Plans change all the time, and we’re proud to offer the most flexibility in the industry for our Passengers and their travel plans. Our Passengers LUV our no change or cancellation fees policy. You can make changes to your ticket as much as you like without paying a traditional penalty.
If you purchase a ticket today and next week see a sale at southwest.com, you can change your ticket to a lower price fare. Use the “Change Flight” link on the right-hand side of southwest.com. After entering your confirmation number and name, you can shop for the new flight or the same flight with a lower price. Select it, and verify you want to make the change. Voila! You should receive a new confirmation email with the same confirmation number and an updated itinerary.
Our Business Select and Anytime Fares are the most flexible. Passengers with these tickets can always get a full refund if they decide not to fly or a partial refund if they change to a cheaper flight. They also have the option to fly standby on the day of travel.
Wanna Get Away Fares can be changed, as well—if you’re exchanging to a more expensive ticket, you will have to pay the difference. If you change to a cheaper Wanna Get Away ticket, the leftover money on the ticket will remain in your name as a travel fund you can apply to a future ticket (just be sure to note the expiration date!). You can access these funds by using your confirmation number in the “Apply Travel Funds” box when purchasing your next reservation.
Even if you can’t make your vacation or business trip last-minute, just cancel your trip online, on the SWA app, or by calling 1-800-IFLYSWA. There is no cancellation fee. If you booked a Business Select or Anytime Fare, you can get a complete refund.
If you purchased a Wanna Get Away Fare, be sure to cancel at least ten minutes before takeoff. You should receive a cancellation email right away. The funds will be held for future travel to be flown before the expiration date. The original Passenger must use his or her own funds for future travel. They are nontransferable.
We hope our no change fee and ten-minute cancellation policy give you the flexibility you need for your next trip!
Photo by Southwest Employee Ray Osburn
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Before Southwest’s loyalty program was named Rapid Rewards, it was called the Company Club, and we were fondly known as the Company Plane. Even though we’ve moved away from that name, we know we’re still an "office in the sky" for a lot of business travelers. Staying connected with emails and news is crucial for some of our road warriors, who fly with us a couple of times each week. Leisure travelers also love to catch up on social media and other online tasks.
Our gate-to-gate WiFi costs $8.00 and can be purchased with a credit card or PayPal. If you have any connecting flights, your device will connect for free for the rest of the day. All you need is a WiFi-enabled device (802.11 a/b/g or n) with an Internet browser. Please note that cellular devices without a WiFi component will not work with this system, and their use is restricted to game or airplane mode per federal regulations.
The onboard WiFi is perfect for catching up on emails, browsing social media, and reading the news. More information is made available when a Customer clicks on the “Get WiFi” icon and also on the purchase page.
While not every plane in our fleet is WiFi-enabled, we’re working towards that goal in the future. You can check if WiFi will be available on your upcoming flight by using our WiFi Finder.
Passengers on WiFi-enabled aircraft can enjoy free live TV, as well as some episodes of your favorite shows, thanks to our partners at DISH! Just be sure to download the Onboard Player App before you board. The live TV operates on a separate system than the WiFi for purchase.
Besides WiFi and TV, we offer some other Internet products. If you have an Apple product and need to send some quick texts, check out iMessaging. For $2.00, you can text other Apple users using the web-based iMessaging feature. On game days, watch football using the NFL Redzone for $4.00. You may also purchase an On-Demand Movie for $5.00 (also needs Onboard Player App).
Our A-List Preferred members enjoy complimentary access to the Southwest WiFi whenever they travel with us.
As with any technology, we know our WiFi product isn’t perfect. It can be affected by the weather, position of the satellite, and the number of Passengers using the service. We work hard to track the signal strength on each flight to improve your connectivity.
While you’re in the air, feel free to share your pictures with us via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtag #SWApic. We LUV seeing your sky selfies and vacation pictures!
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At Southwest Airlines, we know we stand out in the travel industry for a lot of reasons. We like to boast the friendliest Employees in the business and competitive fares, but we know our boarding procedure is unique too. It’s not unusual for first-time Passengers to ask what their seat number is. Weathered Southwest road warriors smile knowingly and help explain how our system works. Let’s start at the beginning: When you book your flight, you can add your Rapid Rewards number to the reservation. This way you can earn points and keep track of your travel online. Our A-List Preferred and A-List Members get automatic checkin. If you’re not a tier-member, you can purchase automatic checkin, or as we call it, EarlyBird Check-In. It’s $15.00 per flight, per person. It’s a great option if you’ll be on vacation and without internet access or if you’ll be busy the day before you leave. We’ll take care of getting you checked in, and you can meet us at the airport. It’s not a guaranteed "A" boarding position, but we do promise to get you checked-in before boarding positions are open to everyone else.
If you’re really set on an "A" boarding pass, you can purchase a Business Select ticket. We reserve A1-A15 for these Passengers. You’ll also earn double the points of a Wanna Get Away fare and get a complimentary drink! We ask all of our Passengers to checkin so we can get a realistic idea of our flight load and plan accordingly. Since we don’t charge any change fees, we know our Customers might change plans last minute. Checkin is our way of saying, “You’re still coming, right?” At 36 hours before takeoff, our computer system will automatically checkin our A-List Preferred Passengers, then our A-List Passengers, and finally the EarlyBird Passengers. At this time, the boarding position, including the Group (A-C) and the number (1-60), is assigned to each of those Passengers.
At 24 hours before takeoff, the system is open to all other Passengers on the flight. Anyone can go to southwest.com or use the SWA app to plug in their confirmation number to checkin and get their boarding position. They are assigned in the order you checkin. The earlier you checkin online, the lower your number will be. You can print your boarding pass at home or use our Mobile Boarding Pass option and send it via text or email. You can always wait and print at the airport too. At the 24-hour mark, the Passengers with automatic checkin will be able to view their boarding passes although they were already assigned. At Southwest, we cannot change your boarding position once it is assigned. When you get to the airport, you’ll need your boarding pass to get through TSA Security. Thirty minutes before takeoff, the boarding process will begin. First, any Passengers with special seating needs will preboard. All Passengers within the "A" boarding group will line up in numerical order with the help of the columns. After the "A" group, any families with children ages 4 and under can board together. Groups "B" and "C" follow Family Boarding. If you miss your boarding position, you can jump in with the next group. If you are traveling with someone you know, you can both board with the lower position or board with your own positions and try to find nearby seats. Best of all, there are no seat fees and no worries if plans change last minute and you need to avoid your ex-boyfriend onboard.
This method of boarding has allowed us to have the fastest “turns” in the country since 1971. Less down time between flights increases efficiency (and in turn, helps us keep our fares low!). While we’ve considered and tested other methods of seating, both extensive research and Customer feedback confirmed that it would be best for us to keep our open-seating format. We understand that open-seating may not be every Customer’s preference, but we are confident that this method benefits both the Company and the Customer as it results in lower costs and lower fares!
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