Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

Highlighted

Travel funds applied to flight purchased with points?

Active Member

Hello fellow travelers, 

 

I think I already know the answer to this, but wanted to make a post to verify.

 

I recently booked a flight with RR points. Thinking about switching to a different time, which would require a few more points to reserve. I have $29 in unused travel funds - I don't see a way to apply this to a reservation booked with points. Can it not be done? 

 

--Jessica

11 REPLIES 11
Highlighted

Re: Travel funds applied to flight purchased with points?

Top Contributor

@jksobonya wrote:

Hello fellow travelers, 

 

I think I already know the answer to this, but wanted to make a post to verify.

 

I recently booked a flight with RR points. Thinking about switching to a different time, which would require a few more points to reserve. I have $29 in unused travel funds - I don't see a way to apply this to a reservation booked with points. Can it not be done? 

 

--Jessica


Hi Jessica.

 

If yoi already have a reservation, you already have money being applied to the TSA fees. Why not just change the reservation and use those funds for the new flight?

Highlighted

Re: Travel funds applied to flight purchased with points?

Active Member

^Indeed, that is what I want to do. Here are some more specifics:

 

The flight that I want currently requires 1814 more points to book. I have 1390 points - not enough. When I attempt to change the flight, I get a message that I "don't have enough points to book" which is true, and my options are to buy points or modify my flight (to a different flight within my point threshold). I don't get the option to apply travel funds since I reserved the flight with points. I would think that my $29 would cover the difference, but alas.  

 

It's hard to say how long this flight will be available at this price point - and the flight isn't until December so I have some time to play with it. I'm filling out surveys in the interim 😉 I am flying at the end of the month as well, so I will definitely have enough points by early November to change this flight - assuming the flight price doesn't go up, but I imagine it will. 

 

--Jessica

Highlighted

Re: Travel funds applied to flight purchased with points?

Top Contributor
Solution

@jksobonya wrote:

^Indeed, that is what I want to do. Here are some more specifics:

 

The flight that I want currently requires 1814 more points to book. I have 1390 points - not enough. When I attempt to change the flight, I get a message that I "don't have enough points to book" which is true, and my options are to buy points or modify my flight (to a different flight within my point threshold). I don't get the option to apply travel funds since I reserved the flight with points. I would think that my $29 would cover the difference, but alas.  

 

Several points here:

 

A) The airline does not allow people to pay for part of a fight with points and part with cash (apart from TSA fee)

 

B) Buying points is a very expensive way to go. SW values the points at bout 1.5 cents/point when applied to a flight purchase, but charges more than that for bought points. It's not normally a good idea, but it is up to you.

 

C) Travel funds can only be used to buy flights. They can't be used to buy points

 

It's hard to say how long this flight will be available at this price point - and the flight isn't until December so I have some time to play with it. I'm filling out surveys in the interim 😉 I am flying at the end of the month as well, so I will definitely have enough points by early November to change this flight - assuming the flight price doesn't go up, but I imagine it will. 

 

I guess if I were you, I'd buy the flight with dollars. Check again after you get more points, and if the flight is still avilable at apoint level you find acceptable, then cancel the paid flight (retaining the travel funds) and book a points flight

 

--Jessica


 

Highlighted

Re: Travel funds applied to flight purchased with points?

Active Member

Thanks @dfwskier! Correction: I have $42 worth of travel funds now - a different paid flight went down by $13 😁

 

A) The airline does not allow people to pay for part of a fight with points and part with cash (apart from TSA fee)

 

Yes, this is what I am discovering. Too bad! Maybe it will be an option in the future, especially if you have unused travel funds that could ultimately reduce the fare of a points-purchased flight.

 

Another potential option: convert travel funds to RR points! 🤔

 

--Jessica

Highlighted

Re: Travel funds applied to flight purchased with points?

Active Member

Replying again ... thanks to the recent Southwest sales, a flight became available in my point threshold with a better time for just 363 more points. Interestingly, when I tried to change my flight, I got a strange error that said "Expected pricing not matched" with a long alphanumeric string. It told me to try re-selecting the flight again, and I did, and the flight price was the same as before. Going through the process again, I received the error message again when confirming the rebooking change. Feeling desperate (there were only 2 flights left at the sale price), I DMed Southwest with all my info and the flight I was trying to change. They rebooked it for me in less than 5 minutes! Southwest rocks!!!

 

So, if you are ever having trouble booking or rebooking flights, message Southwest on Twitter. They are super helpful!

 

--Jessica

Highlighted

Re: Travel funds applied to flight purchased with points?

Rising Star

Just adding here that the chat feature on the SW app could be helpful in this situation as well!

 

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

Re: Travel funds applied to flight purchased with points?

Active Member

This flight has decreased in price -twice- over the past week, which makes me happy and gets me more points refunded! 😄 

 

I thought about making a new post to ask this, but I'll just tack this on here: What is the dollar / point ratio for flights (X per dollar)? For example, if a flight is $100, what is the point equivalent, and how do they get to that number? I don't have this memorized and it would be helpful to know for the future.

 

Thanks!

 

--Jessica

Highlighted

Re: Travel funds applied to flight purchased with points?

Rising Star
Solution

@jksobonya wrote:

What is the dollar / point ratio for flights (X per dollar)?



It's currently 78 points per $1 of base fare. You can find the base ratio by comparing the points versus dollars for a flight. It's complicated a bit by taxes and fees (varies by flight route, connections, etc.) but that is your starting point.

Customer | Home airport DCA
Highlighted

Re: Travel funds applied to flight purchased with points?

Active Member

Thanks for the information!!

 

--Jessica