Improved Southwest rebooking: easily see if prices went up or down

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

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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Tana
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Tana

I always cancel and rebook when paying with points too because the $5.60 in taxes (domestic) also becomes non-refundable when changing. And I definitely do not want to keep track of a stupid small travel credit if I have to cancel completely :).

wise2u
Guest
wise2u

not true, you can avoid having to keep track of confirmation numbers, amounts, and fund expiration. They give you the choice of using the fees for rebooking, or refunding them to your CC….always have them refunded to your card, unless you plan on rebooking with same number of segments right away…I usually refund all to card and recharge the fees, it might take a few more seconds during the rebooking but leaves no chance of having unused fee credits.

Tana
Guest
Tana

wise2u – last May I changed a flight booked on points because of a lower rate, then when I later went to completely cancel it the only choice I had for the fees was a travel credit – there was no option to refund to my credit card. This was just a few months after they implemented some of these new rules and I ended up having to call Customer Relations to get my fees refunded to my credit card for the canceled flight. Now I didn’t pay attention when I first “changed” the flight – are you saying there was a way during that step to keep those fees as refundable to a credit card? If so I will definitely look at the options much more closely from now on.

ABC
Guest
ABC

This sounds great. But when I tried to test this with an existing rez, I got an error message because there is a companion ticket associated with the existing rez. I don’t want to cancel the companion ticket just to test whether there is a cheaper fare. Any ideas why this is happening? Or for a workaround?

Alan
Guest
Alan

What Timothy said below. You have to cancel the companion to do a rebooking. Generally not an issue since you can get the taxes refunded and as long as you’re not rebooking onto a completely full flight you should have no issues adding your companion back on.

CaveDweller
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CaveDweller

Call & Ask I saved $40 for a Ticket Online said No way .

Timothy
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Timothy

This doesn’t work if you have a companion pass passenger added to your ticket already. You’d have to cancel that first before being able to view the change flight information.

Treesha
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Treesha

This is why I wait to add on my companion until closer to the actual flight.

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[…] H/T: Frequent Miler […]

J Cannon
Guest
J Cannon

This feature will be great – when I don’t have a companion pass linked to it. Unfortunately it won’t work when you do. You would have to cancel the companion ticket before using this feature. 🙁

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[…] where flights and be changed and canceled very easily. They have now made doing so even easier by precisely displaying the difference in price (cash and points) directly on the change page very clearly for every flight. Hyatt launched a […]

Lee @ BaldThoughts
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Lee @ BaldThoughts

I’m so excited about this new feature. Makes life so much easier when looking at fare sales.

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[…] Improved Southwest rebooking: easily see if prices went up or down. – I love this new functionality! So many times in the past you’d have to memorize or write down flight values to compare with the current options. This makes it so easy to rebook and save money or points! […]

Alex
Guest
Alex

Wow much easier! Just got 8k points back. Thanks for the info

Sue
Guest
Sue

If you have a companion fare attached, you can’t see anything without cancelling the companion fare first.

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[…] cancel your flight and re-book. Thankfully, that process is now easier than before — See: Improved Southwest rebooking: easily see if prices went up or down). I just checked a couple of flights I have booked during the period and it only took a few seconds […]