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Southwest Airlines travel fund question (delimma)

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by bruceb, Dec 3, 2015.

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  1. bruceb

    bruceb Tourist

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    Here is some background. In April 2015, I booked a round trip CLE to LAS at 214 r/t for wife and I.
    Frontier then offered (and continues to do so) very cheap airfare from CVG. I thought, no problem, cancel the
    Southwest tickets and we have a year to fly southwest.

    Now the problem, during 2015, I managed to accumulate over 110,000 reward pts and now have a companion pass
    for the remainder of 2015 and 2016.

    I am trying to still get value from the $418 in the travel fund.
    The only solutions I have come up with is:
    (1) Use travel fund $$$ to purchase one way to or from vegas and use miles for the other leg (for wife and me) and
    initially name a friend or relative as my companion (since it can be changed) and take a friend/relative to vegas with us.

    (2) Just wife and I go to vegas, using travel fund $ for one of my tickets and miles for the other and companion pass her (kissing $214 away,
    but being proud that I/we have a companion pass for the year.

    Are there any options that I am unaware of so that I can receive some value from the travel fund $$, the amounts are $214 ea in wife and my names,
    expire April 4, 2016.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions,

    Bruce
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2015
    20th anniversay trip
  2. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    You'll have to book an extra trip.
     
  3. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    Use your travel fund money for your next trip, since that expires in April.
    Your reward points are good basically forever & your companion pass is good through 2016.
    So, the trick will be to get that companion pass used before the end of 2016.

    As shifter points out, what this really looks like is an obvious opportunity for an extra trip in 2016!!
    :beer:
     
    Finally have the room booked! Look for me Feb 21-23
  4. bruceb

    bruceb Tourist

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    Unless I am confused, the companion pass is good for the entire year (unlimitied flights). So if the wife and I go, she would fly for free using the companion pass for every trip during 2016.
    There is no need to use the travel fund $$ to purchase a ticket for her, and I can only use the travel fund $$ in her name to purchase a ticket in her name, correct?

    bruce
     
    20th anniversay trip
  5. npom

    npom High-Roller

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    I wish I had your problem!
     
  6. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    then it sounds like (1) is the best value.
     
  7. powersof10

    powersof10 Tourist

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    Coincidentally my wife and I had this same scenario with travel funds in her name and my companion pass good through 2016. Your option 1 sounds good but what we did was use the companion pass whenever possible and delayed the use of the travel funds until they were about to expire in case there was a necessary flight she'd be taking without me. (There's really no point in spending the travel fund $ on a flight she would get for free with you and some unknown circumstance might happen where she might need to fly without you.) My wife did eventually book a solo flight but in case you don't need to I've read it's possible to extend the expiration using slightly disingenuous means. Supposedly you can use the travel funds to book a flight before the expiration but then cancel it and the "new" travel funds expiration will reset to the future date. However you would need to book a non-wanna get away fare as they have different cancellation policies. Haven't tried it personally so you may want to do your own research.
     
  8. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Best answers for this are in the southwest forum at flyertalk.com

    BUT your wife still has to pay basic security fee for each trip. And, if she wants early checkin, that is another cost to dwindle down the balance. Also, if you opt to fly to some intl destinations, the ticket may be free, but you have extra taxes in the $40 range.

    But - do not waste the money on a trip that would be free.
     
  9. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    Not sure why, but I was always under the impression that the 'companion pass' can only used in combination with a paid-fare....not with 'reward travel'.

    If that's the case, take one flight under your wife's travel-fund dollars & you use the companion pass, and then take another with your roles reversed.

    Now, if companion passes can only be used as your companion, then you're stuck using it for a third person.

    What about this:
    Book a one-way to Vegas for yourself, using your travel fund $$...book the wife with the companion pass.
    Then, have her book a one-way return flight using her travel fund $$ & you use points for yours.

    You would use up the travel fund dollars and not be out any cash at all.
     
    Finally have the room booked! Look for me Feb 21-23
  10. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    There is no valid reason for her to use her travel fund dollars - she flies free as a companion. The "lead" person can pay with either dollars, points, or his OWN travel-funds.

    Why would she use travel fund $ when she flies free?
     
  11. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    Well, you're right, of course...as I posted, I thought that a companion ticket only applied with an actual cash fare ticket as the primary. I was not aware that it applied to reward travel.
    In any event, it makes no difference...she'll lose her travel fund dollars when the year is up, so 6 of one, half-dozen of the other...
     
    Finally have the room booked! Look for me Feb 21-23
  12. bruceb

    bruceb Tourist

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    Thanks for the tip. Found some more info.
    bruce

    - - - Updated - - -

    That is the goal.
    bruce
     
    20th anniversay trip
  13. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    But, at least wait. You never know if there might be situation where she might fly SOLO at the last minute. If the money is gone, it is gone. Caput. Gone. I would rather it go unused.

    (edited - I had used December, but funds expire before that- oops)
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2015
  14. bruceb

    bruceb Tourist

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    From what I found on flyertalk.com and southwest.com, this does not work, as the ttf resets to the original date.
    bruce
     
    20th anniversay trip
  15. bruceb

    bruceb Tourist

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    One thing that I did find that may help others is that you can convert ttf to a luv voucher after they expire.
    There is a $100 deduction from the ttf and the luv voucher is valid for 6 months from issue date.
    You can wait up to 6 months after the ttf expiration date to do this, so it looks like this is my plan (for wife's ttf).
    Expires in April, wait until October to convert to luv voucher and have until March 2017 to use the luv voucher.

    bruce
     
    20th anniversay trip
  16. powersof10

    powersof10 Tourist

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    Good to know, thanks for reporting back.
     
  17. DRich2

    DRich2 Tourist

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    Can the travel funds be applied to hotels booked through Southwest.com? If not, use the travel funds for your wife's ticket and use the companion pass to bring along your girlfriend too.
     
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