Southwest Airlines Must Issue $75 Vouchers for Some Delayed or Canceled Flights

Southwest Airlines has a new way to compensate travelers due to flight issues. 


Back in December of 2022, Southwest Airlines faced criticism and eventual legal action after a confluence of winter weather, heavy holiday travel, and a failure in their scheduling system led to 17,000 flights being canceled or significantly delayed, which in turn affected nearly 2 million passengers. As part of various settlements after the fact, the airline was forced to pay out $600 million in refunds and reimbursements to customers, $35 million to the government, and – most relevant to what we’re discussing today – create a $90 million voucher fund for future passengers affected by operational errors.

Southwest’s new voucher program went live last month. According to the Washington Post, “Any passenger who arrives at their final destination three or more hours after the scheduled arrival time for domestic flights or six hours for international flights can request a $75 voucher. The money is available only for fliers facing issues within Southwest’s control, such as a mechanical problem or swapping planes.”

Southwest Airlines

To receive their voucher, passengers are required to fill out an online form within a year from the scheduled departure date of the delayed/canceled flight. According to Southwest, they should then receive their voucher within 30 days. 

Southwest Airlines

The voucher program is going into effect at a time when the Biden administration is laying down new rules on the airline industry regarding everything from refunds for canceled flights, to hidden fees, to luggage surcharges. 

Transportation secretary Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg spoke about Southwest’s voucher program, saying “…Southwest will now, because we are making them, really lead the market on that. It’ll be very interesting to see what other airlines respond — not as punishment, but by way of competition.”


Southwest’s new voucher program will certainly make it easier for inconvenienced travelers to get something for their canceled or heavily delayed flights, potentially setting a new industry standard. Stay tuned to AllEars for more travel industry news. 

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Would you take advantage of this new voucher program if you had a heavily delayed or canceled flight? Let us know in the comments below. 

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