Flight Credit Ripoff and then hide behind some policy that is written to be gray or unclear. I got a flight credit to my SWA account in Sept 2006 for a flight change. No problem, one year to use that credit was the policy. No policy notice at that time that I had now locked in my credits over the next 12 months to this Sept 2006 to Sept 2007 deadline or sunset on this credit.
May 2007, need to fly so selected SWA as I had the credits. Booked flights online for about $700 total. Applied the $200 credit I had from Sept 2006 and then paid for the remainder $500 on credit card. Good to go.
Two weeks later had to change flights. Canceled $700 in flights and got new flights on SWA. Cost of new flights, $620. Applied $700 credits, $200 from Sept 2006 and $500 from May 2007. Flights booked and got credit for $80.
THIS IS WHERE THE SWA RIPOFF begins - My understanding in Sept 2006 was I had a credit for $200 that expired in Sept 2007 and that even if I booked a flight later on using this $200 credit would still expire in Sept 2007, no problem. Went to book a flight in Nov 2007 and expected to use the $80 credit. My thought was the $200 credit from Sept 2007 along with $420 of my money in May 2007 had been used to by the $620 tickets in May 2007. WAS I WRONG.
After talking with SWA Customer Service today, Dec 3 2007 I was told the following with no exception.
1. When I booked the first tickets in May 2007, then all of my money was not set to expire based on the dates of the $200 credit from Sept 2007. All of my money expired in Sept 2007 including the $80.
2. During the discussion with SWA customer service at the chairmans office or so I was told, I was told that if I had a $10 credit on my account set to expire one week from now and then bought $1000 in tickets today using my credit card, that all $1010 would now expire in one week. This would mean that if I were to cancel the $1010 flights that I would have to use all $1010 as a credit within one week or they were gone.
3. SWA did jab me a little by saying that for customer service they would gladly let me extend the expired date on my $80 credit by paying a $50 fee to add time to the date. Understand now this is standard policy.
4. BEWARE of SWA POLICY on CREDITS - Once you have a credit on account, all tickets and use of that credit are backdated even if the credit is a very small or insignificant part of a later purchase price. This is simply a RIPOFF policy.
5. All SWA airlines should do is give a 12 month window to expire on any credits based on the date SWA receives the money.
TALK ABOUT a RIPOFF POLICY.
IT may be embedded in some online policy or pop up notice but it never clearly states the impact of what is going on with the old credit dates now becoming the expiration date for all credits. Either way this is a very poor customer service policy. The oldest voucher or credit should be used up first and then new credits should have their own 12 month life.
Based on the amount of travel I have done with SWA over the past 15 years including some years with 100+ flights, I can only say it is time to look elsewhere.
Not a legal person but this could have Class Action potential written all over it.