A Guide To Southwest Flight Schedule Change Policy & Rules Regarding Fares!

Flight cancellation and flight change is no more difficult nowadays. Digitalization has made it easier nowadays. Every airline has some specific rule whether it is about booking or flight change/cancellation. Airline schedule changes are inevitable and also give you a lot of flexibility in terms of making your flight itinerary even better. There is a number of components that are used to get a better routing than the original.

Other than this, sometimes airline frequently change your itinerary or flights just because of some reasons. In such cases, the airline offers the little compensation, but when travelers want to change or cancel the reservations, the airline will apply the change penalty. Sometimes you find this process very tedious but if you have enough knowledge of this matter already you will find it simpler.

So, the following policies of the southwest airline will help you to know more about when and how you can make the re-booking.

What Is Southwest Flight Schedule Change Policy?

According to southwest change flight policy, only the confirmed booking is eligible for changes. The airline changes the flight and date in some cases and that are listed below:

The Southwest airline change flight date and plan when:

  • The seasonal demands and new routes are needed and occur.
  • The time is changed from daylight to standard time or vice versa OR the changes in the operating times.
  • The flights that no longer operate.

If the airline changes your flight time and dates the airline will notify you via email or via contacting you and provide the compensation for your flight change.

Voluntary Changes:

If the passenger wants to make the changes in the flight itinerary, then the voluntary changes occur. In such cases, the reasons would be any to change southwest flight.

Schedule Changes Are Allowed:

This information is regarding the routing or status of Southwest Airlines flight is available on website, airport or via contacting them, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The airline will notify you as far in advance as possible of any change to your itinerary, including routing, departure time, and/or arrival time.

Southwest Flight Change Policy 24-Hours:

Within 24 hours of purchase, everything is fully refundable. The airline allows you change a flight within the 24-hour window without penalty.

Or it also allows you to change or cancel a reservation anytime before flight time and get a credit for the full amount of your fare. This fare is applicable for future travel within a year of the original reservation.

Other Major Detail Related To International Flights:

You may opt out of receiving an automated notification for an international itinerary. It is so because the airline sells flights several months in advance to adjust your schedules and they will notify you in advance to make the changes. So:

  • You will have the option to select the revised itinerary, choose an alternate flight/date within a 14-days parameter of your original travel, or cancel your trip without penalty and receive a refund issued to the original form of payment.

Southwest Change Flight Fee

The airline will not charge any fee whether you are flying domestically or internationally. The process will be the same as mentioned below.

No Change Fee Will Be Applied:

If you need to modify your travel plans, then the airline offers the maximum flexibility by not charging change fees.

  • If you want to change the flight itinerary, then you have to pay the cost of the fare difference. No separate change fee will be applied.
  • The airline does not charge you for changing your mind, your plans, or otherwise.

The airline said: “So you can rest assured when booking your next Southwest Airlines flight that change fees do not fly with us.”

Southwest Change Fee For Both Domestic & International Flights:

SouthwestFreeNo change fee but fare difference will be applied

Southwest Fare Categories

This airline has number of fare categories and each of them has its own fine print when it comes about refunds and ticket changes. Please note that non-refundable fares may sometimes be upgraded to a refundable fare category, but a fee will apply.

Business Select & Anytime (Refundable Fares):

This type of fares is refundable and changeable and may be applied to future travel on the originally purchased tickets only.

  • Standby passengers can travel between the same cities and on the same day without any fee.
  • To qualify for Standby travel, senior fares are also considered refundable but must be upgraded to Anytime.
  • Reservations must be canceled at least 10 minutes prior to scheduled departure.
  • All funds will be forfeited if the reservation is not canceled.

Wanna Get Away (Nonrefundable Fare):

These fares are nonrefundable but may be applied toward future travel for the original ticketed passenger.

  • If the passenger does not apply the fare to future travel within 1 year of the purchase date, then the fare and all associated fees will be forfeited.
  • The same no-show policy of 10-minute will apply to nonrefundable fares.
  • Standby travel requires an upgrade to the Anytime fare.

How To Change Southwest Flight

You can easily change your flight online if you booked your flight online. Contact the airline representative if you want to change the itinerary of your flight.

Step 1: Sign-In to Your Southwest Account

Visit the website and then click on the “Log In” button at the top right. After that, enter your account number or username and your case-sensitive password.

Step 2: Choose “Change/Cancel Flight”

After log-in, select the option of “Change/Cancel Flight” that is placed on the right-hand side of the page.

Step 3:  Enter the Confirmation Number and First and Last Name

Enter the confirmation number, first name and last name of your reservation after click on the change flight option.

Step 4:   Choose “Change Flight” or “Cancel Flight”

After that, to change or cancel your flight, choose the correct button on the right and then click “Search.”

Step 5: Search the Flights You Want to Change

Review the flights included in your reservation and check the box next to the flights you want to update. You can also type in the new dates or cities you would like to search if you are looking for better pricing on the same day.

 Step 6: Select New Flights

After that, choose “Select New Flights.” option and then click on “Continue” button.

Step 7:   Review Your Flights and Prices

Once you complete or select the new flights and confirm the pricing click “Continue” and then “Purchase” it.

Southwest Ticket Reissuance

If the tickets affected by the schedule change, then the airline will reissue the tickets in such cases:

  • The scheduled flight must be flown between the same origin and destination as was the original.
  • Keep in mind that the tickets will be reissued on the originally purchased tickets.

Fare Rules:

Fares are subject to change until a Ticket is purchased. But,

  • If the fare increases after you have purchased your Ticket, the fare difference will not be applied until you change your flights.
  • If you find that after you have purchased a nonrefundable Ticket a lower fare is offered, then you may request a re-price of your Ticket before departure.
  • In case you get the ticket in lower fare, then a travel credit is issued for the difference, which you may use for future travel.

Note: Under the “Next Generation Reservation System”, modifying a refundable fare will result in the fare becoming nonrefundable. For this, you can simply cancel your itinerary, receive the refund, and re-book the flight the necessary modifications.

Southwest Refund Policy

“Refund” means “you get money back in your original form of payment.” The airline offers a full refund within 24 hours of purchase. Once the 24-hour refund period has passed, the price of non-refundable tickets is applied to future travel within 1 year.

Not all reservations are refundable. Depending on the type of fare you purchased, you may not be eligible for a refund.

Refundable Tickets

When you have bought fully refundable tickets, then the unused amount will either be refunded in full. It would be credited towards future travel (The reason would be any to change the reservation).

You may request a refund in the following ways:

If your outbound flight has not departed yet, you may submit a refund request:

  • Online at Southwest.com. To start this process, you need to cancel your flight reservation first.
  • After that you can do the same by calling our Reservations Department at 1-800-435-9792.
  • You can also take the help of Customer Relations at the telephone.
  • Writing to Refunds Department is another way of getting refund.

On the other hand if your outbound flight has departed, you may submit a refund request:

  • By calling on Reservations Department at 1-800-435-9792
  • By calling Customer Relationship managers

If you previously cancelled your reservation online at Southwest.com and did not request a refund at that time, you may submit a request:

  • By calling our Reservations Department at 1-800-435-9792
  • You can also call Customer Relations at the number
  • By writing to our Refunds Department at the address below

Fully refundable flights include:

  • Flights booked with points
  • Business Select fares
  • Anytime fares

Exception cases:

  • When a passenger combines the refundable with Wanna Get Away or non-refundable fare and the passenger does not travel on later segments as well as fails to inform airline 10 minutes before scheduled departure time, then no amount will be refunded.
  • You can request the refund when the ticket is still valid and has not expired.

Non-Refundable tickets

According to airlines policies, the non-refundable tickets are not eligible for refunds but the same can be applied as travel credit for future travel. No cash or credit card refunds are provided.

When the delay or changes occur due to uncontrolled weather, then the carriers offer the passenger new seat in next flight or makes the refunds for the unused part of the ticket or provides credit for future travel.

Additional Refund Information
Southwest reusable funds:

  • The unused refundable tickets are eligible towards the future travel or refunded within 1 year from the date of issue.
  • According to your original form of payment, the airline will provide you all eligible refunds.
  • I you have purchased the tickets with credit cards then the airline will provide the refunds for tickets to the same credit card/Debit card within the seven days of the date of request.
  • Furthermore your Credit Card issuer bank may take approximate up to 10 days to post the credit in your account.

Refund Time

Refunds Department will process an eligible refund within 7 business days to the original credit/debit card from the date they receive the request.

Your card-issuing bank may then take up to 10 business days to post the credit to your account. It is based on the individual billing cycle and passenger will see the refund on your statement within one to two statement mailings.

Bottom line

The ability to change the booking with Southwest is a huge benefit. So, you should take advantage of, not only in the event of an unforeseen cancellation but to re-book a flight at a lower cash or points price. It is a simple process that can be completed online, and could potentially save thousands of the dollars & points.


  • Does Southwest charge a fee to change ticket?
    No, southwest never charges a change fee.
  • Do I need to pay anything to change my ticket?
    At Southwest, you may need to pay a difference in air fare, but never a change fee.
  • What is the difference between fare difference and change fee?
    There is a difference in between fare difference and change fee. A fare difference is simply the difference between the fare you already purchased and the fare for the new flight you have booked. However the change fee is the penalty other major airlines charge when a traveler changes his or her nonrefundable reservation.
  • Is Southwest the only airline that doesn’t charge a change fee?
    Southwest is the only Major airline that does not charge change fees.

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