Southwest Airlines starts charging a no show fee

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Milepoint highlighted an article from the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel where Southwest passengers will be charged a fee for not showing up to flights… essentially, if you don’t cancel your flight before it leaves, you’ll be assessed a fee.

Effectively, Southwest passengers are taking advantage of the airline’s flexibility, which is leaving some flights with empty seats.  So, Southwest is taking steps to minimize this behavior and increase revenues to stay competitive.  I certainly don’t blame them, and the policy seems fair in light of Southwest not charging for changing or canceling a reservation.

Oftentimes, you’ll actually just receive credit for another flight within 12 months if you cancel, but that’s still better than the change fees (upwards of $150 a ticket) that other airlines charge.

Have you been hit with a fee?  Do you think this policy is asking too much of customers?  Let me know.


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