The past two years have been filled with turmoil in the world of air travel. The pandemic resulted in many flights being cancelled and flight credits were issued for future travel. However, aging flight credit is not always as simple as it seems. This was due to the continued pandemic challenges in air travel and other obstacles. In this summer of chaos in air travel, travelers may have more flight credits than they need or not ready to fly yet. Those flight credits may soon expire if they aren't already.
This is no longer an issue for Southwest Airlines flight credit that have not expired or were created after July 28, 2022. It was described by the carrier as a "first of its kind policy" among major U.S. carriers and has eliminated all expiration dates on Southwest flight credit going forward.
The new policy won't benefit anyone whose Southwest flight credit expired before July 28th, but it will help some pandemic-era credits which were due to be null and void by September.
Southwest had a large pile of COVID travel money, especially from the early COVID period where there were many changes. They were due to expire in September. Southwest's vice-president of investor relations Ryan Martinez stated this during Southwest's quarterly earnings call earlier in the week.
Investors were told by the airline executive that although there would be an additional cost to the policy, they believe the return will be in customer loyalty and satisfaction.
It matches perfectly with bags free of charge, no change fees, rapid rewards points that never expire, and all the other benefits that Southwest Airlines offers. It's an amazing added benefit. It's going to help me win more customers, improve customer loyalty, and retention. This is just like how bags fly free for us." Martinez said.
Customers who have flight credits in Southwest accounts can apply the new flexible flight credit policy to all valid flight credits. As the carrier updates its technology systems to remove expiration dates from flight credits, Southwest customers will see a placeholder expiration date on December 31, 2040.
Southwest policy states that flight credits for non-refundable fares are available as long as reservations are cancelled at least 10 minutes before departure.
Customers who purchased Wanna Get Away Plus or Anytime tickets can transfer their flight credit to another person as long as they are Rapid Rewards members. This type of transfer can be made up to 12 months after the booking date.
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