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Changing Flight

New Arrival

I have never changed or modified a flight before, so I am not sure exactly what to do.  I have a late night flight, but now have been able to move my schedule around and depart earlier.  The flight I want to take is more, so I know I will have to pay it and that is problem.  When I go to modify this is what I get from SW.  Modifying a fully refundable fare will result in the fare becoming NON-refundable. To ensure your new ticket is refundable, cancel your existing reservation, request a refund of the refundable balance, and create a new reservation. Non-refundable fares may be applied toward future travel on Southwest Airlines for the originally ticketed Passenger only.    The new reservation inherits the earliest expiration date from any funds applied from the old ticket. Therefore, the expiration date of your new reservation and all associated funds may be less than 12 months. Your new expiration date will be displayed on the confirmation receipt sent to you.  So if I am reading this right, if I change, my tickets will not be refundable?  Do you cancel the entire reservation?  Then rebook?  Do you not get all of your money back? Would I be better off calling SW and handling this? My flight is not until June, so I am doing this way in advance.  Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!  


Re: Changing Flight

Top Contributor

I hadn't realized before that if you changed a refundable ticket (to a new refundable ticket type) it wouldn't still be refundable.


I agree with your interpretation that to maintain the fully refundable status, then the clearest process would be to refund your existing refundable ticket (getting all your money back, except for early bird if applicable) and then rebooking a new refundable ticket based on the refund + extra new payment.


If the time difference between the flights wasn't much then you could consider standby if your ticket included that ability or if you were A-list, but that could be risky if the flight would fill up and if there was a long time between flights where you would be stuck at the airport if standby wasn't successful.








Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Changing Flight

Top Contributor

The loss of refundability is a new policy, caused by the new "next generation reservation system," and only applies to refundable fares (Business Select, Anytime, Senior, etc.)


There's much more info in this previous discussion.


Bottom line: For refundable fares, always cancel and rebook (don't change) in order to maintain refundability.


If you've purchased a non-refundable fare (Wanna Get Away), nothing has changed. Just use the "change flight" function and select the same flights, and you'll receive the difference as travel funds, good toward future travel for one year from the date of purchase, by the originally named passenger.


Note: When you apply those fund to a new booking, that new booking will take on the expiration date from the travel funds, meaning if you have to cancel that new flight, the funds will only be good for less than a full year.