October 3, 2023

What to do when you miss your Southwest Flight: All you need to know

If you miss a flight that is not because of another Southwest delay you are SOL. Your problem, not theirs. You receive zero priority for later flights and are subject to seat availability and fare difference just as any other passenger wishing to make a flight change.

If you are A-List, there are standby options but those are not available to non-status passengers.

What happens if you miss your flight when flying with Southwest?

Southwest Airlines keeps you informed to ensure you don’t miss your flight, but if you do and find out something is wrong, Southwest Airlines is not responsible for the repercussions. Customers will be permitted to board the next flight to their destination as standby passengers if they arrive at a Southwest terminal within two hours of their planned departure time. They will also get excellent help and service from a genuine person. Even if you did, there is no cause for anxiety about missing a Southwest Airlines trip. You are welcome to adhere to the advice given below to avoid any form of inconvenience:

You should immediately notify the airline if you are convinced you will miss your flight, whether because you have already missed it or are about to do so. If you need to do either of those things, this will help you get a refund for the unused portion of your ticket or book a new flight with Southwest Airlines.

Call at least 10 minutes before departure to plead your case and say a good word. If you are about to arrive at the airport and running a few minutes late, you should also try to make your case there. You should explain your circumstances and the reason you missed the flight.

The airline will assist you in finding a replacement flight to your destination if you have missed a flight and notify them about it. If you miss a flight, you must plan a new trip and tell the airline about it. The airlines will also help you book lodging for a comfortable overnight stay if there isn’t a flight on that specific day.

There is a procedure in place at Southwest Airlines for customers who miss flights. As soon as you realize that your window of opportunity to catch your flight has passed, or if you have missed it for any other reason, such as prolonged delays brought on by heavy traffic or any other circumstance, you must contact a customer care representative team.

You will only be obligated to pay the no-show fines if you notify the airline in plenty of time that you will miss your flight. You will be charged a “no-show” fee if you don’t inform the airline of your change in plans.

If you don’t pay the fee for customers who don’t show up for their flights, your future tickets with Southwest Airlines will be canceled.

Passengers who miss their flights can notify the airlines, who will work with them to reschedule their flights at no extra cost.

Travelers can instantly request a refund for the portion of their ticket that was not used if they choose not to fly on the planned day and time and miss their flight.

Does missing a flight cost money when using Southwest Airlines?

Southwest Airlines reserves the right to revoke any pending reservations you make with the airline if you miss your flight without paying the no-show fee. You will, however, be qualified to receive a complimentary ticket for the next flight if you inform the airline about the missed flight. Southwest Airlines may charge you for missing the flight if your airline ticket is nonrefundable. You will have to pay this fee in addition to rebooking your flight to continue your journey. This fee can range from $75 to $400 per passenger.

If I miss my flight with Southwest Airlines, how can I reschedule it?

If you have any inquiries about how to reschedule a flight after missing it, go to the Southwest Airlines website or give their customer service line a call.

Southwest Airlines offers online rescheduling for those who missed their flight:

The first step is to determine whether or not you are qualified to reschedule a missed flight after entering the correct login information into your booking account.

Select “delayed or disrupted” under “manage my journey,” then enter the new date and the passenger’s last name in the section that says “added.”

You must give the following details to reserve your ticket without paying any money:

  • The passenger’s name.
  • The destination.
  • The next time you can travel.
  • The last name of the reservation.

Southwest flat tire policy

Airlines developed the “flat tire rule” to help travelers who couldn’t make their flight because of unavoidable circumstances. These travelers were compelled to miss their flights.

For instance, if you’re going to the airport and one of your tires blows out, you cannot make it in time for your flight. If this were to occur, the airline would work with you to locate the next flight and reserve a seat at no additional charge.

In today’s society, you don’t need to experience a flat tire or even miss a flight because of events beyond your control.

As an alternative, regardless of the reason you have, as long as you arrive within the allotted time, you are allowed to benefit from the flat tire rule.

Even if you overslept, forgot to set your alarm, or had the wrong departure time, you would still benefit from the “flat tire” rule.

Keep in mind that this is typically an unwritten rule. Although passengers are often unaware of the policy, check-in staff and gate officials are expected to be knowledgeable about it.

How precisely does the flat tire policy apply?

If you arrive by two hours before the time your flight is scheduled to depart, you should benefit from Southwest’s flat tire policy.

Even if you show up at the check-in desk after it has closed for the day, you can still be qualified to benefit from the flat tire rule. This would typically be 30 minutes before departure, so you should consider making changes on the same day (but more than that below).

You have the choice of showing up at the check-in counter or speaking to a gate agent and stating that you missed your flight and would like to use the flat tire rule if you arrive after departure or miss check-in.

While you can contact and start the process, problems of this sort are typically resolved once you have arrived at the airport.

An agent might be willing to book you on that journey at no additional cost and occasionally right away if a room opens up on a different airline that goes to your destination but has a different set of connections. When a spot opens up on that flight, this happens. The more likely of the two possibilities are that you will be added to a standby list if there are no open positions.

This outcome is dependent upon the fare that you booked. If you choose not to be on the standby list or are unable to be on the list for whatever reason, you will either be compelled to forfeit the money you paid for your ticket or be entitled to a refund.

Where Do I Go to Get the Best Seats on Southwest?

Your ability to be proactive and employ the same-day change rather than depending on the flat tire rule may allow you to do so in some situations.

You have the choice to ask to be put on a later flight to the same destination if, on the same day as your flight, you see that there are seats available; however, you must ask to be put on that flight at least ten minutes before the time that your flight was initially scheduled to depart.

Online free same-day modifications are available for Business Select, Anytime, and Wanna Get Away Plus fares and are also eligible.

A and A-List Preferred Members with Wanna Get Away fares are eligible for a free same-day adjustment. Still, customers must contact Southwest Customer Service or speak with a Southwest Gate Agent to take advantage of this perk.

Customers of Wanna Get Away who are not members of the A-List or A-List Preferred may elect to change on the same day, but they will probably have to pay an additional cost.

You can reschedule your flight online if you need to do so precisely one hour before takeoff. However, you will need to speak with an agent to make the change if you want to change your flight between ten minutes and an hour before departure.

It’s intriguing that Wanna Get Away clients could avoid paying the additional cost for their rescheduled travel if they adhere to the flat tire restriction. However, this is a hazardous course of action since you risk losing everything if you cannot board a new flight as a standby passenger.

If you want to Get Away travelers and put them on the standby list, you will be given preference over travelers who are not paying for their tickets, albeit you might not be given as much preference as travelers who are A-List or A-List Preferred.

Nevertheless, depending on how full the flight is, you will normally be informed if your application is accepted between ten and thirty minutes before the aircraft takes off.


The effects of Canceling a Southwest Flight, even if you don’t think you’ll be altering it and want to get rid of it, can vary depending on the scheduled fare and the time of cancellation.

If you need to cancel a Business Select or Anytime fare reservation, you must do so at least ten minutes before the departure time to obtain a full refund. Travel reimbursement will be given to you if you fail to show up for the event.

Prices for Wanna Get Away are nonrefundable, and if you don’t cancel your reservation at least ten minutes before the scheduled departure time of your flight, you’ll forfeit EVERY cent you paid.

If you used Rapid Rewards points to pay for your reservation, those points should be credited back to your account as soon as possible.

If you cannot board the next flight or are added to the standby list for that trip, you might be forced to pay a walk-up fare. If you get your tickets in advance, you should regrettably expect to spend more than you normally would because these are frequently some of the most expensive tickets available.

Did Southwest still follow the “flat tire rule”?

Many questions whether Southwest Airlines still abides by the flat tire regulation because it is an unofficial guideline.

Flights with connecting routes

Southwest will find you another trip to your destination and reimburse your original ticket price if you miss your connecting flight due to an irregular operation, such as a flight delay or cancellation on Southwest’s part.

On the other hand, if you missed your connection because you bought a different airline ticket separately, the issue is completely your fault, and you must, if at all possible, rely on the flat tire rule.

You must obtain information regarding how the standby options for connecting flights work. You won’t have a seat on your connecting aircraft, so you may have to depend on standby for a number of your legs of the trip, which can be challenging.

To sum up

Missing your flight on Southwest Airlines does not necessarily mean the world’s end. You will have a better chance of being permitted to board the following available aircraft without incurring any additional fees if you arrive at the airport within two hours of your scheduled departure time.

The standby list will likely be your next option if this is unsuccessful. And if all else fails, you might have little choice but to book a walk-up fare or accept the refund you are entitled to.

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