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Southwest has extended their reservation schedule until January 4, 2016. Up until now you could only book through October 30, 2014, but now you can go ahead and book travel for Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, School Vacation, New Years, etc.!
While this is great and all, Southwest’s website is royally messed up! I keep on getting an error message 99% of the time saying something about my Southwest Rapid Rewards number. I’ve been trying to book international flights on points, so maybe domestic flights are having an easier time. The flights are also ridiculously expensive compared to last year. I was on the computer at 6am and I think international flights came available a little after 6:30. A flight over Christmas to Aruba, for example, is over $700. That same exact flight last year was about $450.
I also received no confirmation email for the few flights that did go through and no details will pull up on my Southwest.com account. They are erroring out as well. So we shall see how this goes! The hold time for Southwest is close to two hours also.
However, for those that are having no issues, go ahead and book book book! With Southwest, you can fully cancel your reservation for NO penalty. 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 and can only be used for the passenger whom the ticket was originally booked for.
- 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. Chances are, most peoples free tickets will have already expired by this date, but Southwest has been known to extend them (possibly) with a fee associated.
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? Probably not, but with the companion pass it could work in your favor! Happy booking!