UPDATE #1: Great News! Effective July 28, 2022, Southwest Travel Funds no longer expire! See below. The following article was written when Southwest Travel Funds expire a year from the booking date. 

UPDATE #2: The deadline for converting Southwest Travel Funds to Rapids Rewards is expired on December 15, 2020. 

UPDATE #3: Unfortunately, this article's trick to extend Southwest Travel Funds is no longer working because it already passed September 7, 2020. Contact Southwest, and they may be able to make an exception for you. 

Southwest Airlines is one of my favorite US airlines to use for airfare bookings because of their flexible change policy. After 24 hours of booking, tickets can be changed or even canceled without incurring a change/cancellation fee. Any canceled tickets after 24 hours can be credited as Travel Funds (Flight Credits) that expire in a year from the booking date. You can use the travel fund to book any future travels subject to availability and fare differences. 

I accidentally found an interesting way to extend expiring Southwest travel funds beyond this year, 2020, and 2021 through September 7, 2022. Additionally, Southwest is implementing a feature to convert expiring Southwest travel funds into Rapids Rewards points. 
How to Extend Your Expiring Southwest Travel Funds
Photo Credit: Southwest Airlines
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    Southwest Travel Funds or Flight Credits Do NOT Expire

    Effective July 28, 2022, Southwest Airlines announced that all unexpired flight credits (a.k.a travel funds) created on or after July 28 will not expire. This is awesome news!

    Here's the official wording made by Southwest Airlines:

    Flight credits unexpired on or created on or after July 28, 2022 will not expire. No action is required on your part! If you have unexpired flight credits as of July 28, they will not expire and are available for you to use.

    It will take us some time to update our systems with this new policy. With that in mind, you may notice an expiration date on your unexpired flight credits. Please pardon our dust while we make this change!


    Expiring Southwest Travel Funds

    UPDATE: Great News! Effective July 28, 2022, Southwest Travel Funds no longer expire!

    Because of COVID-19 situation, I haven't been able to use some of my travel funds earned through Amex airline fee credits that are supposed to expire October 20, 2020. So I decided to make a speculative booking for a September trip to San Diego using my expiring Southwest travel fund, and hope that the COVID-19 situation will be improved then. Something came up last week so I had to cancel that ticket. This week when I went to check my available Southwest travel funds, I noticed that the expiration date of that particular travel fund that was resulted from the cancellation has been extended to September 7, 2022 instead of my previous October 20, 2020 date. Hallelujah, that means I don't have to worry about my travel funds for a much longer time while I am still monitoring the coronavirus situation. 

    Southwest Airlines Is Extending Travel Funds

    UPDATE: Great News! Effective July 28, 2022, Southwest Travel Funds will no longer expire!

    So what exactly happened? In the wake of the current travel environment, Southwest Airlines is extending the expiration date of some travel funds with the following conditions:
    • Customers’ funds that have expired or will expire between March 1, 2020, and September 7, 2020, will now expire on September 7, 2022.
    • Any travel funds created because you cancel a flight between March 1 – September 7, 2020, will expire on September 7, 2022.
    So my situation falls into the second condition because I used travel funds to book a new reservation and then canceled that reservation between March 1 and September 7, 2020. That explains why that particular travel fund's expiration date was automatically extended to September 2022. 

    How To Extend Expiring Southwest Travel Funds To September 7, 2022

    UPDATE: Great News! Effective July 28, 2022, Southwest Travel Funds no longer expire!

    If you are interested in extending your expiring Southwest travel funds through September 7, 2022, here's what you'd do:
    • Log in and make a new reservation on Southwest Airlines website
    • Use your expiring travel fund to pay for that reservation on the final payment page.
    • Wait over 24 hours period, then cancel that reservation. 

    Your travel fund should now have a different confirmation code due to cancellation, but its expiration date may still be the old one. However, do not worry about that just yet because, according to Southwest, they stated that:
    It can take up to five business days for the new expiration date to appear in your account. It will also take our Technology Team a few days to make these changes.

    The expiration date's change apparently is not an instant process. Although Southwest wants you to give them 5 business days, in my case, it was just over 1 day period. So after the cancellation, please wait at least another 24 hours for the travel fund's new expiration date to change. 

    It is important to note that this method to extend Southwest travel funds only works when you use the expiring travel fund to book and cancel a flight between March 1 – September 7, 2020, because of the waiver policy in place. With that being said, I would not wait until the last minute to do this,   though. 

    Converting Expiring Southwest Travel Funds Into Rapid Rewards Points

    UPDATE: Great News! Effective July 28, 2022, Southwest Travel Funds no longer expire!

    It's worth mentioning that Southwest now allows members with travel funds that are set to expire or created between March 1, 2020, and September 7, 2020, to convert those funds into Rapid Rewards points at the rate of ~1.28 cents per point. For example, you can covert $128 travel funds into 10,000 Rapid Rewards points. This is an awesome feature because:
    • Rapid Rewards points never expire, so once your travel funds are converted into points, you do not have to worry about the expiration date of the travel funds anymore. 
    • You can use Rapid Rewards points to book a Southwest ticket for anyone. Whereas travel funds can only be used to book a Southwest ticket for yourself.
    You have until December 15, 2020, to make the conversion, so there's no need to rush if you dislike the conversion rate. 

    This feature is now live and available to all Southwest members. You can now convert travel funds into Rapid Rewards points online in your account under View Travel Funds below. 

    How To View Southwest Travel Funds

    UPDATE: Great News! Effective July 28, 2022, Southwest Travel Funds no longer expire!

    If you haven't noticed, the Southwest website can view available travel funds now under your Southwest account. However, for the travel funds to show on your account, you must log in to Southwest when making a reservation. After that, once you cancel that reservation in exchange for a travel fund, you will see that specific travel fund in your Southwest account. Here's how you check Southwest Travel Funds:
    • Log into your Southwest Airlines account online
    • Go to My Account.
    • Click on View Travel Funds on the top (see screenshot below).
    • You should see all your available travel funds there. 
    How To View Southwest Travel Funds         
    How To View Southwest Travel Funds