Is this enough compensation? “Very disappointed” by Southwest – so they sent me a voucher

Photo of author

By Christopher Elliott

I‘ve already written about Southwest’s new restrictions on credits. Well, passengers haven’t exactly warmed to them and other policy changes.

Nicole Watson say she’s “very disappointed” by the new rules.

“I have a few credits on Southwest and was hoping to let a family member use them in order to make it to my wedding,” she says. “I went to book the flight, only to realize Southwest changed their policy without any notification — even to their Rapid Rewards members.”

Really? Even to their frequent passengers? (Yep, I checked my Rapid Rewards correspondence — nada.)

But Watson’s credit headaches don’t end there.

She writes,

The most frustrating problem occurred just last week when I was trying to use these credits to book myself a flight.

I have two smaller amount credits which expire at the end of October and one larger amount credit expiring in April. When I was trying to book my round-trip flight to LAX at the end of October, the website continued to pull all the money from the April credits. I tried booking it every which way and got very frustrated.

Fareportal’s portfolio of brands includes CheapOair and OneTravel. We are dedicated to helping customers enjoy their trip. Whether you want to call, click, or use one of our travel apps, one thing is clear: We make it easy to take it easy.

Yeah, I’d be frustrated, too.

All efforts to fix the problem ended in failure. She tried calling the airline, but was told there was no way to override the system. She asked for a manager but was told there was “nothing further” they could do to help her.

How very un-Southwest of them. (Here’s our guide to booking an airline ticket.)

Watson tried emailing the airline, but it sent her a form response saying it couldn’t help.

In the end, I booked my round trip flights separately, in order to use all my October credits on one half and part of my April credits on the return flight.

Because time had lapsed from when I first attempted to book the flights, the cost of the flights went up by $40!

I had to pay more money out of my pocket to cover the rest of the cost of the flight to LAX, which I find ridiculous because Southwest already has hundreds of my dollars in the form of the April credit, but because of a system error, I could not use my own funds. Plus I now have more credits left-over that expire in April.

In order not to lose my money I’ve already invested in Southwest, I have to take another trip before April.

Well, they sure aren’t making it easy for her.

My advocacy team and I contacted Southwest on her behalf to see if it could help. Much to its credit, the airline responded immediately with an apology, a $50 voucher and an offer to extend her April voucher.

Watson is OK with that.

“Something is better than nothing,” she told me. “I just think Southwest needs to look into changing their system on how customers and their phone agents can book using the credits.”

Photo of author

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter. He is based in Panamá City.

Related Posts