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Bad news for Southwest Airlines frequent flyers

This morning I discovered that the new SWA reservation system automatically cancels you if you book two flights out of the same city on the same day. For example, I’m going to be on the west coast in July but don’t know whether I am coming home directly or continuing on to SNA. So I booked flights for both and now SWA has cancelled my return to ALB because it was the more expensive ticket. After 30 minutes on the phone with customer relations, the SFO-ALB leg has been reinstated and the SFO-SNA cancelled. I will now book the latter on another airline.

I was notified of the cancellation by an automated email, no explanation, which arrived in the middle of the night with a new mystery confirmation number. The long conversation and time on hold has produced the above information, which the rep says has always been in the contract but is only now being enforced. She says the people most affected are “tiered” passengers (frequent flyers) who often make multiple reservations and later cancel one. Exactly.

This flexibility is the precise reason I have been flying SWA. I am paying for the ticket and I understand if I forget to cancel the money is gone. It seems like a fair and straight up business transaction. I pointed out to the agent that I am one of the lucky ones because I took the trouble to research this; a lot of folks are going to show up at the airport and discover they don’t have a ticket because they thought the automated email was an error, they didn’t see the email, or they didn’t make the reservation on the web.

Any recommendations on a carrier with lots of coast-to-coast itineraries out of ALB?

One Comment

  1. Otis Maxwell wrote:

    Another expensive discovery in the new Southwest reservation system: you can no longer cancel a ticket you bought for another family member and use that for your own travel. Credits are non-transferrable. As with the multiple reservation policy, Southwest agent says it’s always been there but they are only now enforcing it.

    Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at 9:10 am | Permalink

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