Southwest Has Eliminated Expiration Dates for Flight Credits
I’ll admit that, historically, I’ve not been a huge fan of flying Southwest. This distaste stems pretty much exclusively from their boarding system and the fact that you don’t have an assigned seat ahead of time. As someone who’s grown accustomed to reserving a seat at the movies for years, the thought of boarding an airplane without knowing where I’ll be seated is far too stressful for me to think about — not to mention the kindergarten-esque game you get to play while lining up by boarding number.
With all of that said, one thing I do love about Southwest is how easy they’ve made it to rebook and change your flights. While other airlines are just now starting to wave change fees, Southwest has long made this a policy. In fact, if you found that your flight had dropped in price, you could rebook and bank the fare difference as a credit! The only downside was that this credit would then expire in a year so, if you weren’t a frequent flyer, the diligence you put into finding that best fare may have gone to waste. Well, now, Southwest is changing that policy and allowing these flight credits to continue on without expiration.
Effective July 28th, 2022, Southwest flight credits will no longer expire. What’s more, previously issued credits that were set to expire (but still weren’t expired as of July 28th) will remain available as well. Meanwhile, older credits won’t be raised from the dead, meaning unused credits that already expired will remain that way.
Of course, my boarding issues aside, there are other advantages Southwest has over other major carriers when it comes to affordability. Most notably, this includes their “two free checked bags” policy (even if I’m a carry-on guy myself). Additionally, their Rapid Rewards points don’t expire either. And, if you do fly them more frequently or happen to apply for one of their co-branded credit cards at the right time, you may even score one of their truly awesome-sounding Companion Passes that essentially allows you to book buy one, get one flight free tickets.
Overall, this is undoubtedly good news for all Southwest flyers but especially those (like me) who might only use the airline once in a while. On that note, I have to say that, looking over what Southwest has to offer, I do now wish they’d fly to/from my home airport: SGF — or Springfield Branson National Airport. Until that happens, perhaps I’ll begin exploring Southwest options from other close-enough cities in the future… and neurotically checking fares after booking to ensure I get the best deals, banking my non-expiring credits in the process.
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