A West Hartford family reached out to NBC Connecticut Responds after they had issues requesting a refund from one of the country’s most flexible airline carriers.
Southwest Airlines customers typically have three options when booking, with more expensive tiers offering more legroom, priority boarding and refundable tickets. Regardless of pricing tier, Southwest has lenient rules when it comes to rebooking a flight.
Passengers can also get the unused credit issued back on their Southwest account to use at a later date.
The only thing that entitles ticket holders to a full refund is if the refund is requested within 24 hours of purchase.
Life’s not always that simple, and Art from West Hartford can attest. He told NBC Connecticut he booked Southwest’s basic "Wanna Get Away" fare to Las Vegas, but a few weeks before his trip, his doctor told him he can’t fly anytime in the near future.
He missed the 24-hour cancellation window, had non-refundable tickets and had no interest in a Southwest credit since he didn’t know when— or if— he could travel again.
Art said he contacted Southwest and explained his dilemma without success.
Southwest’s policy does not have any conditions that apply to Art, but a company agent offered him an exemption with his doctor’s note.
The agent elaborated that Southwest will take documentation into consideration on a case-by-case basis, without a guaranteed outcome.
In this case, Southwest refunded Art $797.