Man's visit to sick father turns expensive due to Southwest Airlines 'system limitation'

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by Mike Colombo / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on August 21, 2012 at 4:44 PM

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) – A local man was looking for answers after a visit to his sick father in Cleveland turned into a confusing and expensive mess thanks to a “system limitation” with Southwest Airlines.

With his father’s health fading, Clint Daley loaded up his family and took off to visit his dad in Cleveland. He couldn’t stay with his loved ones the whole week and miss work, but Daley had a plan.

“So I booked a flight with Southwest to fly home this morning and I was supposed to fly back to Cleveland on Saturday so I could pick the family up and we would drive home together on Sunday and be back for work next week,” said Daley.

Those plans quickly changed.

“Unfortunately, my wife became sick and wasn’t able to go with us,” he said. “Because we only have one car, I canceled the flight and drove home.”

That’s where things got really complicated. Daley purchased his ticket using a $33 credit on his account. The credit was set to expire September 6. He added $160 to complete the $193 transaction.

After cancelling his flight, Daley thought he would get a new credit for at least the $160.

But Southwest said no. Clint was told by Southwest its system pairs the new money with the old money. The new total expires on the old money’s expiration date, which in Daley’s case, is two weeks.

“It’s very frustrating because I wasn’t looking to get my money back, I was just looking for a credit to be able to travel through next year at some point in case I have to travel to Ohio quickly, in case something happens to my father,” he said.

A spokesperson with Southwest said customers are advised of the policy during checkout and must click to agree before proceeding with their purchase.

But in most cases, like Daley’s, the company says it will refund the entire ticket with documentation from a physician.

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