Southwest’s extends Travel Funds due to Coronavirus, and it is quite generous

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Southwest is truly hitting it out of the park right now with offering the most customer friendly policies with the current Coronavirus pandemic. First, they announced that they are capping fares at $199, then they put a waiver in place allowing you to change any many flights booked for no fare increase, and now they are offering an extension for credits expiring. With Southwest Airlines, if you pay for a flight and need to cancel, although there are no cancelation fees ever, you’ll be left with a Travel Fund voucher. Typically, these vouchers expire 12 months from when the flight was booked. However, in this current time of need, Southwest is extending the expiration date of these funds!

Related: Up to 100,000 points with Southwest credit cards

a screenshot of a social media post

Southwest Travel Fund Extension Policy

If you have a travel fun that has expired or will expire between March 1 and May 31, 2020, those funds will now not expire until June 30, 2021. That gives you well over a year to use those funds — a policy I find extremely generous.

Related: Fly for free for 2020 and 2021 with the Southwest Companion Pass

Additionally, any newly created funds because of flight cancelations during that same time period, will be extended as well till the same date. For example, if you book a flight today for a departure date of August 1 and need to cancel on May 30, typically the Travel Fund will expire a year from today, so March 19, 2020. However, with the waiver in place, these funds will have a few month extension. (Note: The Travel Fund must be created by May 31, so make sure you cancel by that date — assuming it doesn’t get extended).


In my opinion, this is quite generous of Southwest Airlines, especially since it applies to previous and new Travel Fund credits generated. Keep in mind though, when you book with points, if you need to cancel, the points will always go back to your account and the taxes/fees paid back to the credit card used. This is why using Southwest points is amazing as it is truly a risk free reservation, where you can always change, cancel and re-price your flight for no fee.

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4 years ago

I don’t know if your example of canceling a flight booked now for August first is totally correct. It looks to me that the cancellation has to be made between March 1 and May 31. So if you book today for August 1 and cancel the flight after May 31, the policy wouldn’t apply. It looks to me like the policy applies to any existing travel funds that would otherwise expire between March 1 and May 31, 2020 and to any new travel funds due to a cancellation made during that same time frame (not necessarily for flights that would have been booked during that timeframe, just flights that you cancel in that timeframe). Can you verify or clarify? Thanks.

4 years ago

Overall, I like Southwest, but I understand I will lose the money I pay for Early Boarding if I cancel a flight booked with points.
(Which I will have to do because of a cancelled cruise.) Any exceptions to this or special considerations from them due to the current national emergency?

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