Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and FAQs
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and FAQs
When you travel with Southwest, we have your well-being in mind. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we've made changes to our operations and procedures to better support the well-being and comfort of our Employees and Customers.
Below is a list of frequently asked questions and additional resources to help you understand what to expect with traveling with Southwest.
Disruptions and Changes to Travel Plans
Can I receive a refund if I’ve booked a nonrefundable ticket on Southwest and feel uncomfortable flying?
If you purchased a nonrefundable fare for travel between March 1 and September 7, 2020 and you cancel your flight in accordance with Southwest's No Show Policy, you will receive travel funds good through September 7, 2022. For additional information visit this article: Will I receive a refund due to COVID-19?
Is there a fee to change my flight to a different date?
Southwest does not charge fees to change or cancel flights, although applicable fare differences may apply.
Will my flight be canceled because of the coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Southwest continues evaluating its flight schedules and making adjustments as necessary; for the latest information, please view Southwest's COVID-19 Travel Information page.
Customers who have already booked their travel and will be impacted by our amended schedule will be notified of their re-accommodated travel according to our flexible accommodation procedures.
A-List, Companion Pass, and Travel Funds
Will you be extending A-List and A-List Preferred tier status?
Yes, for current Rapid Rewards tier status members who earned A-List or A-List Preferred Status through December 31, 2020, and not through any type of promotion, their current earned status will be extended through December 31, 2021.
Will you be extending Companion Pass benefits?
Yes, for current Rapid Rewards Companion Pass members who earned Companion Pass benefits through December 31, 2020, and not through any type of promotion, their current Companion Pass benefits will be extended through June, 30, 2021.
Is there any prior registration required, before my tier status or Companion Pass are extended?
No. If you qualify for an extension you’re Tier Status and/or Companion Pass benefits will be automatically extended in the upcoming weeks. There is no action needed by the Members.
I was on my way to qualify for A-List, A-List Preferred, and Companion Pass this year. How are you helping me still achieve my status?
We know your current travel plans have been temporarily interrupted. For that reason, we are giving all RapidRewards Members a "boost" of 15,000 tier qualifying points and 10 flight credits toward A-List and A-List Preferred status, and 25,000 Companion Pass qualifying points and 25 flight credits toward Companion Pass status.
I currently have Travel Funds. Will they be extended?
Yes, Travel Funds that are set to expire or funds that are created between March 1, 2020 and September 7, 2020, will have an expiration date of September 7, 2022.
Customers are always our top priority and we hope this gives Customers with travel funds additional time as they consider their travel needs in the future. Please note, it will take a few days to make these changes and more details on this extension can be found here.
What other options do I have for Travel Funds?
Please know we are working around the clock to provide Customers with travel flexibility. If a Customer is a Rapid Reward Member with travel funds that are set to expire or funds that are created between March 1, 2020 and September 7, 2020, they now have the option to convert those travel funds into Rapid Rewards® points at the same rate they would be able to purchase a ticket with points today.
We hope this provides our Members ultimate flexibility as Rapid Rewards points never expire, and never have cancel or change fees (fare difference may apply). Travel funds will be automatically extended for the two years mentioned once we bring this new functionality to fruition.
Reducing the Risk of COVID-19 Transmission
Do your aircraft also fly to international destinations?
Southwest’s fleet flies interchangeably to both domestic and international locations which include locations in Latin America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Find the most up-to-date information on our international service.
Southwest aircraft are maintained in accordance with an established cleaning program that includes cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting the cabin in a manner that meets or exceeds recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO).
Southwest does not serve Asia or Europe.
How do I know that your aircraft cabins are safe from the coronavirus
Southwest aircraft are regularly maintained in accordance with an established program aimed at providing a clean and inviting cabin experience. In addition to high-touch surfaces being disinfected between every flight, our aircraft are deep cleaned for 6-7 hours every night, and are treated with an electrostatic disinfectant solution that kills viruses on contact and forms an anti-microbial shield that lasts for 30 days. Our cleaning protocols meet or exceeds recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO). Learn more about our enhanced cleaning procedures.
How do you keep the cabin air clean?
All of our aircraft are equipped with HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters, which filter out 99.97% airborne particles, including viruses and bacteria. A full exchange of cabin air with fresh, outdoor air and filtered air occurs every 2-3 minutes. We operate these systems throughout the entire travel journey; while boarding, taxiing, inflight and deplaning. Learn more about Southwest's air filtration and ventilation systems.
What is Southwest's policy on masks?
To read the latest on our mask policy, visit: Do I need to wear a mask during travel?
Can Customers bring hand sanitizers onboard your aircraft when traveling?
Absolutely. You must adhere to the Transportation and Security Administration’s (TSA) regulations for carrying gels or liquids through airport security checkpoints, of course. If you bring your own hand or surface sanitizing items onboard, please use items that do not contain bleach, or have “plus bleach” on the label, as they risk damaging hard and soft surfaces.
Additionally, we request that Customers do not use aerosol or pump-spray cleaners, as those products cannot be contained to your personal space and may impact other Customers in the shared environment of our aircraft cabins
How is Southwest facilitating social distancing?
We have added new physical distancing practices:
- We've installed Plexiglass® barriers at all ticket and gate counters to facilitate safer interactions between Customers and Employees.
- Our boarding process is changing. We’re boarding in groups of 10 and only on one side of our boarding poles to help our Customers spread out.
- We've installed signage in our airport spaces that encourage distancing and serve as an additional reminder for Customers and Employees.
Is Southwest recommending any specific actions to Customers?
We recommend the CDC’s website as a resource for ways that Customers can best protect themselves from becoming ill.
- It is highly encouraged to bring your own hand sanitizer and mask. If you forget your mask at home, one will be available for you.
- Download your mobile boarding pass prior to arrival to limit the amount of exchanges you make with others.
- Arrive at the airport earlier to allow for new check-in and security processes.
- Maintain physical spacing at the airport.
- Do not travel if you are sick or have COVID-19 symptoms. We never charge a fee to change or cancel a flight, and you can rebook your travel for a later date.
What do I need to know if I'm traveling to a Southwest destination outside of the U.S.?
Find the most up-to-date information on our international service. We also suggest Customers reference International Air Transport Association for the latest guidance ahead of any international travel.
Will local bans on public gatherings and crowd sizes impact my travel on Southwest?
Currently, no restrictions have been placed upon travel. Of course, we will continue to monitor and comply with all local ordinances in the communities we serve, while following applicable guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
For updates on government guidance and details about what carriers are doing, Airlines for America have developed the following resources: