When the coronavirus pandemic started to get bad back in March, airlines were scrambling to adjust to the new environment. Since Southwest Airlines had a very liberal change and cancellation policy to begin with, they didn’t need to act as fast as some of the other airlines. If you canceled a ticket because you didn’t want to fly due of COVID-19, you’d get a credit to be used for a future flight (and Southwest has since extended the life of those credits until September 2022).
One fee that Southwest wasn’t initially refunding if you canceled your flight was for EarlyBird seating. That money was just gone. Sorry.
Southwest realized that this was a bad look in terms of public relations and announced at the beginning of April that you could ask for a refund of the money paid for EarlyBird for any flight you canceled between March 1 and May 31, 2020. If Southwest cancels your flight, you’re always entitled to a refund for EarlyBird.
I didn’t think anything of this until a reader emailed us and said they recently canceled a Southwest flight because of quarantine requirements where they were set to travel. When they asked for a refund for EarlyBird fees, Southwest is again saying these are non-refundable.
All EarlyBird Check-In purchases are nonrefundable. Customers who cancel their flight will forfeit the funds they used to purchase EarlyBird Check-In.
In the event that we cancel a flight, Southwest will refund the cost of any EarlyBird Check-Ins purchased.
If you’re just changing a flight on Southwest, the EarlyBird fees will stay with the reservation. If you cancel and rebook a new flight, then you’ll lose the money you paid.
It was a nice gesture for Southwest to refund EarlyBird fees for three months if you wanted to cancel a flight. While more people are flying right now, Southwest knows that there are concessions they need to make, such as blocking middle seats until the end of October. I just can’t understand why refunding EarlyBird fees is the line in the sand that they’re no longer willing to cross.
#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands #wearamask
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary