Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Southwest airlines - changing reservation and other questions

Southwest airlines - changing reservation and other questions

Old Mar 7th, 2012, 08:32 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 545
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Southwest airlines - changing reservation and other questions

So we fly across country to see DHs family 2 to 3 times per year. Up until last year, I'd book whatever flight was cheapest. I got pretty good at finding the deals. Recently, SW added non-stop service to DHs hometown, so we signed up for the Rapid Rewards card since we knew we'd be flying them much more often with that service. Anyway, we've flown SW before, but I'm not as familiar with them as some other airlines yet.

First question. I've been looking at fares for July. I'm hoping to get tickets in the $250 range (which I've seen/booked before on SW) but with gas prices rising I'm getting nervous. Last week the fare was around $315 and this week they went up to $400 RT. My question is about changing a reservation. So let's say I book at $400 and the price drops down to $315 again. If I understand their policy correctly, no change fees apply. What about the difference in price? Do I get a credit/voucher (couldn't find any detail on this on their site)? If so, what would stop people from just booking their preferred dates and then changing whenever the price drops? Do people that fly SW frequently do this? If you book with points, and change for a lower fare, do they refund the difference in points?

Second question. The airlines we've flown with most in the past usually drop their prices 2 or 3 times/year on our specific route. I've been known to book tickets 6 to 9 months in advance to take advantage of the deals. Any sense on SW fare changing trends/when prices drop?
yale is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2012, 08:56 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 10,556
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We fly SW whenever possible. I will buy a fare, then keep an eye out for lower fares.

Just input your confirmation number, go to Change Reservation, keep the same dates, and look to see if fares are lower. If they are, go ahead and make the change. The dollar difference in fare will be kept under your name for your use within a year.
PeaceOut is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2012, 09:16 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 7,667
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I try to fly SW when I can for the very reason to which you are referring. If you book a fare and it drops $25 the next day, rebook at the lower fare; there are no change fees, and you will be given a credit with that confirmation number. If it goes down $25 the day after that, rebook. You would now have a $50 credit that can be used within a year.

If I'm trying to find low fares, I check their site daily. I recently booked airfare that on Wednesday was $458 that dropped to $337 on Thursday.

It's always a gamble when purchasing airfare, and I'm not certain anyone can actually predict when fares will drop or skyrocket.
tenthumbs is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2012, 09:19 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 26,242
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We do the same, all the time, and consider ourselves lucky they give you that credit - not all airlines do - after all, they don't increase the charge when the fare goes up
sf7307 is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2012, 09:30 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 3,130
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
All of the above. I researched a flight for May way back in December. I had checked on a Monday and it was just over $200. When I went to book it, it had gone up over $150! I was afraid to wait so booked it then. I happened to check again during one of their sales and the same fare had dropped to under $200! So I re-booked at the lower fare and paid for a new trip with the difference (plus a little)! You do have to use the credit for the same traveler, though.

And tenthumbs is right...there is no predicting when the fares will go up or down.
musicfan is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2012, 09:39 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27,867
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sign up for DING! alerts - they have fare specials that are not on the regular site. You might also want to sign up for their emails too.

One thing to keep in mind - the $$ credits you get if and when the fare goes down can ONLY be used by the same person who originally had the ticket with higher fare. {They used to let you give that credit to anyone, but that is no longer the case}.
DebitNM is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2012, 10:54 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 62,450
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Also, check fares on Tuesdays, the day sales are posted.
jubilada is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2012, 11:30 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 20,683
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Check prices every day. When the price drops, change the price (not the flight) and the difference will be kept as a credit on your account for 1 year since making the initial reservation. This is very convenient if you fly at least twice a year.
Dayenu is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2012, 12:23 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,760
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Seems that if everyone booked a fare when it was $400, Southwest would never drop the fare to $300. So I guess I'm glad a lot of people don't buy so far in advance!
tracys2cents is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2016, 10:57 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 4,010
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
A couple more items -

That credit you get is good for a year from the time it was originally booked, not from when you changed the flight.

If you booked using points, then yes, the excess automatically goes back into your account.

In order to use the credit, you need to hang onto that original confirmation number. You lose it, you lose track of the credit. I am sure SW benefits from that..

We do this quite a bit as well, so take full advantage of this feature by SW.
sludick is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2016, 11:49 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 26,242
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
One more point - if you have a fully refundable fare and you change it, you get back money, not a credit (we just did this for flights to New Orleans)
sf7307 is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2016, 12:42 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27,867
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
(4 year old thread topped by advertiser)
DebitNM is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2016, 12:45 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,039
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>

This is a VERY IMPORTANT thing to remember because many people get caught by it.

So, say you book a ticket on March 1, 2016 for a flight to Los Angeles that departs on September 30, 2016. You find a fare that is $100 cheaper on August 1, 2016 and rebook for the lower fare. You now have a credit for $100 towards a flight that must be TAKEN (not just booked) by March 1, 2017--not August 1, 2017 or September 30, 2017.
longhorn55 is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2016, 12:47 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,039
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Whoops, DebitNM, I just saw the "March 7" and didn't notice the "2012".

Oh well, it's still useful information.
longhorn55 is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2016, 01:12 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27,867
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
But some of it is no longer valid, i.e. my suggest about DING! which went away awhile ago.
DebitNM is offline  
Old May 11th, 2016, 09:14 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,149
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'
pookymimi is offline  
Old May 11th, 2016, 09:16 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,149
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm looking on buying tickets for 3 of us on SW. To be eligible for the credits, should I buy each ticket separate better?

Also, how does the rebook credit works, do we have to pay again and get credit for the other if it's refundable ticket? I'm a little lost.
pookymimi is offline  
Old May 11th, 2016, 09:20 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 73,245
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
pookimini: You probably should start a new thread -- this one is 4+ years old, much of the info is out of date and some will continue responding to the OP and not even see your (new/different) questions.
janisj is online now  
Old May 12th, 2016, 04:32 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 4,010
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The most up-to-date information can be found on Southwest's website. Here is a link to what you are looking for:

https://www.southwest.com/html/custo...-info-pol.html

Note that most of the discussion on this thread refers to non-refundable tickets; there are terms and conditions around both at the link I gave you. Also, each person's ticket credit goes for that person alone, even when you purchase several tickets together.
sludick is offline  
Old Jun 22nd, 2016, 04:32 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Use an email alert to catch flight price drops.
price0dotcom is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Wayne
United States
15
Mar 1st, 2009 06:15 PM
joan
Air Travel
10
Sep 14th, 2006 06:13 PM
clueless
United States
31
Sep 3rd, 2004 05:17 PM
RachelG
Air Travel
20
Apr 1st, 2004 07:54 AM
daniel
Air Travel
4
Aug 30th, 2002 07:45 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -