You get your money back! If you read this blog daily, you probably notice that I am writing about Southwest fare sales quite often! And while a fare sale is great for those looking to book future travel, it also comes in handy for those who already have booked reservations as you are able to get a credit back if the price of your flight goes down. Here are the detailed steps on how to go about this if a Southwest price decreases!
One thing to know, Southwest will NOT automatically credit your account if the fare goes down. You must take the initiative and go through the steps yourself. This is why I am on the Southwest site daily checking out current fare prices of already reserved flights. You can get a credit for the fare price multiple times up until the day of departure!
UPDATE AS OF 5/9/17: If you change a flight, any flights that were booked as a fully refundable fare will turn non-refundable (this impacts: flights booked with points, business select fares, and anytime fares; this does not impact paid wanna getaway fares). This means if you cancel a flight that was changed, you’ll receive the money back as a travel voucher, not back to your credit card. Learn more here.
Sign into your Southwest account and access your upcoming trips. All future reservations will be listed. Click the “Change Reservation” link for the flight that has gone down in price.
**Note: If you booked your original reservation over the phone you will need to call Southwest and have them do this. Just remember though, Southwest agents are not able to see web-only fares.
Click the checkbox for the passenger that you want to change the reservation for and click “Continue”. If the reservation included multiple passengers, you can select all passengers. Just remember that sometimes the lower fare is only available for one ticket, so in that case just select one passengers name).
Your current flight itinerary will already be populated in the From, To, and Depart fields. Just click “Select New Flight”.
Select your flight time and click “Continue”. It will give you the current fare in cash or points based on how you originally booked your reservation.
You will the new and exchanged ticket total at the bottom of the page along with the difference. Make sure that the new ticket is less than the exchanged ticket! Assuming the information is correct, click “Continue”.
The new ticket price will be listed. If you paid with points and kept the itinerary exactly the same there will be no additional amount due. If the flight information is correct click the “I Want To Make These Changes” button.
The process is really simple and takes no more then a minute or two. Here are the two scenarios on how you will 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. 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. Again, there is NO fee for this. This is why I love booking Southwest flights using points!
One thing to note: If you have a companion pass tacked onto your existing reservation it gets a little trickier. The system will not allow you to change a reservation if you have a companion pass added onto the reservation. Assuming the flight still has plenty of seats left, you must first cancel your companions reservation and then change your flight itinerary. You will then need to remember to add your companion back onto your reservation. The major downfall with this is the system takes a few minutes to recognize that the companion’s reservation has been cancelled. Here you can learn more about the Southwest Rapid Reward loyalty program and Southwest Companion Pass.
To learn more about the Southwest program:
- Southwest Credit Card 50,000 Point Offer
- Earning and Redeeming Southwest Rapid Reward Points
- Earning Status with Southwest and the Benefits
- Changing and Canceling a Southwest Ticket
- Earning the Southwest Companion Pass
- Converting Southwest Credits to Free Flights
- Transferring Points to Southwest
- Transferring Points/Credits between AirTran and Southwest
- Extending the Life of Free Flights from Rapid Reward 1.0 Program
- Booking Southwest Flights with Chase Ultimate Reward Points
- Canceling a Flight Booked with Points
- Changing a Flight if Booked as a Roundtrip
- Getting Money Back if the Flight Goes Down in Price