Southwest Airlines, one of the major airlines of the United States and the world's largest low-cost carrier, 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.
Enhancement as a part of Customer Experience with Southwest:
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.
Bob Jordan, Chief Executive Officer, Southwest Airlines, said: “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.”
"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 expire - they’re a first-in-our-industry combination of differentiators that only Southwest offers.”
Placeholder Expiration date of 31 Dec 2040 till system update:
Beginning 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.
Two billion dollars in Customer Experience improvements:
“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 free, 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.”
Change in the policy is to improve the things important to customers:
“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.”
Benefits that began in May:
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 program.