Before the advent of coronavirus, Southwest has always been one of the most altruistic airlines when it came to canceling flights. If you needed to cancel, you could, and if you paid cash for your ticket you’d receive a voucher that you could use within a year. Points would be redeposited to your account and the taxes paid refunded to your credit card.
Then COVID-19 hit and thousands of passengers were canceling their flights. Southwest was still willing to give vouchers (although not refunds like some airlines were doing but…). However, there was one thing that the airline never did and still wouldn’t do: if you had paid an EarlyBird fee (so you could get a better boarding position), their policy was that wasn’t ever refunded.
On the afternoon of Thursday, April 2, Southwest loosened its policy guidelines, at least for a little while.
The new policy states that passengers with travel dates between March 1 and May 31 who cancel their reservations can request a credit for what they paid in EarlyBird fees.
“The Southwest team prides itself on the hospitality we offer and our willingness to look at issues on a case-by-case basis to assist our customers,” said Southwest spokesman Brian Parrish. “We hope this new exception provides more flexibility for our customers who purchased EarlyBird but choose not to travel during these dynamic times. We look forward to welcoming each customer onboard another Southwest flight one day very soon.”
The voucher will be good for a year and is only good for the price of a future ticket, not for future EarlyBird fees. And if you paid for several peoples’ EarlyBird fees on one reservation, the voucher will be in the amount you paid (i.e., if you had 4 people in your party and paid $25 per person for their EarlyBird fee, you’ll get one voucher for $100, not four $25 vouchers).
The new policy is good for passengers who had already canceled flights and had been told they couldn’t get a refund for their EarlyBird fees, as well as those who cancel future flights for travel through May 31.
To receive a voucher, passengers can call Southwest reservations or customer relations at 855-234-4654, or they can email the airline.
#stayhealthy #stayathome #washyourhands
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary