Here’s how to rebook Southwest Flight and get some money back
Southwest Airlines is known and loved for its lack of fees. As part of the airline’s “Transfarency” policy, all Southwest passengers can check up to two bags for free and can change or cancel their flight with no fee.
Here’s how to rebook and save when Southwest flight prices drop.
Which Southwest fares can be changed?
All Southwest flight bookings can be changed or canceled without fees. Unlike other U.S. airlines — which are just loosening up change fee restrictions — Southwest doesn’t exclude the cheapest fares or require that your flight originates in a certain country.
Though Southwest doesn’t sell basic economy tickets, even their lowest fare (Wanna Get Away) doesn’t require you to pay more to be able to change or cancel your flights later. This isn’t the case when flying American, Delta, or United.
Simply put: You can always modify any Southwest flight, no matter the ticket level.
Tip: You can even change or cancel flights booked with Rapid Rewards points without fees.
Which Southwest fares can be refunded?
There’s a key difference between Southwest fare types that’s important to keep in mind. Only Anytime (mid-tier) and Business Select (top-tier) fares are fully refundable. Wanna Get Away fares (lower-tier) aren’t technically refundable.
While you can change or cancel Wanna Get Away fares, you won’t receive a refund to your credit card. Instead, Southwest will issue you Travel Funds that can be used to book future flights. These Travel Funds must be used by the original traveler and expire one year after the original purchase date. Note that Southwest extended some Travel Funds’ expiration dates until Sept. 7, 2022, as part of their policy changes during the height of the pandemic.
When you can change your Southwest flights
Southwest Airlines flight booking can be changed or canceled almost any time without fees, up until 10 minutes before a flight’s scheduled departure time. You can similarly score a price drop credit until 10 minutes before your flight — even if you’ve already checked in.
Though Southwest flights typically get more expensive the closer time ticks toward departure, if you keep your eye on the airfare price, you might get a deal.
How to rebook your Southwest flight at a lower fare
Say you checked the price on your Southwest flight and found that the fare dropped. Congratulations! But what’s the process to claim the fare difference? Let’s show you. For example, I had already booked a flight to Las Vegas for August when Southwest ran its three-day fare sale in June. I had selected a flight time I wasn’t thrilled about because it was less expensive.
When the fare sale hit, the price on my preferred flight was lower than the one I settled for. I canceled, rebooked and got a better flight plus 800 Rapid Rewards points refunded to my account. Thanks, Southwest!
You don’t even have to change your flights to do this. You can simply rebook the same flight.
It’s a pretty straightforward process. Here’s how to do it.
- Log into your Southwest reservation
If you’re a Rapid Rewards member, just log into your account and all of your reservations should appear there. Select the flight you want to “change/cancel.”
Southwest has a generous change policy making it easy to get a refund if you should find a sale fare. You’ll need to log into your reservation under the “Change/Cancel” tab on Southwest’s homepage.- Melissa Yeager
If you are not a Rapid Rewards member, find your confirmation code. Then select the “change/cancel” tab at www.southwest.com. Enter your confirmation code and your first and last names to bring up your reservation.
- Select your flight
Once you bring up your reservation, you’ll be asked which flight you want to change. Select the flights you want to reprice.
That will take you to a screen asking you to search flights. The screen should be pre-filled with your flight date. Double-check that it’s correct and then hit enter.
The next screen will show all the flights scheduled that day.
When you reprice a ticket on Southwest, the difference in fare will show up as a negative fare. Select the flight you want and the difference in fare and points will be refunded.- Melissa Yeager
If the fare for your flight has decreased, you’ll see a negative amount of points or dollars listed next to it.
Click on the flight you want to take. Repeat this process for any additional flights you plan to reprice.
- Get your refund
If you paid with points, the difference goes into your Rapids Rewards account.
If you paid with dollars, your refund will depend on whether your fare is refundable or non-refundable.
Refundable (Business or Anytime) fares: The difference will be refunded to your credit card.
Nonrefundable (Wanna Get Away) fares: Your refund will be credited to your original Southwest confirmation code as “travel funds.” You have a year to use your travel funds, so save your confirmation code.
- Using your travel funds
Here’s the only spot where things could get tricky: remembering to use your travel funds. They’re good for one year. Set a reminder in your phone or on your calendar so they don’t expire.
When you get to the Payment Method page for your next flight, look for the link that says “Southwest gift card, Travel Funds or Southwest LUV voucher.” Click on the arrow to expand that field.
You can apply for travel credits when you pay for your future flight on Southwest.com- Melissa Yeager
Click on “Travel Funds” and fill out the information, including the confirmation code from your original flight. Then click on “apply funds.” The amount will be applied to your new ticket. Continue through the booking process to complete your purchase.
What are Southwest travel funds and their deadline…
Travel funds expire one year from the date you purchased your ticket. Rebooking for a later date doesn’t reset the expiration date. Southwest.com has a page where you can check the balance and expiration date of your travel funds.
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