Southwest is unique in its change policies in that you can change your flight at any time and either pay just the difference in price or receive a refund/travel credit if the price drops — even if you paid in Southwest Rapid Rewards points. While that policy has been awesome, it’s been kind of annoying if you have a lot of Southwest bookings as you had to hunt around a bit to figure out what you had initially paid for your flight, especially if you had booked on points. The process has improved dramatically. Now, Southwest shows the precise increase or decrease in either dollars or points compared to the fare you originally purchased for each option.
The process is much simpler than it had been in the past. You can click to “View/Change” your reservation from the home page and enter your information or log into your account and click “Change flight” under one of your reservations. The system will then ask you to select the flights you wish to change. I found to be the only part that wasn’t immediately intuitive. You have to click on the flight(s) you wish to change here:
In my case, that threw me because there was only one flight (since I had booked it one-way). I just had to click the blue bar where it shows the city pair and says “unselected”. Then, the system will let you enter the new city pair / dates you want.
And then it will show you the options for changing:
As you can see, some of those options would be cheaper than my initial itinerary (the Wanna Get Away fares with negative numbers) while others would be more expensive (including all of the “Anytime” and “Business Select” fares).
That’s a very nice change as it will make it easy to see if you can get some points back at a quick glance. Now and then, you can rebook yourself on the same exact flight and save some money/points — now with very little effort.
Keep in mind that if you change a paid Anytime or Business Select fare, it becomes nonrefundable (still changeable, just no longer eligible for a refund). For this reason, you’re better off cancelling and rebooking paid Anytime or Business Select fares. If you’re booking on points, it doesn’t make a difference as points are immediately credited back to your account. If you change or cancel a paid Wanna Get Away fare, you receive a credit that is good for one year from the date of booking.
H/T: Travel with Grant