Southwest Airlines announced a new policy Thursday the company hopes will help make travel more flexible amid the ongoing pandemic (and yet another surge of the coronavirus). The airline said flight credits will now be without expiration dates.
The new policy will automatically apply to flight credits issued after Thursday (July 28). Customers with existing credit on their accounts also benefit, and don’t need to do anything – the credit will automatically transition to the kind that doesn’t expire. (If you got credit for a change of plans a few years ago that went unused and expired on July 27 or earlier, you’re out of luck.)
The credit in customers’ accounts will say it expires on Dec. 31, 2040, but that’s just a “placeholder expiration date” until the airline’s systems can be upgraded, the company said in a press release.
“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.
The airline teased the policy on Twitter before making it official, saying, “One like and we’ll eliminate expiration dates on all current and future flight credits.”
Less than a minute later they made it official: “Okay fine, we were gonna do it anyway.”
Southwest said it is the only U.S. airline to introduce such a policy.
You’re eligible for credit anytime you cancel a flight more than 10 minutes before its scheduled departure, the fine print in Southwest’s announcement on flight credits reads.