Southwest’s new enhancement to tracking Travel Funds
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Although Southwest Airlines makes canceling and changing a flight easy, its technology hasn’t always been customer-friendly when it came to keeping track of refund vouchers. Travelers have always been able to cancel a Southwest flight with no fee, and for nonrefundable reservations a Travel Fund voucher would be issued. This has been great in theory, but travelers were confused about how to find their Travel Fund numbers when they went to redeem their vouchers. Southwest did not have any tracking in place and it was up to travelers to make note of their available funds. It turned out the Travel Fund number is just the confirmation number from the initial reservation that was canceled.
That all changed for flights canceled on or after Dec. 3, 2019. According to Deals We Like, Southwest will now keep track of your Southwest Travel Funds for you. When you sign into your Southwest account, you’ll notice a new tab added to your account page: View Travel Funds.
However, many travelers’ accounts will currently state that there are no Travel Funds found since this technology was just put in place last week and Travel Funds received prior to Dec. 3, 2019 still need to be tracked manually. You can still check your balance on Southwest’s Travel Fund lookup page. As of now, there is no way to add them to the account tracker.
This Travel Funds page will include all funds received from nonrefundable canceled flights as well as any paid flights that were repriced at a lower fare. Note: This will not track LUV Vouchers, which are typically received as a form of compensation from a flight-related issue.
When you go to pay for your flight, you’ll still have to manually enter your Travel Fund information. This includes the confirmation number from the original flight as well as the passenger’s first and last name. Keep in mind that Travel Funds, unlike LUV Vouchers, aren’t transferrable.
Travel Funds expire 12 months from the date the original flight was booked — not from when the flight was canceled and the Travel Funds issued. This expiration date is also a “must-fly-by date” not a “book-by date.” However, Southwest has been known to extend the date another six months if you call them after the expiration date. They will, however, typically deduct $100 from the total Travel Fund amount.
Also know that when combining a Travel Fund with another form of payment, if you cancel the latest reservation, the entire amount paid will inherit the earliest expiration date. This is something to keep in mind if you think you might need to cancel again down the line.
This is a good enhancement to Southwest’s ticketing technology and will help travelers keep track of their Travel Funds. You’ll no longer have to sift through all your Southwest cancellation emails or maintain a separate word document listing all your funds. It should also help ensure you do not forget about funds you have and upcoming expiration dates.
Featured photo by Jim Watson/AFP.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.