• Report: #779184
Complaint Review:

Southwest Airlines

  • Submitted: Tue, September 20, 2011
  • Updated: Mon, January 28, 2013

  • Reported By: JF — Portland Oregon United States of America
Southwest Airlines
Dallas, Texas United States of America

Southwest Airlines Refund / "Travel Funds" loophole scam Dallas, Texas

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: This is ripe for scamming

*General Comment: Southwest Airlines ripoff

*Consumer Comment: It is Not a Scam

REBUTTAL BOX™ | Respond to this Report! | Consumer Comment

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I purchased a ticket for a passenger other than myself last week, using my credit card billing info.  Approximately 2 days later, I requested a cancellation and for Southwest to apply them to an internal "travel funds" account that I could access to book future travel.  This is all accessible via their website and previously had been very easy and hassle free.

After cancelling the flight and attempting to rebook, I was prompted (online) that I cannot change the passengers name on the flight...even though it was all along my credit card info and Southwest is out absolutely zero dollars!  Further there is no difference whether I fly, she were to fly, or if I bought the fare for someone else as it's a designated "seat" that I'm buying, not the person.  

I am not requesting that I be refunded the amount of the purchase in cash/check, but simply to apply it to future travels on Southwest.  I understand their business must operate on guaranteed revenue and thus my reasoning for not asking for a direct refund, but simply a credit towards flights that I can use.  Under the current policy, I have no plans whatsoever of booking a flight again for this particular person nor do I have any recourse of recovering the funds from her for the ticket - thus Southwest is, in my opinion, unfairly "holding" nearly $500 that will never be used in the future.

I explained the situation to the customer service line on 9/20/11, who elevated me to customer relations in Dallas.  After holding and recalling for approximately 1.5 hrs, I was basically told "too bad" and they couldn't care less that I paid for the ticket and desired a refund.  I also wrote their corporate office but received an auto-reply message basically stating they may or may not get back to me.

Please feel free to contact me in regard to specific questions or if I did not provide adaquate clarity.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/20/2011 06:19 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/southwest-airlines/dallas-texas-/southwest-airlines-refund-travel-funds-loophole-scam-dallas-texas-779184. 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 REBUTTAL Individual responds

This is ripe for scamming

AUTHOR: Nick - ()

This is not the same policy as other airlines.   Refunds or credits are generally usable by the purchaser of the ticket.  Southwest's policy is different in that the owner of the original funds no longer has rights to their own money.  Here's an example:

With Southwest I got screwed because I bought a ticket for my Father to come vist while my mother watched my sister's pets.  As the day approached my father got the flu and no longer wanted to travel.  So I wanted to reuse the funds that I paid for on my own credit card to purchase a now more expensive ticket for my Mother.  Southwest would not allow me to use the funds for my Father's cancelled ticket for my Mother's ticket.  The money used on my father's ticket was lost as he was not able to fly within the 12 month period of the original purchase date.

This policy has been taken advantage of by others who ask their "friends" to buy a tciket for them under the premise of paying them back later using an excuse that their internet is down and they can't buy the ticket themselves (for whatever reason).  The person who's name is on the ticket can then cancel the ticket and reuse the funds that the other person paid for.  The orignal buyer can no longer access the money or funds charged to their own credit card.

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#2 General Comment

Southwest Airlines ripoff

AUTHOR: John Nettles Sr. - (United States of America)

I was so mad after reading your rip off report that I had to write you a reply and let you know your not alone.
I to have had this deceptive business practice happen to me to.
 I pre planed a birthday surprise for the wife to Phoenix Arizona,  on a over booked flight out of MDW airport for the CUBS spring training game!
They never have been worth with seeing!
I planned it a month in advance (never do this again) and a week before it came time to go the wife knew something was up,
She told me she couldn't go, Oh #*^$ ok I'll cancel, like I said it was a over booked flight, they always are for Phoenix for spring training for the Cubs,
Spring training (idiot fans haven't figured that the Cubs are owned by the Riketts family one of the largest contributors to the political super packs) and thats another story!
Well Southwest told me that I will have a 400 dollar credit and for the wife will as well.
 OK how does that work, at a later time when you fly again you can use Southwest sounds like your playing with my money and it's a rip off but ok, I guess I can live with that!
 Since then I have moved to New Mexico and wanted one of my kids to come see me, nope that can't happen he can't fly on your credit, excuse me thats my F*(#ing money that your playing with, and I'll fly my family any where I want, but it's never going to be with Southwest and if I ever meet the guy Herb that ownes this worthless company, we are going to have a meeting of the minds like he has never had in his life!
 I'll most likely be going to jail for speaking my mind! I drove a truck for thirty years,and I have even saved a few lives along the way,but now a days I have to think twice about doing the right thing,and if I ever see Herb in a burning car,Ill block traffic so no one can get to him,unless it's the Ricketts family driving a leaking gas truck!
And before I go their isn't enough money to recoup you losses in a class action law suit,because their will be to many calms,I want to give you my e-mail address so bad but this is a public post, their has to be a way to forward it to you,and yes rip off has my permission to give it to you,I really want to do something about rip-offs I have a whole list, 
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#3 Consumer Comment

It is Not a Scam

AUTHOR: Karl - (U.S.A.)

Regardless of who pays for a ticket the ticket is issued and is in the computor for a specific  passenger. If you or the passenger cancels the flight, the money is kept by the airline and applied to a future trip within a year of the time that you purchased the ticket by the passenger whose name is on the ticket.

If you wanted to get a refund for your friend's ticket you would have paid a greater ticket price for a refundable ticket. and in that case the person who bought the ticket would get his or her money back.

This is not just Southwest's rule. All airlines have the same policy and it came from security concerns.

Southwest, however, does not charge a fee to cancel a ticket or change a flight. Other airlines do.
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