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Southwest and AirTran have extended their reservation schedule until January 4, 2015. Up until now you could only book through October 31, 2014, but now you can go ahead and book travel for Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, School Vacation, New Years, etc.!
I have gone ahead and made a bunch of speculative flights with points this morning and I will say many flights over the Christmas/School Vacation time are already ridiculously expensive. A roundtrip flight from New York to Florida was well over $600 – which is ridiculous if you ask me. However, I was able to find good fares from Hartford. If you are flexible with dates and airports you still can find a good deal.
Additionally, Southwest will start to service Mexico City and Punta Cana beginning November 2, 2014. So you can now make reservations to these two cities (although it is still pending government approval).
And remember, you can use your companion pass on all flights, international flights as well! I was able to add my husband on as a companion to many flights booked to Aruba!
With both airlines, if you book now and the flight price goes down you are able to get a credit.
- Southwest: If you pay for your flight, you will receive a voucher for the difference to be used one year from the date the flight was purchased. This voucher is non-transferable. If you booked your flight using points, the difference in points will go back into your account. You can rebook your original flight online to get this voucher/point difference credited – no phone call is needed.
- AirTran: For paid flights, you must call AirTran and request a credit for the difference. This voucher will be attached to the frequent fliers account who the ticket was booked for, but is fully transferable to anyone (you must just book through that FF account). The voucher expires one year from the date the flight was purchased.
Additionally, with Southwest, you can fully cancel your reservation for NO penalty (unlike AirTran). Here are the four scenarios on how you will get refunded for your reservation:
- Purchasing a ticket with a credit card: If cancelled, you will receive a credit back in the full amount you paid valid for one year from when the ticket was purchased. Unfortunately, these credits are not transferable.
- Purchasing a ticket with Southwest credit or a voucher: If cancelled, you will receive a credit back in the full amount you paid, but the expiration date will stick from the original voucher expiration date. This will not extend the date. Again, these credits/vouchers are not transferable.
- Purchasing a ticket using points: If cancelled, you will receive the full amount of points used back into your account. The points will go back into the account from which they were pulled from even if they were used on another passenger. There is no fee at all!
- Purchasing a ticket using a free ticket: If cancelled, you will receive the free ticket back into your account. This will not extend the expiration date. If the ticket was used for another passenger, it will still go back into the account from where the free ticket was pulled from. There is no fee at all!
You will also receive the full amount of taxes back to your credit card. If you cancel the reservation via the phone, however, many times they will not tell you this and instead give you a credit to be used for future travel for the taxes. Make sure to request that the taxes go back to the credit card.
Anyway able to snag some great holiday flights? Happy booking!