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If you follow this blog often, you know that I am a huge Southwest fan. One of my favorite reasons for loving Southwest is that if a flight drops in price after you’ve booked your ticket, you can get the difference back! This is for both paid fares and flights booked with points. While this is a great perk, it requires you (the traveler) to check the fare price daily and re-book it – Southwest will not automatically re-price your ticket for you.
To make the process simple, the site Southwest Monkey created a service that will do the leg work for you. I initially wrote about this site a few weeks ago after the creators contacted me and asked me to write about it. There is a $3 charge for this service to check your flight price daily and text you if your light decreases in price. You only pay, however, IF they are able to save you $10 or more. A win-win for everyone if you aren’t one to constantly check for a price decrease for your upcoming flights.
Unfortunately, a few days after I wrote the post and the site started to receive some traction, Southwest Monkey received a cease and desist letter from Southwest. I am not surprised as this has happened to many other similar sites in the past. Even with a cease and desist they still continued with business as usual. Then a few days later (yesterday to be exact) they contacted me letting me know that they ultimately decided to shut down after meeting with a lawyer. With that being said, they still really want to make this work and will try to get something together that is not against Southwest’s terms.
While I personally do not understand why Southwest is so against these sites, I am not a lawyer. In my opinion, they are providing a service that any Southwest traveler can do themselves, there really isn’t anything unethical about it. It is similar to the award booking services. These award booking services are able to find flight availability using points/miles that any traveler could find on their own (but they just might not feel like doing the leg work or do not even know how to go about finding availability). The information is publicly available, just like Southwests flight prices are publicly available. There is no loophole to finding these discounted flights, it just requires the traveler to actually do the work. Instead of doing the work themselves, people prefer to pay a service to find information that is publicly available.
Information on how you get the fare difference back:
- Paid Flight: If you paid for your flight you will receive a voucher for the difference in fare price to be used one year from the date the flight was originally purchased (NOT the date the change process took place). This voucher is non-transferable and can only be used for the same passenger the original flight was booked for. The voucher will be tied to the confirmation number of the original flight. There is NO fee for this.
- Using Points: If you booked your flight using points, the difference in points will go back into your account immediately. Although, due to recent changes in Southwest’s booking reservation system, I suggest canceling the flight (the points go straight back into your account) and then re-booking. This will keep your reservation refundable. I love using points for Southwest flights!
To get full step-by-step directions on how you get your money/points back, make sure to read this post “If a Southwest Flight Goes Down in Price…”