Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

Highlighted

changing flight, and getting best deal

New Arrival

We fly so seldom.....a few questions.

 

1)  Family of 4 making a round trip flight.  Can we easily,  without losing money or paying extra, change the return date for some of the family after we have already arrived at our destination?  Assuming we find a flight?  Or if we have to pay extra any idea what it might cost?

 

2)  It will  be between Oakland and San Deigo, (don't know if that makes a difference)?   Should I book the tickets early, now, and or check everyday for special offers  to get a good deal?  A friend said prices don't change that much depending on the airline or where you're going so  that shouldn't be an issue?

 

3)   About a month ago I posted a question here, and received a very good reply.   Now I can't find the quetion/reply? Is there a way to find earlier questions I asked?

 

We are  flexible with the departure and return dates.    I just now saw how to sign up for e-mail notification about special deals so that probably answers my second question?

5 REPLIES 5
Highlighted

Re: changing flight, and getting best deal

Top Contributor

@22royce22 wrote:

We fly so seldom.....a few questions.

 

1)  Family of 4 making a round trip flight.  Can we easily,  without losing money or paying extra, change the return date for some of the family after we have already arrived at our destination?  Assuming we find a flight?  Or if we have to pay extra any idea what it might cost?


Although on Southwest you won't pay a change fee, you will have to pay (or receive credit) for the difference in fare. So in practice a last minute change does sometimes result in extra payment if the fares are now higher, for instance if the Wanna Get Away fare are all taken.

 

Separate issue that this may not be something you can self-service if you booked all together and have one confirmation number. It will be easy and self-service to change if each person has their own confirmation number.

 


 

2)  It will  be between Oakland and San Deigo, (don't know if that makes a difference)?   Should I book the tickets early, now, and or check everyday for special offers  to get a good deal?  A friend said prices don't change that much depending on the airline or where you're going so  that shouldn't be an issue?

 


You can look at the flights today, next week, and when you travel and see if WGA fares are still available throughout - that doesn't guarantee availablility in the future but if you look at the flights today and this week and all the WGA are gone, there's a good chance that route tends to fill up. If the fare is acceptable today, I tend to book now and re-book later if prices go down. There are a few things that make fares go down (general sales, empty seats on a particular route they want to fill) and lots of things that make the go up (generally demand goes up closer to flight date). But most airlines don't start out with their lowest price when first released either...some people say 1-2 months out is a good time. Who knows!

 


3)   About a month ago I posted a question here, and received a very good reply.   Now I can't find the quetion/reply? Is there a way to find earlier questions I asked?

 


Click on your name and it will go to your profile and show your past activity including any posts or comments that you made, you should see your thread there.

 

Good luck!

 

 

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

Re: changing flight, and getting best deal

New Arrival

Thank you!

This helps.

Also, what is the policy on cancellation?

Highlighted

Re: changing flight, and getting best deal

Top Contributor

@ethanscott wrote:

Thank you!

This helps.

Also, what is the policy on cancellation?


You may cancel 10 minutes prior to the flight, you'll get the fare back in the form of travel funds which are valid for re-booking a new flight up to 1 year from the date of original purchase, or have your points returned to your account for points bookings.

 

No-showing will forfeit your cash fare. No-showing strangely enough gets your points returned to your account for points bookings the same as if you canceled, minus the taxes/fees.

 

If you've booked a flight with travel funds from multiple cancellations, the whole thing takes on the oldest expiration when you cancel the current flight.

 

If you have Anytime or Business Select fare, it is refundable as a long as the ticket hasn't been changed. If you have A or BS tickets, my recommencdation is to cancel and refund, and then rebook for any changes to keep your refundability. They will offer travel funds as an alternative to a refund, don't click that accidentally.`

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

Re: changing flight, and getting best deal

New Arrival

Thanks for choosing Southwest, @22royce22! Just to add some additional comments from @DancingDavidE's reply:

 


@22royce22 wrote:

We fly so seldom.....a few questions.

 

1)  Family of 4 making a round trip flight.  Can we easily,  without losing money or paying extra, change the return date for some of the family after we have already arrived at our destination?  Assuming we find a flight?  Or if we have to pay extra any idea what it might cost?

There's never a change fee charged on Southwest.  But you do need to pay the difference in fares. 

 

Thankfully, Southwest just improved their online booking system so you can more easily compare the fare difference among all of your flight options that day (or any other day) if you're changing flights.  If you do decide to change flights, just remember to do it up to 10 minutes before departure, on either leg.  (Otherwise, you lose the ticket and the funds associated with it).

 

Go ahead a give the new system a whirl!  Just go to your Southwest airlines account and click change flight.  You won't be messing up your reservation as long as you don't submit your changes and close out your browser.

 

Also, ditto to @DancingDavidE's comment about all being on the same reservation and having to change just one person's travel plans.  Best to call 1-800-I-FLY-SWA for help with that sort of complex change.

 

2)  It will  be between Oakland and San Deigo, (don't know if that makes a difference)?   Should I book the tickets early, now, and or check everyday for special offers  to get a good deal?  A friend said prices don't change that much depending on the airline or where you're going so  that shouldn't be an issue?

Airfares are ever changing.  It's really hard to "time the market," so to speak.  And advice you receive about the best time to book on one airline will not apply to another airline, as you never know about supply and demand and the particulars that are driving prices higher or lower on that specific route.  It also depends on the season of the year, the day of the week, time of the day, etc.  You can drive yourself bonkers trying to get the absolute lowest fare.

 

But one thing you can always count on is Southwest's legendary low fares, especially on Intra-CA routes, like Oakland to San Diego.  I've been flying Southwest for over 20 years here in California and, based on my experience, off-peak fares drop as low as $49 o/w during a regular sale on that route.  Even lower on their rarely-occurring anniversary sale.  But remember, low fares are typically only found on lower demand flights during less traveled days.

 

These fare sales happen all the time but are usually introduced during the week.

 

Additionally, I highly recommend that you sign up for "Click N' Save" e-mails to get the latest updates on fare sales.  Also, check out the "Low Fare Calendar" to determine where you can save some serious cash if you have flexible travel dates.

 

Also, don't forget, if you spot a lower fare, you can always take advantage of it.  Just give Southwest a call at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA and let them know you found a lower fare.  Southwest's friendly customer service agents will gladly exchange your ticket and credit you back the difference in a "Travel Funds" voucher for use towards another ticket within 12 months of the date of exchange.

 

No change fee and they'll honor a lower price?  It can't get any better than that! 

 

 

3)   About a month ago I posted a question here, and received a very good reply.   Now I can't find the quetion/reply? Is there a way to find earlier questions I asked?

 

We are  flexible with the departure and return dates.    I just now saw how to sign up for e-mail notification about special deals so that probably answers my second question?


Have you tried using the search function at the top of the page?  Or by clicking on your username at the top of the screen and going to the "Topics I've Participated In" section?   

 

Hope this information helps you out, @22royce22!  If so, don't forget to hit the love button right below my message.  Safe travels!

Highlighted

Re: changing flight, and getting best deal

Top Contributor

@PerceptiveTrvlr wrote:

Also, don't forget, if you spot a lower fare, you can always take advantage of it.  Just give Southwest a call at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA and let them know you found a lower fare.  Southwest's friendly customer service agents will gladly exchange your ticket and credit you back the difference in a "Travel Funds" voucher for use towards another ticket within 12 months of the date of exchange.

 


No.

 

Just to correct some wrong information, as this is frequently misunderstood:

 

Travel Funds are valid for 12 months from the original date of purchase (not the date of exchange).

 

Also, Travel Funds and Vouchers are two completely different things, and each has their own specific terms and limitations. For example:

 

Travel Funds may be used toward air travel, including taxes and fees, for the originally named passenger only.

 

Vouchers may be used for air travel only -- not any taxes and fees -- but are transferrable and may be used by anyone.

 

As stated earlier, when you apply Travel Funds to a new booking, that new booking takes on the expiration date of the travel funds -- meaning it will expire in less than a year.

 

And never, ever change a "refundable" fare (Business Select, Anytime, Senior, Military, Infant, etc.) as that will cause you to lose the ability to receive a refund (due to an absurd, hopefully temporary Southwest system limitation). Always cancel and rebook these fares.