Home Airlines Don’t Forget To Check Southwest Airlines’ Bookings For Fare Drops

Don’t Forget To Check Southwest Airlines’ Bookings For Fare Drops

by joeheg

Airfare prices are sky high (see what I did there?). If you’re making travel plans for the spring or summer, expect to pay more for the same ticket than you did before the pandemic. That is, if the routing you took before still even exists.

When we were looking for flights to New Orleans, one of the few airlines with non-stop flights was Southwest and the less than 2-hour flight cost $172, the highest I’d ever seen.

It was the flight we needed to take due to scheduling restraints, so I booked it. The price was a little less painful because I had money from a previous Southwest flight that I canceled.

As the trip approached, I checked on our flights to make sure nothing had changed, like a cancellation or time change. When I looked, the prices were less expensive than when I booked. A quick check at our reservation showed the price had dropped by $50 per ticket.

I checked my post about how to change a Southwest ticket and logged into my account. While I didn’t change my flight, the process is the same, except you’re changing to the same flight.

A few minutes of my time and some mouse clicks and I have a $108 credit.

Here are some warnings about rebooking Southwest flights when the fare drops.

If you paid for Early Bird seating, do not change flights online.

If you change flights or even rebook the same flight online, you’ll lose your Early Bird money. The only way to rebook and keep Early Bird on a reservation is to call Southwest and have them make the changes. Under any circumstance, you will lose your Early Bird money if you change reservations within 25 hours of your new flight.

You won’t get a refund, instead, fare differences will go into a Travel Fund.

For this reservation, we each received $54 which will go into a travel fund linked to the PNR for the flight. These funds need to be used on a flight within 1 year of the original purchase date. If you used travel funds to pay for the ticket, the expiration date reverts to that of the originally paid booking. Travel funds need to be used by the same passenger and are not transferable.

If you paid with points, good for you.

If you paid with Rapid Rewards points, Southwest will deposit the point difference back into your account.

Final Thought

If you booked flights on Southwest, occasionally check your reservation, and if the price is lower, get a credit for the difference.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Brian April 23, 2022 - 7:51 pm

Do you have a source for the claim that changing your flight online results in the loss of your EBCI funds? I have purchased it for others and have seen the EBCI carried over into the new flight — it’s tied to the PNR which it would remain the same for any routine change.

I think you may have confused this with the inelegant way Southwest.com handles changes with a linked Companion Pass reservation. For those, the website won’t let you change either booking. It’ll ask you to cancel the Companion Pass ticket (forfeiting EBCI), make the change on the holder’s flight then rebook the designee’s ticket under a new reservation. And the way around that is to call to change because it can be done over the phone without canceling.

But that’s outdated advice for today. Recent changes have been made to the check-in process and companions are assigned boarding positions together in most situations (Business Select fares being the most notable exception). Purchasing EBCI on a companion ticket on non-BS fares won’t get you anything.

joeheg April 24, 2022 - 8:07 pm

The last time I dealt with the problem, this was the procedure. I’ll reach out to SWA. It’s a whole different issue if you’re with a Companion Pass.


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