• Report: #1122904
Complaint Review:

Southwest Airlines No Show Policy

  • Submitted: Tue, February 11, 2014
  • Updated: Tue, February 11, 2014

  • Reported By: David — Los Angeles California
Southwest Airlines No Show Policy
2702 Love Field Drive Dallas, Texas USA

Southwest Airlines No Show Policy I am so disappointed in what was one of my favorite companies Dallas Texas

*Author of original report: Southwest Policy Change

*Consumer Comment: Everybody has exceptional circumstances.

*Consumer Comment: What makes you so special??

*Consumer Comment: There's a reason they had to implement the policy...

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I had to fly earlier to my destination with my daughter on another carrier and we did not cancel the flight reservation with Southwest scheduled for the next morning.   I usually always cancel the reservation, but there were some exceptional circumstances.   When I went to reuse the credit with Southwest, they informed me they had changed their policy 3 months earlier and my funds were lost.    I told them I had not been notified of the change and I requested a one time exception.   The informed me that the finance department had instructed customer service that there would be no exceptions.   The customer service person was generally sympathetic and you could tell she was disappointed in her company and that this wasn't Herb's Southwest any longer.     I have flown this airline for thirty years having grown up in Houston and I cannot believe how I was treated as a long term customer over what was a non-cash item for them.

Yes their is language in the fine print about the no show policy.   However, this is such a departure from a business practice which has been a basis upon which why many people contract with Southwest, that it should have been called out more specifically in some communication to customers.   If Sears stopped accepting returns would it be adequate for them just to put it in the fine print.   This was fundamental to why you buy your airline tickets with Southwest.   I am very upset about this.   I have a sense of fair and what's not fair and their unwillingness to not make an exception over some transition period to those customers who were not adequately informed of the change still shocks me.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/11/2014 06:21 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/southwest-airlines-no-show-policy/dallas-texas/southwest-airlines-no-show-policy-i-am-so-disappointed-in-what-was-one-of-my-favorite-com-1122904. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Author of original report

Southwest Policy Change

AUTHOR: David - ()

Last year Starbucks changed the benefits under their frequent customer plan whereby they eliminated free syrup in your drink for customers with Starbucks loyalty cards.     They sent out emails entitled Important Announcement to make customers aware of the change.    This is what Southwest should have done to announce such a significant change in policy and practice.    Also, I do not seek an exception only for myself, but for all who were not adequately notified of the change.   There should of (could of) been a transition period where exceptions were made for customers who were not aware.    I am not going to argue why I did not cancel my flight, there was a personal situation involved and frankly that is not relevant.    What is relevant is that a long standing practice was discontinued with inadequate notification.   Also, I agree where I grew up is not relevant.   The only reason I mention it is that if you flew Southwest in those days when it flew between Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, etc., you have a strong feeling for the roots of this airline.    

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#2 Consumer Comment

Everybody has exceptional circumstances.

AUTHOR: Robert - ()

There is NO RipOff here, except perhaps by the passengers like you who think that they are special and took advantage of this policy and caused Southwest to change their policy.  Contrary to your amazing ability to get into Southwest's Finances, No-Shows are NOT a "no cost item" for them.  So if no longer giving credit to people who just fail to contact them BEFORE their flight is going to keep costs down for everyone else then more power to them. 

Oh and why if you are such a "loyal" Southwest Passenger did you have to fly on a different airline?  Why didn't you call them up BEFORE your flight and have them change because unlike other airlines that could have up to a $300 change fee, all you have to do with Southwest is pay the difference in the fare. 

 If Sears stopped accepting returns would it be adequate for them just to put it in the fine print.

- Invalid comparison.  Southwest did not stop accepting returns, they just stopped accepting them if you failed to "return" the flight before a certain time, which has been a policy of just about every retailer for decades. But to answer the question more directly..YES it would be totally adequate as it is not practical or expected that they take extra measures to notify everyone of their policy when ever someone buys something.


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#3 Consumer Comment

What makes you so special??

AUTHOR: Stacey - ()

Please who cares where you grew up?? This is the policy and you have to respect that.  If you company stated that they were changing policies about travel, reimbursements or other entities would you throw big fit?

 Southwest starts ‘no show’ policy


Southwest Airlines’ passengers can no longer skip a flight without penalty.

Welcome to the airline’s new “no show” policy.

Under rules that began Friday, travelers must use, change or cancel nonrefundable fares at least 10 minutes before departure or lose the value of the entire ticket. That includes unused legs of a trip and the return flight.

“It’s in the customers’ control,” Southwest spokesman Brad Hawkins. “They just have to let us know.”

Until now, Southwest passengers faced no penalty for missing a flight. It still doesn’t charge high change fees — up to $450 per person — like many other airlines.

The number of passengers who don’t show up for a Southwest flight is “a minority of customers, but some people do it habitually,” Hawkins said.

The new policy will help the Dallas-based airline better predict available seats, reduce the number of empty seats on flights and keep core fares low, he said. Southwest announced the change in April.

It won’t make much of a different for Barry Conroe, chief technology officer of a staffing company in Dallas who flies three times a month on Southwest and Fort Worth-based American Airlines. He still thinks Southwest has one of the best overall fee policies “hands down” among airlines.

“I’m in Denver flying standby on American and it’s $75, but on Southwest I can change at a moment’s notice for no fee,” Conroe said Friday. “That is a huge discriminator on a positive side for Southwest.”

Debbie Davis, a travel agent for AAA Texas in Dallas, has received no customer complaints about Southwest’s new policy so far, but it just started.

“My experience in 10 years as a travel agent, mostly everyone calls us to cancel,” Davis said. “Southwest’s policy is no show, so as long as you cancel ahead of time you’re OK.”

Southwest’s new policy affects tickets bought on or after May 10. It excludes military fares, senior fares or travel during certain unusual situations, such as bad weather.

Customers who cancel nonrefundable fares before departure can reuse those funds toward future Southwest travel. And customers with refundable, round-trip fares can request a refund or hold funds for future travel.

Follow Sheryl Jean on


The per-person fee charged by major airlines to change a nonrefundable fare:

Southwest Airlines — No fee, but if travelers don’t use, change or cancel an unused ticket before departure, they’ll lose the value of the entire fare.

American Airlines* — $75-$200 for changes made before the travel day or up to $75 for same-day changes.

US Airways — $150-$450

Delta Air Lines* — $150-$300 and up to $50 for same-day changes.

United Airlines* — $200-$300 and up to $75 for some same-day changes.

*Fee varies depending on location and type of ticket; some fares carry no

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#4 Consumer Comment

There's a reason they had to implement the policy...

AUTHOR: Ken - ()

" had to fly earlier to my destination with my daughter on another carrier and we did not cancel the flight reservation with Southwest scheduled for the next morning.  "

You and too many others did this to them too many times and the airlines operate on a razor thin margin.

Get over yourself, they did nothing wrong.  They are NOT obligated to tell each and every person about the policy if it's their policy..wouldn't that be a little impractical?


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