Southwest Airlines on Thursday morning moved to give its customers more flexibility with their flight credits.
Effective immediately, all Southwest flight credits, whether current or issued in the future, will no longer have an expiration date, giving flyers the option to hold them for as long as they want.
Customers will soon see a placeholder expiration date of Dec. 31, 2040, on their credits, but Southwest said that will soon disappear as it works to update its technology system to remove expiration dates altogether.
Other carriers, such as American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines, (along with Southwest prior to today) generally allow for one year from the date they were issued for credits to expire. Southwest’s move on Thursday makes it the only major U.S. to issue credits without an expiration date. It also makes its change or cancel policies, which already are fee-free, especially customer-centric.
Southwest, which had been at the forefront of some major, customer-first changes in the industry with things like bags fly free and that no change fees policy, said the move is something that allows it to differentiate itself from its competitors.
“While other airlines eliminate benefits and value, today we’re enhancing our experience again. When Customers travel with Southwest, they receive ultimate flexibility that is unmatched in the industry. Bags fly free, there is never a fee to change or cancel your flight–and now, you don’t have to worry about your flight credits expiring before you can use them,” Ryan Green, Senior Vice President, and Chief Marketing Officer, Southwest Airlines said.