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Southwest & credit rules

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by Joe, Dec 2, 2013.

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  1. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

    Sep 11, 2009
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    I know we have many seasoned SWA travelers on the board and they know all the rules about rebooking, so this is for the newbies.

    Back in June, I booked Vegas for Christmas and I used credits from a flight that went down in price on February 22, 2013. It was a $40 credit.

    Today, the return flight on Christmas Day dropped $50, so I went to rebook the same flight at the lower price. Great, except my new $50 credit expires in Feb 22, 2014 because even though it was booked in June, the expiration on this confirmation number goes back to the original credit date in Feb.

    I got the $50 credit, good until Feb 22nd, but I already have Feb Vegas booked and you can't apply credits to an already booked trip.

    Unlike SWA vouchers which can be used by other people, not just the name of the ticket holder, credits can only be used by the named ticket holder.

    If it was a $100 credit, I'd be tempted to add a January trip somewhere, but not for $50.

    Hopefully, this is some useful info about how the SWA system works and I didn't make it too confusing.
  2. Suekel

    Suekel VIP Whale

    Mar 11, 2010
    Central TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Although I consider myself a SW veteran, this is an angle I'd not thought of before, so I appreciate the heads up!! I frequently book and then re-book when prices drop, using the credit later, so it will be valuable to keep this in mind.
  3. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

    Apr 5, 2009
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Yes it's true, any time you apply travel funds to a booking, now your whole booking carries the oldest expiration date.


    You booked confirmation A on January 1, 2013 for a flight whenever.
    A month later, you rebook it and save $20 which goes into travel funds under Confirmation A.

    In July, you book a new trip, Confirmation B. The fare is $200. You apply the $20 in travel funds from Confirmation A, and pay $180 on your credit card.

    A month later, you find a better fare for trip B and rebook and save $50. $50 goes into travel funds. It's associated with Confirmation B, but it carries the expiration date of Jan 1, 2014. You have to use it for a flight that departs by/on Jan 1, 2014.

    It gets even more complicated when you cancel a trip. Let's say you booked something for $200 and cancelled it. Then you find a flight for $150 and use travel funds for that and have $50 left. Then you apply that $50 to yet another flight. Now your travel funds are spread across the two new flights, and all of the money tied up in both of those new flights expires on Jan 1.

    Or the worst case would be you have that $50 travel funds sitting around all year and you get to the end of the year and book a $200 flight for December and apply that $50, and then for some reason you can't go. When you applied the $50, now you have to make that flight by Jan 1, or you lose the whole $200.

    I fly infrequently enough so that I try to cover all the bases as far as departure and return dates, weather contingencies, etc, so I make sure I get there when I want. I often end up doing multiple re-bookings and I end up keeping track of everything in a spreadsheet.

    Southwest does have a page where you can go to see all your available travel funds and their expiration dates, but you have to plug in the confirmation numbers. You should really just be able to log into your account and see them all without plugging in confirm #s.
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