October 3, 2023

Southwest Airlines Flight Change, Cancellation, and Other Fees: All you need to know

Southwest Airlines Flight Change Fees

While booking their flights, most travelers wonder if they have booked it a little earlier or later, especially if they are buying out tickets for the full family. The reason behind this is the fluctuation of price. Most U.S. airlines charge change fees ranging from $150-2000, but Southwest Airlines never charge any. In case the passengers are booking their flights with credit cards or cash Southwest Airlines always allows the passengers to rebook their tickets and can receive the difference back.

Southwest Airlines allows users to rebook the flight at the best rates for any fare purchased.

Southwest Airlines Flight Change Policy

Southwest Airlines typically charges a fee to change your flight. The amount varies based on how soon you want to make your flight change.

Southwest has one of the most reasonable policies for changing a scheduled flight. If you want to change your flight, you can do so for free up until 24 hours before departure. After that point, Southwest charges $75 per ticket if you want to change your itinerary. This means that if you have a group of tickets booked together and only one person wants to switch flights, all other passengers will have to pay $75 each.

If your plans change again after this 24-hour window, Southwest offers two options:

As per Southwest Flight Change Policy, You can pay $150 per change if you want to cancel your trip entirely and rebook it at a later date. This charge applies even if you have already paid $75 for a previous flight change attempt.

If you’re still interested in traveling on another day and just want an earlier or later departure time, then Southwest will allow one free change within seven days from the original departure date (itinerary must be rescheduled within 14 days of original purchase).

How to change a Southwest flight

If you need to change your Southwest flight, there are a few ways to go about it, depending on your situation.

To change your Southwest flight online:

Changing your flight is easy. Southwest Airlines will allow you to change your flight for free if you cancel and rebook within 24 hours of booking your flight. If you want to change the date of your flight, there are no fees, but you must cancel and rebook at least two days before your original flight.

To change your flight, call Southwest Airlines customer service at (800) 435-9792. You’ll need your confirmation number, which is on the email confirmation that was sent after booking your flight. The agent will then be able to assist you with the changes.

If you are unable to get through by phone or if the agent cannot change your flight online, you can go to a Southwest ticket counter at any airport or city where Southwest flies directly from them (not an airport they just serve).

If you paid for your ticket with a credit card, you have to call the Southwest Reservation line at (800) 435-9792.. If you booked online or with cash, go to southwest.com and log in using your personal information and the last four digits of your Social Security number. Then go to “Manage My Booking” and enter the confirmation number of your flight as well as your last name and address. From there, click on “Reservation Details.” Scroll down to find “Request Upgrades/Changes” and click on it. On the next page, select “Change Flight” to make an alteration.

Enter the date and time of your new flight and choose whether it should be earlier or later one by clicking on either option. You’ll see how much this will cost before confirming your request by pressing “Submit.”

Changing Your Flight With No Penalty

If you’re not too far out from your original departure date and time, you should be able to change your flight without paying any fees or penalties. You can do this by going into your account and selecting “Change My Departure.” Once there, choose the option that best works for you:

“Change my departure time” — This will allow you to change your flight up to seven days before departure. The new flight date will be the same day as the original departure date unless there’s no availability on that day.

“Change my destination” — This allows you to swap flights with another destination in the same region or regionally connected city-pairs (for example, Dallas/Fort Worth to Chicago O’Hare). If you want to travel on a different day than originally booked or if there isn’t another Southwest flight available at all times during the day of travel, then this option may not work for you.

How can you change your flight on Southwest Airlines?

The traveler can change their flight online or by calling Southwest.

To change the Southwest Airlines flight reservation online, you need to follow the below-listed steps:

  • Open Southwest Airlines’ official website.
  • Now retrieve the flight booking by entering your confirmation number and your name.
  • Tap on the search button.
  • Select the flight you are looking forward to changing and then hit on select a new flight. If you book a round trip, both the return and departure destinations will appear on-screen.
  • On selecting the flight, make the required changes and then confirm.
  • If you have booked your flight with any third-party website, get in touch with them and make the required changes.

Southwest Airlines flight change policy for changing international flight itineraries:

Southwest Airlines Flight Change Policy

If you are looking forward to making the desired changes to your itinerary, including international flights, then you can follow the same procedure listed above. For changing your flight, no fees are charged; only the fare difference is implied.

Southwest Airlines Flying Standby

With Southwest Airlines, the passengers are allowed for standby and same-day change for Business Anytime, Select, and Wanna Get Away Plus fares without paying any extra cost. The passengers who tend to buy out tickets under the heading of Wanna Get Away fare are available for same-day change, and the fare difference will be applicable.

  • Same-day change:

The same-day changes allow travelers to swap their flight on the travel date for a later or earlier one. The passengers can go for it as long as the seat is available with the airlines and the destination and origin station are the same. The flight can also depart on the same calendar day as the original flight. With Southwest Airlines, you can make same-day changes without paying extra fees.

  • Same-day Standby

If you can find any open seat and opt for same-day change, then you can request to add yourself to the same-day standby list to grab a seat on an earlier day of your travel flight. All of these arrangements are subject to availability. Do note here that the passengers must need to depart on the same calendar day just before their scheduled flight.

Southwest Airlines Standby and Same-day change fees

Passengers who have bought tickets under “Wanna Get Away Fare” are said to have access to same-day standby and same-day change benefits but had to pay for the pay difference. As you are not required to pay any extra fees, you will sometimes find booking a new flight a bit cheaper as well.

Suppose there will be any non-airline change (for example, you can look for a direct flight to the connecting flight itinerary). In that case, you are responsible for paying any fees and taxes accompanying the change. Here the policy is applicable for all fare levels.

Southwest Cancellation Fee

Southwest Airlines never charge you a fee to change or cancel your flight, but a fare difference may apply if you choose to change to a flight with a higher fare. Cancel your reservation in accordance with our No-Show Policy (i.e., at least 10 minutes prior to departure).

But when Southwest cancels your flight, the U.S. Department of Transportation says that the unused portion of your ticket is refundable, even if you originally purchased a nonrefundable ticket. To request a cash refund, contact Southwest customer service at 800-435-9792.

Southwest Cancellation Policy

Southwest Airlines Cancellation Policy
Southwest Airlines Cancellation Policy

There can be times when you are booking a ticket on Southwest Airlines and within the first 24 hours of getting the bookings done you feel that you have to cancel the flight. There can also be a time where just 24 hours before the departure of the flight you would want to cancel your flight tickets.

In both cases, Southwest Airlines Cancellation Policy will be applicable. In the extreme cases of canceling the tickets really late according to this policy, you shall not get any refund. But when you cancel the flight tickets in the first 24 hours you will get a full refund. 

Southwest cancellation policy 24 hours:

According to Southwest Airlines Cancellation Policy 24 hours there are two extremes to the 24 hours rule. One is if you cancel your flight tickets within the first 24 hours of getting the bookings done then you will get a full refund of your booking amount. In this case, you shall not have to pay any cancellation penalty. Well, for the other extreme if you cancel the flight tickets 24 hours before the departure of the flight then you will have to pay a maximum of your booking amount as a penalty.

How much is the rebooking fee for Southwest?

Southwest never charges fees to change your flights because we understand plans change. You may be asked to pay a difference in fare if the new flight you’re choosing costs more than your original itinerary.

What happens when you find a lower price

If you happen to find a lower price, you’ll either receive a Travel Funds credit or your points back, depending on how you initially paid for the fare.

  • If you paid for the flight: If you booked the lowest-price Wanna Get Away fare, you will receive a Travel Funds credit for the difference in the fare. You have one year from the date you initially booked the flight (not the date you rebooked) to use the credit. Travel Funds credits from these fares are non-transferable and can only be used for the same passenger. For the new Wanna Get Away Plus fares, you will receive transferable flight credits that allow you to transfer your flight credit to someone else. Note that you must both be Rapid Rewards members, and only one transfer is permitted. The expiration date is 12 months from the date the ticket was booked. For more expensive Business Select and Away fares, you’ll receive a cash refund instead of credits.
  • If you used points for the flight: The difference in Rapid Rewards points will automatically go back into the account from which those points were deducted.

Is Southwest Anytime Fare fully refundable?

 If you cancel, you’re eligible to receive 100% of your ticket value as a refund to your original form of payment. A Southwest flight credit from a previous reservation that is applied toward a Business Select or Anytime Fare will be refunded as a flight credit.

How do I get a refund from Southwest?

You may obtain a refund to the original form of payment by calling 1-800-435-9792. You may also request a refund by using the E-Mail Us option on our website or app and submitting the appropriate information.

Southwest Airlines Baggage fees

Southwest Airlines has the cheapest baggage policy in the industry. The passenger can check in up to two bags without paying any fee; the excess or extra fees also come with a price of $75 each.

Carry-on allowance with Southwest Airlines:

  • One standard carry-on bag: free
  • One personal item: free
  • One bag of breast milk or a pump can be carried on the flight along with the traveler’s standard carry-on allowance.
  • The airline allows car seats and strollers to be checked at the gate or ticket counter without charging.
  • The checked bags can weigh up to 23 kg or 50 pounds and should have linear dimensions of up to 158 cm.
  • Southwest Airlines is known to be the only airline that can allow passengers to carry two bags with them without paying any fees.
  • With Southwest Airlines, two bags can be carried for free; for 3+ bags, the passengers must pay $75 for extra baggage.
  • The overweight and oversized baggage fees with Southwest Airlines are $75.
  • Passengers employed in the military on duty or permanent change for station orders can be exempted from the two-bag allowance. They are never charged for oversized or overweight fees unless their bag weighs up to 100 pounds and their size is 80 inches.

Southwest Airlines Pet Reservations Fees

However, sometimes Southwest will allow more (or fewer) than six carriers. How much is the Pet Fare? The Pet Fare is $95 each way per pet carrier.

Southwest Airlines clearly stated in their guidelines that they can only allow small vaccinated dogs and cats who should be at least 8 weeks old to fly as per the domestic itineraries. It’s not at all simple, as there are many regulations that you need to follow while carrying your pet from one location to another.

Many Southwest Airlines flights allow about six pet carriers to be kept in their cabins. The count can increase or decrease per the circumstances and must be checked regularly with the airline staff. Customers can carry one pet carrier of up to two pets of the same species for every flight. Keep in mind that pet reservations are always first-come, first-served basis.

If the passengers are traveling with their pets, they must get them checked at the airport counter before onboarding their flight. If the pet is quite big and cannot fit under the flight seats, Southwest Airlines does not allow them to travel. The fee is about $95 for one way for every pet carrier with Southwest Airlines. The best thing about the pet fees is that they are refundable, so if there is any change of plans, you can receive your money back.

Southwest Airlines Seat Selection Fees

In case you want to select your seat on Southwest Airlines, then you need to know some of the important points of the Southwest Seat Selection Policy:

  • For the seat selection policy with Southwest Airlines, you can visit the official website of Southwest Airlines and the client service to select seats.
  • You can also buy out early check-in with Southwest Airlines for the best onboarding experience.
  • It is also recommended that passengers can make early check-in with Southwest Airlines for the best seats.

Southwest Airlines never allows passengers to book in advance and always allows them to select their seats while boarding the flight. If any travelers are looking forward to availing benefits of the Southwest Seat Selection policy then they have to pay the price for the same. However, the selection fee is always dependent on the itinerary and can range between $30 to $40.

Southwest Airlines Name change fees:

Southwest Airlines for name correction offers about $150 and will always be collected if the passenger wishes to go for name change fees within 24 hours of the booking. The passenger needs to present documentation to support the change and other information, and it should reflect their real name. Once the 24 hours are over, Southwest Airlines charges for making the changes for up to 4 characters, and the change fees will be about $200. Once you have opted for name correction fees, your tickets will be sent for re-issue, and you will receive a rebooked ticket in the same or higher class. If the ticket is rebooked in a higher class, the fare difference will apply.

Southwest Airlines Priority boarding fees:

Southwest Airlines is said to use priority boarding fees for positions ranging from A1 to A15. Usually, the upgrade is always subject to availability. If priority boarding is available, then you will be the first to board the flight given the below-listed circumstances:

  • Earn Elite Status:

Southwest Airlines allows travelers to earn A-List preferred status on using the airlines. They must earn 35,000 tier qualifying points for a year or 25 qualifying one-way flights. The Elite status members also receive priority boarding after Business Select.

  • Buy select business fare:

Buying a guaranteed spot in your priority boarding group offers the passengers a premium drink while traveling.

  • Buyout priority boarding:

Always be ready to pay $50, $30 or $40 if you need to board the flight anytime sooner.

  • Buy out Early Bird Check-in:

The travelers are charged $25 or $15 for the one-sided trip if they happen to buy the Early-bird check-in. But it will never guarantee you will receive a spot in A1 to A15 group, but your boarding position will surely improve.

  • Receive a Southwest Airlines credit card:

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority credit card can allow you to book up to 4 priority boarding tickets every year on the card anniversary.

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