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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 date of booking. You can use the travel fund to book any future travels subject to availability and difference in fare before the expiration date. 

For those of you 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 Vs. LUV Vouchers

    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 to customers impacted by significant flight delays and cancellations while traveling with Southwest on a case-by-case basis. 

    Meanwhile, Southwest also 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. Regarding the ones you receive after converting your expired travel funds, they 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 itself. 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?

    First of all, I want you to understand that this is not a guaranteed request, and you are also dealing with a Southwest customer service representative that's willing to help you out. There's a risk involved because your Southwest travel fund will need to expire first 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 is 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 go over the process with you if s/he is willing to help you out 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?

    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 for that is because there's a $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 only 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

    Updates: 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 amount 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 that you try your best to use your Southwest travel funds before they expire. 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.