In This Article
Southwest Airlines has one of the best flight change policies. Between certain dates, you can change your flight for free AND not have to pay the fare difference!
10xTravel is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
Right now, Southwest Airlines has one of the best flight change policies I have ever seen. Between certain dates, you can change your flight for free AND not have to pay the fare difference!
Here’s the details.
Southwest’s Updated Change Policy
On any Southwest flight booked with cash or points from April 12, 2021 through May 8, 2021 you can change your travel dates and nearby airports for free within 30 days in either direction of your flight. So, a flight booked for April 12 can be moved to any date between March 13 and May 12. A flight booked for May 8 can be changed to a date between April 8 and June 7 for free – without paying any change fees or any fare difference!
I know that’s slightly hard to follow (it was for me at first too!) so let me break it down a bit more and give an example.
Putting It Into Practice
Let’s say my end goal is to have a flight from Detroit (DTW) and Ft Myers, Florida (RSW) and back from March 18 to March 21. A nice long-weekend trip to visit grandma. I can go on Southwest’s booking system and look at all flights within 30 days of those dates and airports that I want, find the cheapest option, book, then change that booked flight to the exact dates I want and keep the cheap original fare! Amazing right?
So, for this example, the exact flights I want in cash are DTW to RSW on March 18 with the cheapest rate being $228.
And returning on March 21 with the cheapest rate being $275.
However, if I look 30 days ahead of the dates I want and use Southwest’s Low Fare Calendar, I can find that exact trip for $68 each way.
So, all you have to do is book that cheaper flight, then change that flight to the dates I actually want, and I will still only pay the cheaper fare rate and no change fee.
It makes no difference what your dates are, as long as the original dates you pick (the cheaper rates you are going to change to your actual dates) fall within 30 days of the actual dates you want.
Once you have booked the cheap flights for the destination you want, you then simply go to that flight in your Southwest profile and select “Change Flight”. At that point, you should see a message like this:
Click “Accept & continue” and then pick the dates you actually want, in my case those dates are March 18 to March 21. You will see that on that exact date that I looked up earlier and it was going to be $228 for the same flights. That exact flight now just says “Available,” which means it is available to choose for free and with no fare difference.
I’m literally giddy just typing this out, it’s such an amazing opportunity.
And even more amazing is when using points. Southwest always has the option to book with points and then cancel at any time, all the way up to 10 minutes before boarding, for free. So, that means in this free change situation you could book out several trips with your points, utilizing this free change opportunity, and then if you decide not to go visit grandma in Naples, just cancel.
This free flight change opportunity has been opened and closed several times since the beginning of the year. This current deal is alive for trips booked between April 12 and May 8. Based on the past times this was offered, will most likely only be available until Sunday, February 28.
So, get on it and let us know the amazing deals you score!
Editors Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.