Home Topics Finance How to book and save when airfares drop in the Southwest

How to book and save when airfares drop in the Southwest

Southwest Airlines is known and loved for its lack of fees. As part of the Airline’s “transfarency” policyAll passengers in the Southwest can check in up to two pieces of luggage free of charge and change or cancel their flight free of charge.

However, there is one aspect of Southwest’s super-flexible change policy that is not as well known: If the price of your flight falls, Southwest will credit you for the price difference. This means that you can book flights to the Southwest without having to worry about the flight getting cheaper. Book a flight now and then request a price difference if the fare drops in the future.

However, this refund is not automatic. You need to look out for price changes and actively request the price difference when the price decreases. The good news is that the process is relatively simple.

How to rebook and save when airfares drop in the Southwest.

Which Southwest Tariffs can be changed?

All Southwest flight bookings can be changed or canceled at no charge. Unlike other US airlines – they are only relaxation of restrictions on change fees – Southwest does not rule out the cheapest fares or require your flight to be from a specific country.

Though Southwest doesn’t sell Basic economy You no longer have to pay for tickets, even for the lowest fare (Wanna Get Away), in order to change or cancel your flights later. This is not the case if you are flying American, Delta, or United.

Simply put, you can change all flights to the Southwest at any time, regardless of the ticket tier.

Nerd tip: You can even change or cancel flights booked with Rapid Rewards points for free.

What Southwest Fares are Refundable?

There is a key difference between the types of tariffs in the Southwest that should be noted. Only the Anytime (Mid-Tier) and Business Select (Top-Tier) tariffs are fully reimbursed. There are no Wanna Get Away tariffs (lower tier) technically refundable.

While you can change or cancel the Wanna Get Away rates, you will not receive a refund on your credit card. Instead, Southwest will provide you with travel funds that you can use to book future flights. These travel funds must be used by the original traveler and will expire one year from the original purchase date. Note that Southwest has extended the expiration dates of some travel funds to September 7, 2022 as part of their policy changes during the height of the pandemic.

If you can change your southwest flights

Flight bookings for the Southwest can be changed or canceled almost at any time without fees up to 10 minutes before the scheduled departure time of a flight. Similarly, you can get discount credit up to 10 minutes before your flight – even if you’ve already checked in.

Although flights to the Southwest tend to get more expensive the closer it gets to departure, you may get a quote if you keep an eye on the fare.

How to rebook your southwest flight at a lower price

For example, let’s say you checked the price of your southwest flight and found that the fare had gone down. Congratulations! But how is the tariff difference asserted? Let’s show you

Sign in to your Southwest account

There are a few places to start, but it’s probably easiest to just sign up with you Southwest Rapid Rewards Account and scroll down to “My Upcoming Trips”. To begin the process, click the “Change Flight” link on the reservation you want to change.

Choose your flight

On the next page, select the flight you want to change. If you’ve booked a round-trip ticket, you have the option of only changing one direction and exiting the other.

Are you looking for a new flight (or a new ticket for the same flight)

Next, enter the departure and arrival airports and the date and time to check for new flights. Southwest displays the available flight options. Search results are in a format familiar to frequent Southwest travelers, including the same sorting and filtering options.

However, instead of showing the price of a flight, Southwest lists the price or the point difference. If you are traveling with multiple passengers, note that this price difference applies per person.

If you’d like to travel on a different date, you can use the dates at the top to navigate the search results. When you have found the flight and date you want, click the flight option and then click Next at the bottom to continue making the change.

Book your ticket and pay the difference

Southwest will then confirm the flight option and at the bottom of this page you will see the total fare difference for all passengers that can be added to your account as travel funds. When you switch to a lower cost forgive During the flight you will see the number of points that will be returned to your Rapid Rewards account.

View the voting summary

On the last page, Southwest displays a summary for matching. This shows the amount of points or cash that will be refunded to you and the amount that will be held in travel funds (if applicable).

Professional tip: How to determine the new ticket costs

Interestingly, at no point in this rebooking process does Southwest display the price of the new flight. However, if you change an award ticket there is an easy way to find out those prices.

Southwest will technically refund the award price of the old ticket and then deduct the award price of the new ticket from your account. Here’s how you can check it out Points activity page of your Rapid Rewards account to see the old and new prices for this booking.

The final result

In recent years only in the Southwest have fees for free flight changes and cancellations. However, other US-based airlines have recently canceled change fees on most flights. In addition, American and Delta travelers can now apply for travel credit when the price of a flight drops.

Travelers from the southwest can change or cancel any tariff at any time up to 10 minutes before departure. There is no limit to the number of changes you can make. Depending on your fare type, you will receive a refund or travel allowance for the price difference when the cost has decreased.

However, you need to know how the process works to get the most out of this policy. Now that you’ve seen how easy it is to change a southwest flight if the fare drops, you may feel even more comfortable booking a future southwest flight.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our tips for that best travel credit cards of 2021including the best for:


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