Southwest is one of the most popular airlines in the US, partly because it offers a generous cancellation and flight change policy. Depending on the ticket you purchase, you may receive travel money instead of a cash refund in the event your flight schedules change.
Here’s how to use travel money in the Southwest and what you need to know about their policies, including the process.
What to Know Before Using Travel Money in the Southwest
How do you get travel money?
Thanks to its toll-free change policy southwest issues travel money when you cancel your flight or when you rebook your cash flight on a flight that costs less. Cancellations must be made at least 10 minutes before departure. The refund policy depends on the category of ticket you purchased. Business selection, Anytime or want to leave.
Business Select and Anytime tariffs offer the greatest flexibility, but also cost more than Wanna Get Away tariffs. When you book a Business Select or Anytime ticket, you have the option to receive travel money (a credit for canceled flights) or a cash refund to your original payment method.
On the other hand, Wanna Get Away fares offer the lowest prices. But if you have to cancel or Rebook a cheaper flightYour only choice is to receive travel money – cash refunds are not on the table.
If you cancel a ticket that was paid for with points rather than cash, your points will be refunded to your account without penalty. Taxes and fees paid for the award ticket will also be refunded. However, you have the option of receiving travel money or returning it to the original form of payment.
Where can you see what travel credit you have?
The Southwest used to require travelers to track travel funds using their old confirmation numbers. Now when you log into your Rapid Rewards loyalty account, your travel credit will appear at the top of the “My Account” screen.
All available travel credit is shown here, but no details are given. You must click “View Details” to see the balance of each Travel Fund reservation. Here you can find the expiration date and account balance for each reservation.
If you don’t have a Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards account, have booked a flight that doesn’t have your loyalty number attached, or don’t have travel credit from a special purchase ticket, you’ll need to track them manually. Signing up for a Rapid Rewards account is free.
Unfortunately, you cannot manually add travel credit to your profile. To manually track your travel balance, visit the “Check the travel expenses“Page on the Southwest website. You must provide the passenger’s first and last name and the confirmation number from the reservation. You can also use this page to check the balance of Southwest LUV vouchers and gift cards.
Will Southwest Travel Credit Expire?
Southwest travel credits don’t last forever – they typically expire 12 months after the original booking date.
If you book a new reservation with your travel credit, the original expiration date will still apply to the portion used on the new flight. If you cancel the new flight after the original expiration date, that portion of your original travel fund will expire and can no longer be used. In other words, your travel fund’s expiration clock won’t reset when you use it to book a new flight.
Nerdy tip: In cases where your travel money is tied up in a new reservation that is after the original expiration date, it is better to rebook your flight to a future date (while retaining the Eligibility of the Travel Fund) than to cancel the flight (which to do so leads) the travel fund has now expired).
Due to the coronavirus pandemic Many travel funds have been expanded by September 7, 2022. If you use any of the travel credits with this expiration date and then cancel or change a flight, the travel money refund now has an expiration date of 12 months from the date of purchase of the new ticket.
When using multiple payment methods (e.g. different reservations of travel credit, Southwest LUV voucher), the earliest expiration date of all payment methods is the new expiration date of the new travel credit.
What can I do if my travel credit has expired?
If your travel money has expired, according to the Southwest Community message boards, your only hope is to call Customer Service within six months of the expiration date and ask them to reinstate your travel balance as an LUV token. The LUV voucher is valid for six months from the date of your call. Southwest will charge $ 100 for this one-time extension and it will be deducted from your travel funds.
What can travel money be used for?
Southwest travel money can be used to book an available cash flight or to pay taxes and fees Award flights. They are treated like cash and can be used to pay some or all of the amount owed. If you do not use all of the travel credit to make a reservation, the remaining balance will be left for future use.
Who Can Use Southwest Travel Funds?
You may be wondering, “Are Southwest Travel Funds Transferable?” Unfortunately, not. Only the person who made the original reservation can use the travel credit. You may not use your travel money to book a flight for anyone else, nor can they book a flight for you.
4 steps to booking a flight with Southwest Travel Funds
Use your travel credit to book flights online, over the phone, or at a Southwest Airlines ticket office. In this figure we focus on booking a reservation online.
1. Have your original ticket confirmation number ready
Before booking a reservation, print or write down the reservation number (s) for the travel credit that you want to use. The Southwest website does not allow you to choose from a list while booking.
2. Browse and select your flights
During the booking process, you select your travel dates, cities and times as usual.
3. Pay with travel credit
When you arrive at the Passenger and Payment Information page, click to expand the Apply for Travel Money, LUV Coupons, and Gift Cards section. Enter the confirmation number of your travel money and your first and last name here before clicking “Apply Money”. Then continue the booking process as usual and pay the remaining amount with your preferred payment method, e.g. Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card.
Again, you can use your travel balance for cash fares or to pay taxes and fees for award tickets.
Keep in mind that travel money from other passengers may not be applied to your ticket.
4. Obtain confirmation, check process
After you have completed all of the required information and transferred the payment with your travel fund, you should see a confirmation email in your inbox.
If you haven’t used all of your travel funds’ value, keep an eye on the expiration date – you only have a limited amount of time to use the remaining dates. Don’t make the mistake of wasting unused funds.
The final result
Southwest Travel Credits are typically created when you cancel or change a Wanna Get Away reservation. They’ll be added to your account automatically when you add yours Quick rewards Reservation number before it is canceled. Most of these funds have an expiration date of 12 months, but some have been extended to September 7, 2022 due to COVID-19. You can use these funds to book cash or award travel. Any unused funds from your new reservation can be used on a future flight before they expire.
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