Normally, when an airline cancels a flight, you would be entitled to a full refund. But this isn’t a normal situation.
As you probably know, AirTran and Southwest have merged. AirTran is operating as a unit of Southwest, and Southwest most certainly does fly to Baltimore. But at the time this happened, AirTran was operating as a unit of Southwest and some of their internal systems hadn’t been fully integrated from the merger. That meant your vouchers were only good on AirTran.
The agent you spoke with might have tried to figure out a way around the internal corporate barriers instead of simply telling you “no refunds.”
I mean, what good is your ticket if you can’t use it? When you explained your dilemma to the AirTran agent, he or she should have been able to come up with a solution that worked for you. After all, AirTran canceled its flights. The fact that you’d postponed your initial trip should have made no difference.
But as a practical matter, it did. When you delay a flight, an airline will issue a ticket credit good for a full year from the date of your first booking. So now your money is converted to AirTran credits that expire, and that you can’t use.
I think if you’d taken a few more minutes to explain to the agent that he or she wasn’t seeing the big picture, it might have changed your choices. Also, I note that most of your communication took place by phone. Next time, try sending an email with your refund request, to set up a paper trail.
I contacted Southwest on your behalf. It cut you a check for $399, the full value of your AirTran ticket to Baltimore.