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While Southwest runs some great promotions from time to time, like the one I wrote about yesterday, there is one huge caveat to be eligible – you must have registered for the promotion PRIOR to booking your flight. That means only NEW reservations qualify. So existing reservations, even if the flight occurs during the promotional timeframe, will NOT qualify. This goes for every single Southwest promotion, not just the one I wrote about yesterday.
With that being said, if you booked a flight before the promotion was announced, there might still be a way to take advantage of the bonus being offered. If the fare price has not gone up in price, you can cancel and re-book. This will give you a new confirmation number and allow you to be eligible for the promotion. Remember, with Southwest you will not pay any cancellation fees. So if you go through this minor effort to qualify, when you cancel your flight, you’ll receive travel funds for the amount originally paid. The travel fund is tied to the confirmation number of the original flight – so make sure to keep this confirmation number. When you go to book a new flight for the exact same itinerary, you’ll want to make sure to apply the travel fund.
After you select your flights, during the payment section you’ll want to enter the confirmation number of the cancelled flight and the passengers first and last name. Remember, the names must match so you cannot use travel funds from another persons cancelled flight.
Now, if you used points for your flights and would not prefer to pay to take advantage of the promotion (only paid flights count), then you can just cancel your point reservation and re-book with a paid reservation. The points go right back into your account with no fees.
If your flight went up just a little, see if paying a little bit more is worth it or not. For the promotion I wrote about yesterday it is 2x points you earn plus a fast track way to earn A-List status. For the 2x points, do the math to see if paying more is worth the double points. For the A-List status, that really depends on if you’ll qualify with other flights you are booking and if the extra amount you pay is worth the status for you.