Back in May, Southwest implemented a new software system. While the system allows for many more opportunities for Southwest, it had a huge impact for customers on the reservation side. Compared to all of the other domestic airlines, Southwest gives its customers a ton of flexibility. You can cancel or change a flight with absolutely no fee – it doesn’t matter if your flight is booked on points or a paid fare. This allows for customers to make speculative bookings and a huge reason I am in love with Southwest.
In the past, you could even have had multiple flights on the same exact day! This allowed you to book backup flights incase you were not 100% sure of your travel plans. All you had to do was cancel the flight you didn’t want 10 minute prior to take off. While doing this has always explicitly been against the terms, Southwest’s IT system is so outdated that they never caught on and reservations were 99.99% kept. Well, all this changed when the new system went into place. You now CANNOT have multiple reservations on the same day. Southwest will cancel any reservation when you physically cannot make both flights. This includes flights between the same and different destination. Of course any flights where flying on both airplanes is possible will stay in tact, i.e., same day roundtrip flights.
It seems as though one of the two flights will be canceled 24 hours after the 2nd reservation is made. Although, it is still unclear one how they determine which reservation to cancel. Unfortunately, many folks are not aware of the “new rule” and find out later on that their desired flight was canceled and is now more expensive. From reports I’ve read, if you call Southwest Customer Relations, they are able to re-book the flight at the same cost you originally paid (and then cancel the other flight). This is extremely amazing customer service since it really was against the terms anyways to book multiple flights.
This new rule has definitely impacted how I make my flights. There are times when I know I am going on vacation, but I am not 100% sure where I want to go. So I’ve made flights to different destinations for the same day. Or, if I wasn’t sure if I wanted to fly out in the AM or PM, I’ve made multiple reservations also. I have always canceled well in advance though to ensure that it did not leave an empty seat on a Southwest flight. Although, I absolutely respect this decision by Southwest. They are beyond flexible in every other aspect, that I totally understand them clamping down and not allowing this.
How has this change impacted your Southwest reservations? This new rule has definitely forced me to be more decisive!