My wife is in Wisconsin visiting with her mom who had a health scare over Christmas. She was supposed to fly back today, but they’re getting 7 to 10 inches of snow in Wisconsin right now. Southwest has a waiver to re-book flights at no cost, BUT....

The soonest any available Southwest flights other than today (Monday) are on Friday.

I called Southwest to try and figure out what to do. Because my wife is already dealing with a bunch of shit looking after her mom. Long & short of it is, Southwest has a generous waiver policy, and if my wife wanted to book a $365 “Business” fare on Friday she could do that at no cost, but if she wanted to get home on a Southwest flight sooner than Friday, her only option would be to bring her rental car back to the airport, turn it in, and camp out at the airport all day on standby hoping to get a flight if someone no-shows.

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CAN’T YOU GET HER ON ANOTHER AIRLINE SO SHE CAN COME HOME SOONER THAN FRIDAY? SHE’S TAKING CARE OF HER SICK OLD MOM AND IT’S WINTER IN WISCONSIN, HAVE A HEART!

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Nope.

I said United had flights available as soon as Tuesday and can’t they just refund us the return leg of the reservation with them? The customer service lady actually wanted to argue with me that was no better than doing standby with Southwest because that United flight could still be canceled. That’s not the point lady, her name is at least on a seat for that day!

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As for Southwest giving a refund, yes...and no.

If the flight is fully and totally cancelled, then she would get a refund. But if the flight actually flew, even if she couldn’t make it back to the airport thru 7-10" of snow between her mom’s house and the airport, she would have to call to cancel at least 20 mins before the flight, so then the funds could be credited back as Southwest Travel Funds usable for 12 months. Ideally it’d be credited right back so we’d be out of pocket less for the United flight but whatever. We’ll be going back to Milwaukee on Southwest soon enough so that’ll get used.

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So I said whatever, she’s not going to wait til Friday or camp out at the Milwaukee airport on standby, and those are the only options that Southwest is providing at no charge, at all. I booked her on a United flight on Tuesday that connects through O’Hare. I’ll pick her up at the airport here in DC. Fine. We just have to see if Southwest cancels her flight or otherwise call them within 20 minutes of the flight departing so she gets the credit. 

Then I went to extend the rental car. There was an automated BEEP BOP BOOP system to extend an existing rental car, but it didn’t say the price, and I wanted to try and see if Budget had any kind of weather exemption thing like Southwest. When I first said “REPRESENTATIVE” to the BEEP BOP BOOP system, it said, “I think you want to talk to a representative. If you’ll just answer a couple questions, I can help you with your reservation.”

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“REPRESENTATIVE!”

Talking with a person was not any more helpful with getting a weather exemption because Budget has no weather exemptions. When I tried to ask the representative if there was a weather exemption that might lower the $63+taxes price for extending her rental car from 4:30 pm today to 12 pm tomorrow, he said, “we’re not charging you for the extra time, we’re charging you an extension fee,” as if that was supposed to mean something to me.

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I went around in circles with him a couple times saying I didn’t care how they were coming up with $63*, it’s snowing 7 to 10 inches in Wisconsin and if that’s the reason for extending the rental car can it be anything less than $63*, and then I ended up agreeing to the $63* to extend the rental.

Hopefully Southwest officially cancels the flight! Maybe the air traffic control problems will help this out.