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Can anyone clarify the refund policies in the following situation:

New Arrival

Is or is not a wanna get away tik, fully refundable if cancelled within 24 hours of booking (assume no change was ever made to it)?


Does it make any difference if the passenger checked in and has a boarding pass, but decided to cancel it and request a refund before the flight left?


Separately, I assume that a senior fare tik is cancellable within 24 hours...but again, does it make a difference if a boarding pass was issued?


Re: Can anyone clarify the refund policies in the following situation:

Top Contributor

U.S. Department of Transportation regulations require that, as long as you've booked a non-refundable ticket 7 days ahead of your flight, you're entitled to cancel your reservation within 24 hours of booking for a full refund. If the passeneger has checked in and has a boarding pass, but it's less than 24 hours since purchase, the rule doesn't apply since it's less than the 7 day period.


Southwest's published rules however, appear not to require the 7 day advance purchase period:



  • For nonrefundable reservations within 24 hours of booking:
    • If you call or cancel online at within 24 hours of booking, Southwest will offer you the option of refunding the airfare back to the original form of payment, or retaining the credit to be used toward future travel.


Meaning that, you are due a full refund if you cancel within 24 hours, even if you've been checked in or issued a boarding pass, even on a Wanna Get Away fare.


Senior Fares are refundable. Just like Anytime of Business Select, you're due a full refund back to the original form of purchase upon cancellation, regardless of timing.


One significant policy change effective for travel after May 9 limits that refundability however. You can receive a full refund only if you've made no change to the itinerary. If any change is made, you can cancel for travel funds only -- just like a WGA fare. So it's very important now to not ever change a refundable fare (Senior, Anytime, BS) but instead to always cancel for full refund and then rebook.


An exception to the refund policy is if you've used a Southwest Gift Card for the booking. The terms of the Gift Card say that any refunds -- even within 24 hours -- don't go back to the card, they become travel funds, linked to the specific passenger and valid for one year from date of original booking. Just like any regular Wanna Get Away fare cancellation, regardless of timing, and regardless of fare type.


Hope this helps!