Southwest to Begin Offering DOT-Required Vouchers

According to Business Travel News (BTN), Southwest Airlines now must provide a transferrable voucher worth at least $75 for any controllable cancellation or delay that causes passengers to reach their destination three or more hours after their scheduled arrival time, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced. 

The voucher requirement is part of the penalty DOT levied against Southwest in December 2023 in response to the carrier’s 2022 holiday operational disruptions, which resulted in about 16,900 canceled flights, affecting more than 2 million passengers. 

How this works with the new rules DOT announced last week regarding refunds for canceled or delayed flights, late baggage and other missing ancillaries is that for Southwest, the carrier on qualifying flights will be required to provide a refund as well as a minimum $75 voucher. 

Southwest will be required to provide the vouchers until April 29, 2027, and they shall remain valid for at least one year after the issue date.