Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community


Ridiculous Cost to Take Earlier Flight

New Arrival

This past Sunday, Oct 4, I flew from Tucson to Nashville with a stop in Denver.   There was an earlier flight to Nashville that was already boarding when I arrived in Denver and I inquired about taking that flight instead of my much later one.   Seats were available and I had no checked baggage so this should have been a no brainer. . . . however, Southwest wanted to charge me $399 to change to the earlier flight.  Not only is this beyond ridiculous but it's a form of price gouging.    A nominal fee, maybe $50 or $75,  I would have happily paid.   I realize airlines are having tough times these days, but attempting to have a customer pay for a whole other ticket just to change to an earlier flight is nothing more than ludicrous.   Shame on you Southwest!   


Re: Ridiculous Cost to Take Earlier Flight

Active Member

The policy has always been that to get on an earlier flight, you need to pay the fare difference between what you paid and what the current lowest fare is for the new flight. A few minutes before the flight left, the cheapest fare was $399 more than what you paid. That's pretty much the same policy of any airline. Heck, some may even charge a change fee as well. So, they weren't gouging you. They were just offering your a ticket for the current available price. 


If you have A-List or above, you could have gotten on the flight for free if there was space available. Southwest gives relatively few benefits to its frequent fliers. This is one of them. And, again, elite ff members flying same day standby for free for earlier flights is also pretty standard across airlines.


Re: Ridiculous Cost to Take Earlier Flight

Rising Star

It does seem extreme, but as has been said, SW was doing what is pretty standard across the industry unless you have elite status. 

To take a flight different than the one you purchased, you have to pay for the current cost of that flight, and SW fares generally are very high in the few days prior to departure (again, an industry standard). 

Are you sure the earlier flight to Nashville was direct and didn’t include a stop? And was there a reason you didn’t book that flight to start with?


-A List Preferred, Companion Pass holder, Community Champion.

Re: Ridiculous Cost to Take Earlier Flight

Top Contributor

If you purchased the wanna get away fare you would need to pay the fare difference to upgrade to the anytime fare in this case the fare difference between your wanna get away ticket and the anytime fare was $399. 


It's no different than if you are on say delta and they have a first class seat on an earlier flight they don't just give it away you would have to upgrade to the first class cabin.