Southwest is now in the process of canceling 1,500 of its nearly 4,000 daily flights.
That is more than one-quarter of their flights. WOW.
This is due to the drop in demand for flights as a result of the virus.
On Saturday, they announced they were cutting 1,000 daily flights and they’ve increase it to 1,500 as of Tuesday, March 24.
They are aiming to cancel flights that have other options to the same destination, but that will be hard to do in every case with 1,500 daily flights axed. They are also looking at flights that have the fewest bookings.
This includes ALL international flights which began March 22. Southwest hopes to resume international flights by May 4.
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Additionally, the Governor of Hawaii has announced that all travelers entering Hawaii must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival and they cannot leave their room or accommodation. This goes into effect March 26.
What to Do If Your Flight Is Cancelled
Southwest says they will reach out to you if they cancel your flight. Unfortunately, they did not say when exactly, only “as soon as possible.”
They are first going to offer to re-book you to a different flight or a later time. If that’s not of interest, they will offer you a Southwest travel fund (basically a “credit”) that will be good through June of 2021.
If you can take the credit, as you think you’ll definitely be able to use it before June 2021, I’d advise you to, as you’ll be helping Southwest by allowing them to hold onto to cash at this challenging time. We DO want them to stay in business :).
That said, you ARE entitled to a full refund via your original method of payment EVEN if you booked a nonrefundable Wanna Get Away fare IF Southwest cancels the flight (and not you).
You will likely have to ask them for it, but they HAVE said they will offer refunds if you ask. You should ALSO be refunded any associated fees by law like Early Bird, which is a fee that grants you earlier check in than everyone else.
Read a complete explanation of your rights if an airline cancels your flight on the Department of Transportation’s website HERE.
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