Over a third (more than 3,000 of them) of Southwest’s flights were cancelled over Columbus Day weekend, ruining travel plans for thousands upon thousands of passengers.
Whatever the cause(s) of the problem, Southwest messed up big time, and they know it. Of course, they’re required by law to give either a full refund or flight credit, as per each passenger’s choice. However in an act of good will, they’re currently emailing passengers vouchers for future flights, above and beyond those refunds/credits.
“You matter to us,” said one such email that promised a $250 voucher. “We hope this LUV Voucher will allow our paths to cross again soon so we can have a better experience.”
“We know things didn’t go as planned when traveling,” another one began. “We’re so sorry for the disappointment this disruption caused and want a chance to make it up to you.” That one said they would send a $100 voucher.
Southwest isn’t saying exactly how they’re determining who gets which size voucher, but an airline representative suggested it was based on how much inconvenience each passenger had – a mixture of how long their delay was in getting to their intended destination, specifics about their reaccommodation options, etc. According to USA Today, passengers who had frequent flyer status or who had complained to the airline on Twitter appeared to be getting higher-value vouchers.
Of course, for some, a Luv Voucher still doesn’t touch the cost some people had to pay to get to where they were going. Last-minute flights on alternate airlines, on top of unexpected hotel and restaurant expenses, on top of upwards of 2 or 3 day delays were usually worth significantly more than the cost of the voucher.
Southwest Airlines left me stranded in NYC and it cost me $1475 for that one night. Thank God for Delta airlines for getting me back to Dallas. What did SWA give me a lousy $150 voucher. I want my out of pocket cover for your scheduling debacle.
— Kristin Gammill (@kristin_gammill) October 13, 2021
@SouthwestAir I do not want $150 voucher , I want to be reimbursed full airfare and my non refundable hotel expenses that went unused because of Southwest’s blunders and my unused park tickets for Magic Kingdom and Universal also non refundable. $150 travel voucher is a joke.
— rich g (@GRngbubbies97) October 13, 2021
Have you been contacted by Southwest for compensation? We only have received a $150 voucher for being stranded 3 days.
— Sabina Horrocks (@SabbyHorrocks) October 12, 2021
So yeah…Southwest’s Luv Vouchers won’t make up for a lot of peoples’ costs. But they’re still a nice gesture.
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