Southwest Extends its Schedule to April 12, 2013

This post may contain affiliate links from our advertising partners, such as American Express. Read my Advertiser Disclosure policy here. Additionally, some of the offers on this page may no longer be available through Deals We Like.

While most airlines allow you to book travel 330 days in advance, some of the US lower carrier airlines have a very different booking schedule. Every so often they extend their reservations system a few months out at a time. I just noticed that you can actually now book through April 12, 2013. This is great for those looking to make spring break vacation travel arrangements. Keep in mind that AirTran has the same schedule as Southwest, so their schedule has been extended as well.

My favorite part about Southwest is that you can cancel your reservations without any 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.
  • 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 (ranging from $2.50-$7.50 one way). Make sure to request that the taxes go back to the credit card.

Happy booking!

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. By “lower carrier” I assume you mean “vastly superior in every aspect except the ability to fly internationally? 🙂

  2. Mike, didn’t you mean: Fly internationally, redeem internationally, change cheap tickets easily on day or departure, offer low fares, offer comfortable seating, offer upgraded types of seating, offer seat assignments, not require you to stampede the plane for a decent seat, offer food on board, run on time, not mishandle bags, not IDB people…

    Southwest does worse than the majority of the legacies on a whole slew of things (all of the above are documented either by WN and legacy published policies or by the most recent DOT ATCR). They’ve been very successful on the marketing side, and at providing a slightly higher minimum level of customer service, along with a consistently mediocre experience.

    They doubtless have their niche that they’re successful in, and a large one at that, but they’re not at all uniformly good. Like any airline, they have good and bad – for me the bad matters a lot more.

  3. Mrs. Deals, are there any caveats to canceling flights booked with Southwest points? How last minute can you cancel flights without penalty, if any?

  4. Golfer – no real deadline. You could actually miss the flight without cancelling in advance and they’d be redeposited.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.