Southwest Airlines is known for having one of the most generous change and cancellation policies out of any US airline. You can often make changes for no fees and even make cancellations with no penalty depending on the type of fare that you purchase. However, there are some rules and restrictions that you should know about so that you don’t end up making costly mistakes.
In this article, I will discuss the Southwest Airlines Reservations change policies for the different types of fares including Wanna Get Away fares, Business Select, and Anytime fares. I will then show you step-by-step how to make a change to your Southwest flights and how to cancel your flights.
Southwest Airlines flight change policy
Southwest Airlines is one of the only airlines that allows you to change your ticket without paying a fee. This is very significant because those change fees can be quite expensive with the other legacy airlines such as United, Delta, and American Airlines. For example, Delta Airlines change fees for non-refundable tickets start at $200!
With Southwest you never have to worry about going into your wallet to make a change to you reservation but you should still be aware of a few things related to the change policy.
The deadline for making changes is 1 hour prior to departure. If you miss that deadline you’ll need to cancel your flight which you can do up to 10 minutes prior to departure.
If you make a change in your booking and there is a difference in the fare price, you will be responsible for paying the difference if the price is higher. However, if the price is lower you will be reimbursed depending on the type of fare that you purchased.
For example, if you purchased a ticket for $200 and your new fare comes out to $250, you will be responsible for paying the $50 difference.
But let’s say you’ve purchased a ticket for $200 and your new fare comes out to $150. If you purchased a refundable fare like a Business Select ticket for an Anytime ticket, then you will be eligible to receive a $50 refund. However if you purchased a Wanna Get Away fare then you will be issued $50 in travel funds.
Southwest travel funds will expire one year from being issued and you will have to take that flight within that one year time period (not just make your booking).
Customers calling Southwest to request a refund or to research travel funds for a specific ticket must provide their confirmation number, ticket number or flight information (date, origin and destination).