Buried on page 7 of a 36 page document is a change that Southwest quietly implemented on September 13th.
If you don’t check in within 10 minutes of your flight, you lose ALL of your funds. No exceptions.
I found this out the hard way at the ticket counter in Portland International Airport. So I asked my helpful friends at Fancy Hands to chase it.
And they gave it a shot.
Because this policy was only 12 days old, I figured Southwest would understand. So we escalated it to Customer Relations.
But after 25.9 minutes, Rebecca said no.
As someone who flies 3-4 times a week, my strategy has been to book in advance to lock in the low fares, but then cancel with no penalty on Southwest.
Southwest is famous for no cancellation fees, which other airlines offer only to premium tier customers. So if I had forgotten to modify one of the upcoming flights, the miles or dollars would not refund, but just revert back to my account.
In this case, I accidentally booked this flight twice, not having realized that I had already booked it in advance. So trying to cancel it a couple hours after departure time, was a no-go.
Southwest ticket counter agents assured me that if I had read the 36 page contract of carriage document carefully, I would have realized this change from 12 days prior to my flight.
I’m still a loyal customer of Southwest, since one failure is not enough to erase the years of great service they’ve provided me.
I love them so much, I even wrote a blog post about my love a year ago.
Do you think their loyalty system is smart enough to reward loyalty beyond just the public tier system? Their stock symbol is LUV.
For certain, Southwest folks are reading this blog post, so it will be interesting to see what action they take here. I’ll keep you posted on what they do or don’t do.
Were I Southwest, I’d give one of their top customers some leniency on a first-time effort just days after a new policy change.