I bought a plane ticket on Southwest airlines. In case that it's delayed (for whatever reason), do I have the right to forfeit my ticket and get the fare refunded? Southwest's contract of carriage says this:

Delays or Involuntary Cancellations. If a Passenger’s scheduled transportation is cancelled, terminated, or delayed before the Passenger has reached his final destination as a result of a flight cancellation, Carrier-caused missed connection, flight delay, or omission of a scheduled stop, Carrier will either transport the Passenger at no additional charge on another of Carrier’s flights, refund the fare for the unused transportation, or provide a credit for such amount toward the purchase of future travel.

But what does "Carrier-caused" mean? Can I refund the ticket regardless of if the delay is caused by mechanical or weather issues?


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    Notice that wording doesn't allow you to decide you want a refund. It allows them to give you your money back and not take you where you want to go, which is rarely a happy thing. I've had relatives face this problem on Xmas eve when weather delayed flights and the airline just said "here is your $200 back, we're not taking you home for Xmas, buy another flight on another airline or whatever, not our problem." If the flight is just several hours delayed, you won't magically get a refund. Oct 13, 2014 at 10:28

1 Answer 1


"Carrier caused" delays are things like mechanical issues, crew scheduling issues, aircraft scheduling, etc.

Delays caused by weather related issues (which can apply to bad weather at another airport that your plane went through earlier in the day before reaching your airport), ATC delays, union strikes, etc are not covered under that clause in the contract. These type delays are not covered by any airlines, but on occasion airline representatives might go beyond the terms and provide assistance for delays out of their control.

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