UPDATES:
  • 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. 
  • Southwest now allows you to extend expiring travel funds for six months and waives the $100 fee to convert your expired travel funds to LUV vouchers through December 31, 2022. Alternatively, you can use Wanna Get Away Plus fare to transfer travel funds to another person

Southwest Airlines is one of my favorite US airlines for airfare bookings because of its flexible change policy. After 24 hours of booking, tickets can be changed or canceled without incurring a change/cancellation fee. Any canceled tickets after 24 hours can be credited as Travel Funds 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 before the expiration date. 

For those who have expired Southwest travel funds, there is a way to extend them by converting them to Southwest LUV Vouchers. In this post, I'll walk you through the process.

How to Extend Your Expired Southwest Travel Funds With LUV Vouchers
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!


    Southwest Travel Funds Vs. LUV Vouchers

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

    The main difference between the Southwest Travel Funds and LUV Vouchers is this:
    • You can use LUV Vouchers to book for anyone you want. Unlike Southwest travel funds, they are tied to the original passenger's name. 

    As its name implies, the Southwest LUV Voucher is a voucher Southwest gives customers impacted by significant flight delays and cancellations while traveling with Southwest on a case-by-case basis. 

    Meanwhile, Southwest allows you to convert your expired travel funds to LUV vouchers, according to the Southwest Community message boards. Here are the details about the LUV Vouchers:

    • Southwest LUV Vouchers contain 16-digit numbers and a security code.
    • Southwest LUV Vouchers do have an expiration date after they are issued. The ones you receive after converting your expired travel funds will expire 6 months from the issued date. 
    • You can use LUV Vouchers to pay for a Southwest reservation online. 
    • You can use LUV Vouchers to book a Southwest ticket for anyone you want.
    • LUV Vouchers can only be applied to the ticket's cost, and it does not cover government taxes and fees. 
    • It costs $100 to convert an expired travel fund to a LUV voucher, which is deducted from the travel fund. More below. (Updates: From now through December 31, 2022, Southwest Airlines waives the $100 fee). 

    How to Convert An Expired Southwest Travel Fund to A LUV Voucher?

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

    UPDATES: Southwest now allows you to extend expiring travel funds for six months and waives the $100 fee to convert your expired travel funds to LUV vouchers through December 31, 2022:
    • Contact Southwest Airlines between June 1 and December 31, 2022 if you cannot use your expiring travel funds, Southwest will issue you a LUV Voucher. 
    • There's no need to contact Southwest Airlines to convert your travel funds to LUV vouchers after your travel funds expire, and this has always been the requirement for converting travel funds to LUV Vouchers. 
    • The $100 conversion fee is waived through December 31, 2022. 
    • Each LUV Voucher is valid for six (6) months from the issue date. 

    Here's the internal memo available to Southwest Airlines customer representatives:

    Knowing that our schedule will soon be extended past the 2022 holidays, Customers may be contacting us to use their funds that may not have expired yet but will expire before they want to travel. In preparation for the anticipated requests we will be receiving, the decision has been made to temporarily offer our Customers additional flexibility.

    Temporary Additional Flexibility – Effective June 1, 2022

    $100 will not be deducted: For all Customers who contact us between June 1 and December 31, 2022, letting us know they are unable to use their funds during the RTF validity period, we will issue a Southwest LUV Voucher for the full value of the RTF, which means temporarily, you will not deduct $100 per our normal GOG exception.

    No longer required to contact us after the expiration date: Customers do not need to wait to contact us after the RTF expires. Between June 1 and December 31, 2022, If Customers contact us to advise they are unable to use their funds before the expiration date of the RTF and they do not want to wait until after the expiration date to request a Southwest LUV Voucher, we will force close the RTF and issue the SLV immediately. Please explain to the Customer that the SLV will be valid for six months from the issue date.


    First, I want you to understand that this is not a guaranteed request, and you are also dealing with a Southwest customer service representative willing to help you. There's a risk involved because your Southwest travel fund will need to expire before you can request the conversion. Therefore, I suggest that you do everything to use your Southwest Travel Funds before they are due to expire before doing this as your last resort. 

    After Southwest introduced the new Wanna Get Away Plus, you can now make the travel funds transferrable to another person. See this post for more details

    Here's how to request the conversion:
    • Wait until your Southwest travel fund is expired first. 
    • Within 6 months from when your travel fund expired, call Southwest airlines at 1-800-435-9792 and tell the agent that you would like to convert your already expired Southwest travel fund to a Southwest LUV voucher. 
    • The agent will review the process with you if s/he is willing to help you with that request. If not, HUCA (Hang Up, Call Again) until you can find an agent that can help. 
    • It will cost you $100 that is taken out from your expired travel fund to convert an expired travel fund to a LUV voucher. So, for example, if you have an expired travel fund of $500 and you successfully convert it to a LUV voucher, you will get $400. This is why it is vital if you have multiple Southwest travel funds, you need to combine them all into one travel fund first before requesting the conversion. (Updates: From now through December 31, 2022, Southwest Airlines waives the $100 fee). 
    • Once your conversion request is approved, you will receive a valid LUV voucher 6 months from the date it is issued. You then can use it to make a Southwest reservation for anyone.

    How to Combine Multiple Southwest Travel Funds Into One Travel Fund to Convert to LUV Voucher?

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

    When you have multiple Southwest travel funds, it is highly recommended to consolidate them into one big travel fund before requesting the LUV voucher conversation. The main reason is that Southwest's $100 cost each time Southwest converts an expired travel fund to a LUV voucher. This is especially true if you have multiple small sub $100 travel funds. (Updates: From now through December 31, 2022, Southwest Airlines waives the $100 fee). 

    To combine your multiple Southwest travel funds into one travel fund, here's how:
    • Each of your Southwest travel funds must not expire yet. 
    • Find and make a speculative Southwest reservation online that costs about the same amount as the total maximum of 3 travel funds you have. Southwest's system allows up to three (3) held travel funds to be applied to a reservation. 
    • Use each travel fund to pay for that reservation. 
    • After the booking is completed, you can cancel the reservation and receive one consolidated travel fund
    • Repeat the process until you combine all travel funds into one travel fund you want to convert to the Southwest LUV voucher. 
    • Follow the section above this section to convert an expired Southwest travel fund to a Southwest LUV voucher.

    How to Redeem Southwest LUV Vouchers?

    It is straightforward to use Southwest LUV Vouchers. The process is very much similar to how you apply Southwest Travel Funds:
    • Find and make a flight reservation online like you usually do. 
    • On the Passenger & Payment Info page, expand the Apply Travel Funds, LUV Vouchers, and gift cards. 
    • Click on the tab that says Southwest LUV Voucher.
    • Enter your voucher number and the security code and click the Apply vouchers button.

    How to Extend Your Expired Southwest Travel Funds With LUV Vouchers
    Photo Credit: Southwest Airlines


    Conclusion

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

    UPDATE: From now through December 31, 2022, Southwest Airlines waives the $100 fee. 

    While losing $100 is not an ideal situation. Still, suppose you cannot use the Southwest Travel Fund by its expiration date and will have to let it expire, especially when it is not a small travel fund. It may make sense to deduct $100 from the travel fund to save it in exchange for a more flexible Southwest LUV Voucher

    Within 6 months after your travel fund expires, you can call Southwest airlines and request them to convert that expired travel fund to a LUV voucher that will give you additional 6 months to use. The nice thing about Southwest LUV Vouchers is that you can redeem them to pay for a Southwest ticket minus taxes and fees for just about anyone as they do not tie to your name like Southwest Travel Funds do. 

    I strongly recommend you try your best to use your Southwest travel funds before expiring. Use the LUV voucher's conversion method as your last resort only. 

    Good news: after Southwest introduced the new Wanna Get Away Plus, you can now make the travel funds transferrable to another person. See the recommended post below.