Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

Changed original flight twice...with no charges!

New Arrival

I have found myself traveling for business for the very first time in my life.  After much research, I was pleasantly shocked to find that Southwest is not only the only airline that bags fly free, but it is also the only airline that allows you to change your flight times/dates with no charge.  When I have booked with other airlines, either directly or through a travel website, I see charges of $150-$200 to change my flight.  That would typically equate to a 50% surcharge on a changed flight. 


I have quickly learned from my last half dozen flights that Southwest is head-and-shoulders above the entire airline industry.  The bottom-line is, why in this age of instant booking online and travel sites helping airlines fill seats can an airline charge those kind of change fees?


Southwest has been a breath of fresh air.


Re: Changed original flight twice...with no charges!

Rising Star

Other airlines charging change fees is another way to steal people's money.....  

Re: Changed original flight twice...with no charges!

Top Contributor

Some things to keep in mind:


No Change Fees is a great policy, but it comes with a trade-off: Expensive standby. Many business travelers often need to make same-day changes, or fly standby on an earlier flight. Other carriers charge a small fee ($50-$75, often waived for standby) or change nothing ($0) to their elites for same day changes. On Southwest, you pay no change fee but you do pay the fare difference, which -- for same day changes -- can be significant. The difference between an advance purchase WGA fare and the Anytime fare is often an order of 6-8x (or more). Southwest's policy is the clear winner when making changes in advance of flying, but other carriers are better when it comes to standby or same day changes.


You mentioned bag fees: Compare fares (difficult to do, I know, since Southwest doesn't participate in online booking services like all other carriers) and you may find that Southwest is consistently $25-$50 more for the same route. Just like a "free lunch," nothing "flys free." There's a cost involved and it will be paid for somehow. One other thing to keep in mind is that the legacy carriers often allow free checked bags to their elites and/or  credit card holders.


Glad you're enjoying Southwest! While not quite the carrier they were 5 years ago, they still do many things right.