DALLAS – Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) today announced a first-of-its-kind policy and value among major U.S. airlines, eliminating expiration dates on all Southwest® flight credits unexpired on, or created on or after July 28, 2022*. This additional flexibility applies to all currently valid, existing flight credits, with no action required by Customers with flight credit in the bank, and will apply to any new flight credit issued. The ability to retain invested flight credits without expiration is another enhancement in a series of transformative upgrades underway in the experience Customers have in their relationship with Southwest, including enhanced WiFi, new in-seat power, larger overhead bins, and new self-service capabilities overviewed at Southwest.com/experience.
“The more than 62,000 People at Southwest share a renewed pride in our unmatched access to flexibility that once again reshapes the landscape of Hospitality and value in the industry,” said Bob Jordan, Chief Executive Officer, Southwest Airlines. “Flight credits don’t expire* aligns with the boldness of a philosophy to give our Customers definitive simplicity and ease in travel, just like Bags fly free, just like No change fees, just like Points don’t expire1—they’re a first-in-our-industry combination of differentiators that only Southwest offers.”
Beginning today, July 28, 2022, Southwest Customers will begin seeing a placeholder expiration date of December 31, 2040, on valid flight credits ahead of additional work later this year that will update technology systems to altogether remove expiration dates on flight credits.
“We recently announced more than two billion dollars in Customer experience improvements designed to enhance and simplify traveling with Southwest–and said then, we weren’t done,” said Ryan Green, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Southwest Airlines. “While other airlines eliminate benefits and value, today we’re enhancing our experience again. When Customers travel with Southwest, they receive ultimate flexibility that is unmatched in the industry. Bags fly free1, there is never a fee to change or cancel your flight–and now, you don’t have to worry about your flight credits expiring before you can use them. We’ll be ready to serve you when you’re ready to fly.”
“We repeatedly leaned in during the pandemic to give our Customers more time to use their flight credits beyond a full year, which was our previous policy,” said Tony Roach, Vice President of Customer Experience & Engagement, Southwest Airlines. “Introducing this change in our policy is part of a massive effort to improve the things that are most important to our Customers.”
In May, the carrier began offering a new fare with more benefits, Wanna Get Away Plus™, and enhanced Anytime and Business Select® fares to offer a new ability to transfer flight credits to another Member of the Rapid Rewards® Loyalty program2.
*FLIGHT CREDIT TERMS
Flight credits for non-refundable fares will be issued as long as the reservation is cancelled more than 10 minutes prior to the scheduled departure. Flight credits unexpired on, or created on or after July 28, 2022 do not expire and will show an expiration date (12/31/2040) until systems are updated. A flight credit with an expiration date on or before July 27, 2022, has expired in accordance with its existing expiration date. See My Account for flight credit expiration dates, if any.
At Southwest Airlines®, there are no change fees (fare difference may apply), no cancellation fees (failure to cancel a reservation at least 10 minutes prior to scheduled departure may result in forfeited travel funds), and Bags fly free® (two free checked bags, weight and size limits apply).
2Transferable Flight Credit
For Customers purchasing Wanna Get Away Plus, Anytime, or Business Select fares, Customers are allowed to transfer their flight credit to someone else. Both must be Rapid Rewards Members and only one transfer is permitted. The expiration date is up to 12 months from the date the ticket was booked. For bookings made through a Southwest™ Business channel, there is a limitation to transfer only between employees within the organization.
ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.
Southwest Airlines Co. operates one of the world's most admired and awarded airlines, offering its one-of-a-kind value and Hospitality at 121 airports across 11 countries. Having celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2021, Southwest took flight in 1971 to democratize the sky through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel and now carries more air travelers flying nonstop within the United States than any other airline1. Based in Dallas and famous for an Employee-first corporate Culture, Southwest maintains an unprecedented record of no involuntary furloughs or layoffs in its history. By empowering its more than 61,0002 People to deliver unparalleled Hospitality, the maverick airline cherishes a passionate loyalty among as many as 130 million Customers carried a year. That formula for success brought industry-leading prosperity and 47 consecutive years3 of profitability for Southwest Shareholders (NYSE: LUV). Southwest leverages a unique legacy and mission to serve communities around the world including harnessing the power of its People and Purpose to put communities at the Heart of its success. Learn more by visiting Southwest.com/citizenship. Southwest is also continuing to develop tangible steps toward achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, including offering Customers an opportunity to help the airline offset its carbon emissions. To be part of the solution, visit Southwest.com/wannaoffsetcarbon.
1) U.S. Dept. of Transportation most recent reporting of domestic originating passengers boarded
2) Fulltime-equivalent active Employees
3) 1973-2019 annual profitability
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