old Mar 21, 20, 2:48 pm
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Originally Posted by glitchy View Post
To quote the US DoT's website at https://www.transportation.gov/indiv...ection/refunds, "A passenger is entitled to a refund if the airline cancelled a flight, regardless of the reason, and the passenger chooses not to be rebooked on a new flight on that airline."

That's pretty plain language, and perhaps it is an oversimplification, but the page is frustratingly citation-free. If the CoC truly conflicts with US CFR, though, the law surely wins.
Yes, but note the following..."Passengers are often entitled to a refund of the ticket price and associated fees when the airline is at fault." Is WN at fault in such a case?
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Last edited by acasteve; Mar 21, 20 at 2:49 pm Reason: spelling error
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Old Mar 21, 20, 3:41 pm
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Originally Posted by acasteve View Post
Yes, but note the following..."Passengers are often entitled to a refund of the ticket price and associated fees when the airline is at fault." Is WN at fault in such a case?
The whole page is just informational. There is no CFR cite because there is no Rule which would require a refund if one agrees to a contract which permits the carrier the option.

It's still going to come down to:

1. Attempt a refund. If successful, move on.
2. Attempt a chargeback. If succesful, move on.
3. Small claims court. A likely loss.
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Old Mar 21, 20, 5:03 pm
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I agree with Often1. You are going to lose and the judges are not going to look at the consumer favorably given the emergency and the CoC you agreed to. The CoC absolutely protects Southwest Airlines. See case 17-15896 Jean Shrem v. Southwest Airlines Co on a similar case where the CoC is unfair with the expiration date of funds not being reset with a new reservation. There is a youtube video of the appeal from the plaintiff and you can watch the arguments from each side. Then you can Google the result which was in favor of Southwest.

The fact that you used nonrefundable travel funds (WN funny money) rather than fresh credit card funds make your case even worse with regards to a chargeback. The credit card transaction with the original flight was done when you received the WN funny money.

Last edited by jmw; Mar 21, 20 at 5:09 pm
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Old Mar 22, 20, 6:00 pm
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Mexican border is not closed. Only closed to nonessential and leisure travel. Other airlines are still flying. Southwestís decision to cancel flights was a business decision.

I canít fault their business decision but part of the calculus should have been refunding previously booked travel.
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Old Mar 23, 20, 7:45 pm
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Iím in the same boat with a flight that was supposed to depart PLS tommorrow. The airport is closing and AA, UA, DL, and B6 are still departing tomorrow as scheduled. WN canceled their flight.

Since they chose to cancel when they could have still flown, I should receive a refund to my card (it was purchased fully by card). After 3 conversations and 2 call backs today they refuse to refund.

Also, I find it strange that even though the flight was canceled itís still in my account as if itís an active flight. They have not auto issued the credit and said I have to manually cancel (even though the flight is canceled) before the departure time or Iíll get nothing.
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