How one can Rebook and Save When Southwest Flight Costs Drop – NerdWallet


Southwest Airways is understood and beloved for its lack of charges. As a part of the airline’s “Transfarency” policy, all Southwest passengers can verify as much as two baggage free of charge and might change or cancel their flight with no payment.

However, there’s one side of Southwest’s super-flexible change insurance policies that’s not as well-known: Southwest will credit score you the fare distinction if the worth of your flight drops. This implies you’ll be able to guide Southwest flights with out worrying in regards to the flight getting cheaper. Guide a flight now, then declare any worth distinction if the fare drops sooner or later.

Nonetheless, this refund isn’t computerized. You’ll have to preserve a watch out for worth modifications and actively request the fare distinction when the worth reduces. The excellent news is that course of is comparatively straightforward.

This is the best way to rebook and save when Southwest flight costs drop.

Which Southwest fares may be modified?

All Southwest flight bookings may be modified or canceled with out charges. In contrast to different U.S. airways — that are just loosening up change fee restrictions — Southwest doesn’t exclude the most cost effective fares or require that your flight originates in a sure nation.

Although Southwest doesn’t promote basic economy tickets, even their lowest fare (Wanna Get Away) doesn’t require you to pay extra to have the ability to change or cancel your flights later. This isn’t the case when flying American, Delta or United.

Merely put: You may all the time modify any Southwest flights, regardless of the ticket stage.

Nerd tip: You may even change or cancel flights booked with Fast Rewards factors with out charges.

Which Southwest fares may be refunded?

There’s a key distinction between Southwest fare sorts that’s vital to bear in mind. Solely Anytime (mid-tier) and Enterprise Choose (top-tier) fares are absolutely refundable. Wanna Get Away fares (lower-tier) aren’t technically refundable.

When you can change or cancel Wanna Get Away fares, you received’t obtain a refund to your bank card. As an alternative, Southwest will situation you Journey Funds that can be utilized to guide future flights. These Journey Funds have to be utilized by the unique traveler and expire one 12 months after the unique buy date. Be aware that Southwest prolonged some Journey Funds’ expiration dates till Sept. 7, 2022, as a part of their coverage modifications through the peak of the pandemic.

When you’ll be able to change your Southwest flights

Southwest flight bookings may be modified or canceled virtually anytime with out charges, up till 10 minutes earlier than a flight’s scheduled departure time. You may equally rating a worth drop credit score till 10 minutes earlier than your flight — even when you’ve already checked in.

Although Southwest flights sometimes get dearer the nearer time ticks towards departure, when you preserve your eye on the airfare worth, you would possibly get a deal.

How one can rebook your Southwest flight at a decrease fare

Say you checked the worth in your Southwest flight and located that the fare dropped. Congratulations! However what’s the method to assert the fare distinction? Let’s present you.

Log into your Southwest account

There are a couple of locations the place you can begin, nevertheless it’s most likely best to log into your Southwest Rapid Rewards account and scroll right down to “My upcoming journeys.” To get began with the method, click on the “Change flight” hyperlink on the reservation you want to vary.

Choose your flight

On the following web page, choose the flight that you just wish to modify. When you booked a spherical journey, you’ll have the choice to vary only one approach and go away the opposite.

Seek for a brand new flight (or new ticket on the identical flight)

Subsequent, enter the departure and arrival airports, date and time of day to seek for new flights. Southwest will show the flight choices obtainable; the search outcomes will probably be in a format acquainted to frequent Southwest vacationers, together with the identical kind and filter choices.

Nonetheless, as an alternative of displaying the worth of a flight, Southwest will checklist the worth or level distinction. When you’re touring with a number of passengers, be aware that this worth distinction is per particular person.

If you wish to journey on a special date, you’ll be able to navigate through the dates on the prime of the search outcomes. As soon as you discover the flight and date you need, click on the flight possibility after which click on “proceed” on the backside to maneuver ahead with the change.

Guide your ticket and pay/get credited the distinction

Southwest will then verify the flight possibility, and on the backside of this web page, you’ll see the full worth distinction for all passengers that may be credited to your account as Journey Funds. When you’re altering to a decrease price award flight, you will see the quantity of factors that will probably be added again to your Fast Rewards account.

View the reconcile abstract

On the ultimate web page, Southwest will present a “Reconcile abstract.” This can present the quantity of factors or money that will probably be refunded to you, plus how a lot will probably be held as Journey Funds (if relevant).

Professional tip: How to determine the brand new ticket price

Apparently, Southwest doesn’t present the worth of the brand new flight at any level on this rebooking course of. However, when you’re altering an award ticket, there’s a simple solution to discover these costs.

Southwest technically refunds the award worth of the previous ticket after which pulls the award worth of the brand new ticket out of your account. So, you’ll be able to evaluate the Points Activity page of your Rapid Rewards account to see the previous and new costs for this reserving.

The underside line

Over the previous few years, fee-free flight change and cancellation insurance policies have been distinctive to Southwest. Nonetheless, different U.S.-based airways have lately eliminated change charges on most flights. Plus, American and Delta vacationers can even now request a journey credit score when the worth of a flight drops.

Southwest vacationers can change or cancel any fare at any time as much as 10 minutes earlier than departure, and there’s no restrict to the variety of modifications you can make. Relying in your fare sort, you’ll get a refund or Journey Funds of the worth distinction if the fee decreased.

However you should understand how the method works with a view to take full benefit of this coverage. Now that you just’ve seen how straightforward it’s to vary a Southwest flight when the fare drops, you’ll be able to really feel much more comfy reserving a Southwest flight for the longer term.

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