It’s an airline industry first — airline funds that never expire!
No More Expiration Dates
Southwest Airlines will be the first major U.S. airline to offer travel credits with no expiration date. This new policy applies to credits that originally expired on July 28, 2022, or later — or any credit accrued after that date. The policy does not apply to funds that have already expired.
Southwest Airlines CEO Bob Jordan says the move is in line with the airlines’ customer service-based approach. “[It] aligns with the boldness of a philosophy to give our customers definitive simplicity and ease in travel, just like bags fly free, just like no change fees,” Jordan explains. “The more than 62,000 People at Southwest share a renewed pride in our unmatched access to flexibility that once again reshapes the landscape of Hospitality and value in the industry.”
Earning Airline Credit
In order to receive airline credit, you must cancel your flight at least 10 minutes before departure. For Southwest’s lowest fare — Wanna Get Away — you must use the travel credit. If you book one of the airline’s other three fare classes — including the new Wanna Get Away Plus — then you’ll be able to transfer the credit to someone else. It’s important to note that as the airline makes this switch, your flight credits will initially have an expiration date of December 31, 2040. But, don’t fret! The airline says the credits are valid indefinitely and hope to have software to display that by the end of this year.
Airlines have long had expiration dates on their flight credits, but the issue became heated at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Passengers forced to cancel their flights in 2022 complained of not being able to use their credits before their expiration date due to the ongoing worldwide pandemic. Some major U.S. airlines offered extensions to ease the complaints, but Southwest Airlines will be the first airline to offer an indefinite timeline.
“Introducing this change in our policy is part of a massive effort to improve the things that are most important to our customers,” explains Tony Roach, vice president of customer experience and engagement.
Other customer enhancement measures include the possibility of assigned seating on all Southwest flights.
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