That means you no longer have to worry about using that money on another flight within six months or even a year after a cancelled flight, whether it was cancelled by the airline, or by you.
for whatever reason.
The announcement by Southwest Airlines is first-of-its-kind policy and value among major U.S. airlines.
Here’s hoping the other majors jump on board with this passenger-friendly policy.
This additional flexibility applies to all currently valid, existing flight credits, with no action required. Beginning July 28, 2022, you will see a placeholder expiration date of December 31, 2040, on valid flight credits. That’s until the airline updates its software to remove expiration dates on flight credits entirely.
Note that this applies to tickets purchased on or after July 28, 2022.
Tickets purchased before the new policy was announced continue to have an expiration date of six months or one year, depending on the type of ticket you purchased.
More About Flight Refunds and Credits
According to the press release we received –
- Flight credits for non-refundable fares will be issued as long as the reservation is cancelled more than 10 minutes prior to the scheduled departure.
- Flight credits unexpired on, or created on or after July 28, 2022 do not expire and will show an expiration date (12/31/2040) until systems are updated.
- A flight credit with an expiration date on or before July 27, 2022, has expired in accordance with its existing expiration date.
- For passengers with a flight credit already in the bank, the new policy will apply to any new flight credit issued.
- See your Southwest frequent flyer My Account for flight credit expiration dates, if any.
Special Fares Information
In May 2022, the carrier began offering a new fare with more benefits, Wanna Get Away Plus™, and enhanced Anytime and Business Select® which offer a new ability to transfer flight credits to another member of the airline’s Rapid Rewards® Loyalty program.
- If you purchased one of these special fares, you can transfer the flight credit to someone else.
- Both of you must be Rapid Rewards Members, and only one transfer is permitted.
- The expiration date is up to 12 months from the date the ticket was booked.
- For bookings made through a Southwest™ Business channel, there is a limitation to transfer only between employees within the organization.
Southwest Airlines Perks
The ability to retain invested flight credits without expiration is another in a series of changes the airline is making to upgrade the passenger experience.
That includes enhanced WiFi, new in-seat power, larger overhead bins, and new self-service capabilities.
Find out more at Southwest.com/experience.
“The more than 62,000 People at Southwest share a renewed pride in our unmatched access to flexibility that once again reshapes the landscape of Hospitality and value in the industry,” said Bob Jordan, Chief Executive Officer, Southwest Airlines. “Flight credits don’t expire* aligns with the boldness of a philosophy to give our Customers definitive simplicity and ease in travel, just like Bags fly free, just like No change fees, just like Points don’t expire—they’re a first-in-our-industry combination of differentiators that only Southwest offers.”
“We recently announced more than two billion dollars in Customer experience improvements designed to enhance and simplify traveling with Southwest–and said then, we weren’t done,” said Ryan Green, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Southwest Airlines. “While other airlines eliminate benefits and value, today we’re enhancing our experience again. When Customers travel with Southwest, they receive ultimate flexibility that is unmatched in the industry. Bags fly free, there is never a fee to change or cancel your flight–and now, you don’t have to worry about your flight credits expiring before you can use them. We’ll be ready to serve you when you’re ready to fly.”
“We repeatedly leaned in during the pandemic to give our Customers more time to use their flight credits beyond a full year, which was our previous policy,” said Tony Roach, Vice President of Customer Experience & Engagement, Southwest Airlines. “Introducing this change in our policy is part of a massive effort to improve the things that are most important to our Customers.”
Southwest Airlines operates in 121 airports across 11 countries. 2021 was its 50th Anniversary.