Are you a frequent Southwest Airlines flyer looking to change your upcoming flight plans? With Southwest’s flexible policies, you actually have quite a bit of leeway to modify your reservation without paying any change fees.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through everything you need to know about changing Southwest flights, from how many times you can adjust your itinerary to tips for completing changes smoothly.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Southwest allows customers to change flights as many times as they’d like, as long as the new flight has available seats and follows the fare rules tied to their original ticket. There are never change fees to switch to another Southwest flight.
Southwest’s No Change Fee Policy
Southwest allows unlimited flight changes
Southwest Airlines has gained a loyal following for its customer-friendly policies, and one of the standout features is its no change fee policy. Unlike many other airlines that charge hefty fees for flight changes, Southwest allows passengers to change their flights an unlimited number of times without incurring any additional fees.
This flexibility is a major advantage for travelers who may need to modify their plans due to unforeseen circumstances or changing travel needs.
Changes must follow original fare rules
While Southwest Airlines offers generous flexibility when it comes to changing flights, it’s important to note that any changes made must still adhere to the original fare rules. This means that if you booked a non-refundable fare, you will not be able to get a refund for the fare difference if you switch to a lower-priced flight.
Similarly, if you booked a restricted fare with certain date or time limitations, you will need to find an alternative flight that falls within those restrictions. It’s always wise to review the fare rules before making any changes to your Southwest flight to ensure you understand any limitations or potential costs involved.
No fees for flight changes
One of the most appealing aspects of Southwest’s no change fee policy is that there are no fees associated with flight changes. This means that if you need to modify your travel plans, you won’t be hit with any additional charges.
This can provide peace of mind for travelers who value flexibility and want to avoid the stress of potentially costly change fees. Keep in mind that while Southwest does not charge change fees, there may still be a fare difference if you switch to a higher-priced flight.
However, this is a small price to pay for the freedom to make unlimited changes without incurring any extra fees.
How to Change Southwest Flights
Changes can be made online
Southwest Airlines offers a convenient and user-friendly option to change your flight online. This allows you to make modifications to your travel plans without the need to call or visit a ticket counter.
Simply log in to your Southwest account on their official website, navigate to the “Manage Reservations” section, and follow the step-by-step instructions to change your flight. The online process is quick and efficient, saving you valuable time and effort.
It’s important to note that Southwest Airlines allows changes to be made to your flight up until 10 minutes before the scheduled departure time. This flexibility provides passengers with the peace of mind that they can adjust their travel plans if unexpected circumstances arise.
Changes over the phone
If you prefer to speak with a Southwest Airlines representative directly, you can change your flight over the phone. The airline’s customer service team is available 24/7 to assist you with any changes or inquiries you may have.
Simply call the dedicated helpline and provide the necessary details of your reservation. The representative will guide you through the process and help you make the necessary changes to your Southwest flight.
Keep in mind that although changing your flight over the phone is a viable option, it may involve longer wait times, especially during busy travel periods. Therefore, if your travel plans can be modified online, it is generally recommended to utilize the online platform for a quicker and more efficient experience.
For more information on changing Southwest flights, you can visit the official Southwest Airlines website at www.southwest.com.
Changing Southwest Flights with Points
Points bookings can be changed
One of the best perks of booking Southwest flights with points is that you can change your itinerary easily and often. Unlike paid bookings which have change fees, points bookings on Southwest can be changed or canceled any time before the scheduled departure, with no fees (just pay any fare difference if applicable).
This flexibility makes points bookings ideal if your travel plans are prone to change. You don’t have to worry about change fees eating into your points value if your plans shift. You can modify your flight dates and times as needed, up to 10 minutes before the scheduled departure.
To change a points booking, simply go online or call Southwest reservations. Provide your confirmation number and request your desired modifications – change of date(s), flight time(s), destination(s), etc. As long as seats are available at the new date/time, your reservation can be changed.
If the new flight costs more points, you’ll just need to cover the difference.
Points redeposit fee
If you need to outright cancel a points booking and want your points redeposited for future use, Southwest does charge a redeposit fee. This is to discourage last-minute cancellations that could have allowed other customers to book the open seats. The current redeposit fee is $99 per person.
To avoid this fee, try to change your reservation to a future date rather than canceling outright. For example, push your departure date out further into the future instead of canceling. As long as you change before departure, there are no change fees.
The redeposit fee only applies when canceling a points reservation where you want the points redeposited. The fee does not apply if you’re canceling a paid “Wanna Get Away” booking or one made through the Southwest portal with purchased points.
So if you need to modify or cancel a points booking, focus on changing rather than canceling to avoid that painful redeposit penalty. The flexible change policy is one of the best perks of redeeming your Rapid Rewards points on Southwest flights.
Standby and Same-Day Changes
When it comes to changing your Southwest flight, there are a few options available to passengers. One of the most convenient options is the ability to standby for an earlier flight or make a same-day confirmed change.
These options allow passengers to be flexible with their travel plans and make adjustments on the go.
Standby for earlier flights
If you find yourself at the airport earlier than anticipated or simply want to catch an earlier flight, Southwest Airlines offers a standby option. Standby allows you to try and get on an earlier flight on the same day as your original booking.
However, it’s important to note that standby is not guaranteed and availability is based on open seats on the desired flight.
To standby for an earlier flight, you can approach the Southwest Airlines customer service desk at the airport and request to be added to the standby list. If there are open seats on the desired flight, you may be able to board that flight instead.
It’s a great option for those who prefer to be spontaneous or need to reach their destination earlier than planned.
It’s worth mentioning that Southwest Airlines does not charge a fee for standby, making it a convenient and cost-effective option for passengers. However, it’s always recommended to check the airline’s official website for any updates or changes to their standby policy.
Same-day confirmed changes
If you need to change your Southwest flight to a different time or date, the same-day confirmed change option is available. This option allows you to secure a seat on a different flight on the same day as your original booking, giving you more flexibility with your travel plans.
To make a same-day confirmed change, you can use the Southwest Airlines mobile app or website. Simply log in to your account, navigate to your booking, and look for the option to make a change. If there are available seats on your preferred flight, you can confirm the change and receive a new boarding pass.
It’s important to note that same-day confirmed changes are subject to availability and may incur a fee. The fee varies depending on your ticket type and the specific flight you’re changing to. It’s recommended to check the Southwest Airlines website or contact their customer service for more information on fees and availability.
Both standby and same-day confirmed changes offer Southwest Airlines passengers the flexibility they need to adjust their travel plans. Whether you need to catch an earlier flight or change your travel date, these options make it easier to accommodate any unexpected changes or preferences.
So next time you find yourself needing to make a change to your Southwest flight, remember these convenient options that can save you time and provide a hassle-free experience.
Changing Companion Fares
Companions can be changed
If you’ve booked a Southwest flight with a companion fare, you may be wondering if it’s possible to change the companion. The good news is that Southwest Airlines allows you to change your companion as long as you meet the necessary criteria.
This can be a great benefit if your original companion is unable to travel or if you simply want to bring someone else along on your trip.
Changing your companion is a straightforward process. You can contact Southwest Airlines directly through their customer service hotline or visit their website to make the change. It’s important to keep in mind that there may be certain restrictions or fees associated with changing your companion, so it’s always a good idea to check the airline’s policies before making any changes.
New companion must be eligible
When changing your companion on a Southwest flight, it’s important to ensure that the new companion meets the eligibility requirements. In most cases, the new companion must be a family member, a significant other, or a close friend.
Additionally, the new companion must be at least 18 years old and have the same travel dates and itinerary as the original companion.
Southwest Airlines may require you to provide proof of eligibility for the new companion, such as a marriage certificate or a letter of authorization. It’s always a good idea to have this documentation ready when making the change to avoid any delays or complications.
Remember, the ability to change your companion on a Southwest flight can provide flexibility and convenience. Whether you need to switch companions due to unforeseen circumstances or simply want to bring someone else along on your journey, Southwest Airlines makes it possible.
Southwest’s flexible policies make it easy to modify your upcoming travel plans as needed. You can change flights as often as you want without worrying about change fees, as long as seats are available on your new desired flight.
Just be aware of the fare rules tied to your original ticket, and plan changes in advance whenever possible for the widest selection of flight options. With a little preparation and scheduling flexibility, you can easily switch your Southwest itinerary to match your evolving travel needs.