Did you know that Southwest has a really incredible perk that allows you to change your flight if the fare goes down? You’ll get the fare difference back as a refund or flight credit. Even better: since flight credits no longer expire with Southwest, you’ll be able to use those savings anytime you want on a future flight.
Lately, Southwest has been offering sales from many different origination cities and it’s resulted in a lot of flight prices going down. It’s easy to change your flight from the website or app and get a refund in minutes.
Two pro tips to make it easier to change Southwest flights
1. Always book Southwest flights one leg (or one way) at a time. Not round trip.
Why? Because if one way goes down in price or Rapid Rewards it’s easier to change that flight if you are only working with one way at a time.
2. If you are using a companion pass, don’t add your companion to your ticket until 3-4 weeks before the flight is scheduled.
If your flight goes down in price or Rapid Rewards, you will have to cancel the companion ticket before making any changes to yours.
Video Overview: How to change your Southwest flight
How do I know if my flight has gone down in price or Rapid Rewards?
1. Sign in to your Southwest Airlines account on a computer or the app.
Look at the list of all of your upcoming flights.
2. Select a flight and click “change flight.”
Don’t worry, you can check your flight without actually making any changes on the next couple screens.
3. Follow the prompts on the next screen to select the flight again and “explore options.”
Keep in mind that nothing is permanent yet. We are still just doing research to see if your flight went down in cost.
4. Now you will see a list of flights on the date you are scheduled to travel.
At the top of the page is a little pull down arrow that will show your original flight in case you can’t remember what flight number or what time it is supposed to leave.
If the amount in the blue box to the right of the flight information says +$20, for example, that means the flight is now $20 more than what you paid. But if it says -$20, then your flight has gone down in cost and you can get the difference back!
This is going to be the same if you paid in points. For example, +1300 would mean that the flight has gone up by 1300 Rapid Rewards and -1300 would mean that it has gone down by 1300 Rapid Rewards.
5. If your flight has not gone down in price, just exit the page and everything will stay as it was. If it HAS gone down in price, follow the instructions in the next section.
How do I change my flight if it has gone down in price or Rapid Rewards?
Now what? If your flight HAS gone down in price or Rapid Rewards, you can easily change that flight and get your refund right on the app or website. No need to call!
1. Once you have determined that the price has gone down, it’s time to change the flight.
Click on the blue box that shows how much the flight has gone down (to the right of the flight information).
2. Click “Review Changes.”
The next page will confirm that you do, in fact, want to choose the flight that has gone down in price.
3. Click “review passenger and pricing.”
You will be shown all of the flight information again, the original amount paid, and the new cost.
4. Now you are on a page that will make things permanent.
Be sure all of the information is correct on this page before clicking on the yellow “Make these Changes” or “Confirm Changes” button at the bottom!
This page also shows how the refund will be issued. If you paid with Rapid Rewards, they will go right back into your account. For cash bookings, whether your refund will be issued back to your original form of payment (Business Select or Anytime fares) or as a flight credit (Wanna Get Away or Wanna Get Away Plus fares) will depend on what fare class you purchased.
Remember that as of July 2022 Southwest flight credits NEVER EXPIRE!!
5. If you are getting travel credits back, once you click “Make these Changes,” I suggest writing down the confirmation number associated with the travel credit somewhere you can find it.
The information will be emailed to you, but I sometimes find it difficult to find those emails when I need them, so I keep a running list in my planner of all of our flight credits so I can easily locate them.
That’s it! As my 8 year old would say, “easy peasy lemon squeezy!”
Can I change my flight to a different flight that has gone down in price?
Sometimes I get on the app to see if my flight has gone down in price and notice that while my original flight has not changed in price, a different flight on the same day (or, if I have flexible dates, the day before or after) is much less expensive. Can I change it instead to that flight and get the price difference back? The answer is ABSOLUTELY, YES!
Recently we had flights booked from ATL-LAX. When I checked on my flight prices (as I often do), I noticed that, while my flight had not gone down in price, a flight the next day went down in price by 12,000 (!!!) Rapid Rewards. Since three of our family members fly on Rapid Rewards, I was going to be getting a 12,000 x 3 refund! My dates were flexible, so I changed the flight to the next day and received 36,000 Rapid Rewards back in my account.
To change your flight to a completely different flight that has gone down in price, you will just follow all of the same steps in the section above.
What if I have a companion pass linked to my flight?
I don’t usually link my companion until a couple of weeks before the flight is scheduled. This is because I want to be able to change my flight easily without the hassle of canceling the companion pass first. We have traveled on over 12 round trip flights on Southwest Airlines with companions in the past year and I’ve never had an issue adding the companion 3-4 weeks before the flight.
If you already have a companion linked to the flight and the flight price goes down, you will have to cancel the companion in order to change the flight. To do this:
1. Click on “Companion details” on your flight information.
2. Cancel the flight.
If you refund them, they will go back to the original credit card you paid with. If you click on “save funds for a future flight” — copy the confirmation number so you can easily use that travel credit after you change the flight.
3. Follow the steps in the section above to change your flight.
4. Once your flight is changed, go back to your upcoming flights and add your companion again.
5. Use the confirmation number from the companion pass you canceled earlier to use your companion’s flight credit (normally $5.60 each way) and check out.
The ease of getting refunds when the price of tickets decreases, along with their family friendly boarding process, are reasons we love Southwest Airlines. Share your success story or let us know why you love Southwest Airlines in the comments.