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Southwest Airlines begins enforcing no-show policy

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swDALLAS — Passengers who fail to cancel bookings on Southwest now face loss of the ticket’s value if they don’t show up.

The new policy took effect with Friday’s flights. Customers who buy nonrefundable tickets such as Wanna Get Away fares must cancel at least 10 minutes before scheduled departure or forfeit the ticket’s value.

Southwest is by far the largest commercial carrier at the Albuquerque International Sunport, handling about 50 percent of all commercial traffic.

In the past, there was little incentive to cancel because Southwest let customers use the value of the unused ticket toward another flight within one year. That meant seats flew empty when Southwest could have sold them to somebody else.

A Southwest Airlines Co. spokesman says there’s been no reaction yet from customers.

Southwest is still letting passengers change nonrefundable tickets ahead of time without penalty. Most other big airlines charge a $200 change fee.

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