If a Southwest Flight Goes Down in Price…


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The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American ExpressYou get your money back! If you read this blog daily, you probably notice that I am writing about Southwest fare sales quite often! And while a fare sale is great for those looking to book future travel, it also comes in handy for those who already have booked reservations as you are able to get a credit back if the price of your flight goes down. Here are the detailed steps on how to go about this if a Southwest price decreases!

One thing to know, Southwest will NOT automatically credit your account if the fare goes down. You must take the initiative and go through the steps yourself. This is why I am on the Southwest site daily checking out current fare prices of already reserved flights. You can get a credit for the fare price multiple times up until the day of departure!

Step 1:

Sign into your Southwest account and access your upcoming trips. All future reservations will be listed. Click the “Change Reservation” link for the flight that has gone down in price.

If a Flight Goes Down in Price 1

**Note: If you booked your original reservation over the phone you will need to call Southwest and have them do this. Just remember though, Southwest agents are not able to see web-only fares.

Step 2: 

Click the checkbox for the passenger that you want to change the reservation for and click “Continue”. If the reservation included multiple passengers, you can select all passengers. Just remember that sometimes the lower fare is only available for one ticket, so in that case just select one passengers name).

If a Flight Goes Down in Price 2

Step 3: 

Your current flight itinerary will already be populated in the From, To, and Depart fields. Just click “Select New Flight”.

If a Flight Goes Down in Price 3

Step 4: 

Select your flight time and click “Continue”. It will give you the current fare in cash or points based on how you originally booked your reservation.

If a Flight Goes Down in Price 4

Step 5: 

You will the new and exchanged ticket total at the bottom of the page along with the difference. Make sure that the new ticket is less than the exchanged ticket! Assuming the information is correct, click “Continue”.

If a Flight Goes Down in Price 5

Step 6: 

The new ticket price will be listed. If you paid with points and kept the itinerary exactly the same there will be no additional amount due. If the flight information is correct click the “I Want To Make These Changes” button.

If a Flight Goes Down in Price 6

The process is really simple and takes no more then a minute or two. Here are the two scenarios on how you will get the fare difference back:

  • Paid Flight: If you paid for your flight you will receive a voucher for the difference in fare price to be used one year from the date the flight was originally purchased (NOT the date the change process took place). This voucher is non-transferable. The voucher will be tied to the confirmation number of the original flight. There is NO fee for this.
  • Using Points: If you booked your flight using points, the difference in points will go back into your account immediately. Again, there is NO fee for this. This is why I love booking Southwest flights using points!

One thing to note: If you have a companion pass tacked onto your existing reservation it gets a little trickier. The system will not allow you to change a reservation if you have a companion pass added onto the reservation. Assuming the flight still has plenty of seats left, you must first cancel your companions reservation and then change your flight itinerary. You will then need to remember to add your companion back onto your reservation. The major downfall with this is the system takes a few minutes to recognize that the companion’s reservation has been cancelled. Here you can learn more about the Southwest Rapid Reward loyalty program and Southwest Companion Pass.

To learn more about the Southwest program:

  1. Southwest Credit Card 50,000 Point Offer
  2. Earning and Redeeming Southwest Rapid Reward Points
  3. Earning Status with Southwest and the Benefits
  4. Changing and Canceling a Southwest Ticket
  5. Earning the Southwest Companion Pass
  6. Converting Southwest Credits to Free Flights
  7. Transferring Points to Southwest
  8. Transferring Points/Credits between AirTran and Southwest
  9. Extending the Life of Free Flights from Rapid Reward 1.0 Program
  10. Booking Southwest Flights with Chase Ultimate Reward Points
  11. Canceling a Flight Booked with Points
  12. Changing a Flight if Booked as a Roundtrip
  13. Getting Money Back if the Flight Goes Down in Price
The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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Eli Mongeon
Eli Mongeon
6 years ago

Great tip. In the past I’ve cancelled and then rebooked the flight.

dealswelike
dealswelike
6 years ago
Reply to  Eli Mongeon

@eli – this will keep the same reservation number

Kelly
Kelly
3 years ago
Reply to  dealswelike

Hi..I was wondering if you have an email…I would like to book a group vacation with southwest…I would want to know how to get best deal..I usually wait and book super saver with promo code.. but those usually are limited…so maybe you can help me…thank you

rob black
rob black
6 years ago

Do you lose the $12.50 each way that you paid for early bird seating??

dealswelike
dealswelike
6 years ago
Reply to  rob black

@rob – As long as you change your flight and do not cancel your flight, you will not lose the $12.50. Since the reservation number stays the same your early bird seating will stay in tack. They start assigning early board positions within 36 hours of the flight’s departure, so as long as you change your flight before this time you are good to go.

Uri
Uri
6 years ago

Thanks for the reminder. Just checked on a flight I’d booked in June and got about 5K returned to my account.

dealswelike
dealswelike
6 years ago
Reply to  Uri

@Uri – That is great!

Mark (@palmerlaw)
6 years ago

Any price drop alert options for SWA similar to Yapta? I’m guessing manual is still the only way to check. @rob – I believe the EBS remains linked to the specific reservation, so it should remain if same #. See Q&A: http://www.southwest.com/html/customer-service/faqs.html?topic=earlybird_checkin “If an EarlyBird Check-In Customer chooses to change a flight, will the EarlyBird Check-In options transfer to the new flight? It depends. EarlyBird Check-In is tied to the Customer’s reservation for which the EarlyBird Check-In purchase was made and will be transferred to the Customer’s new flight if he/she changes the flight at least 25 hours prior to… Read more »

dealswelike
dealswelike
6 years ago

@Mark – Unfortunately nothing that I know of.

James
James
6 years ago

MP, In regards to canceling your companion booking and then rebooking. This was not my experience when I rebooked a flight at a lower rate about a month ago. Perhaps that is because I called in and handled the change of my original booking over the phone. I explained to the agent that the fare had dropped from what was on my original booking and that I wanted it changed to the new, lower fare. She handled that rather simply and it did not change my confirmation (record locator number) nor did it change anything about the companion booking. I… Read more »

dealswelike
dealswelike
6 years ago
Reply to  James

@James – When you change over the phone you are correct, the companion process is slightly easier. Online, you must cancel companion, change flight, then rebook companion.

larry
larry
6 years ago

this is why ALL airlines should be required to follow SW programs. No penalty to change reservations, no penalty to
change if fare goes down, etc., etc. Congress should mandate that ALL airlines follow SW consumer rules vs. thinking of them only.

jb
jb
6 years ago

THANK YOU!! Noticed this morning that one leg of my flight went down in price and I just got a $76 refund!

dealswelike
dealswelike
6 years ago
Reply to  jb

@jb 0 that is great!!!

CJ
CJ
6 years ago

Thanks for the instructions on how to do this!

Adam
Adam
6 years ago

Wow thanks. I just got a good refund.

Kellie
Kellie
5 years ago

If I paid in cash, and am selecting a flight that is now cheaper – how is the credit refunded? Back to my Visa card?

Alison S
Alison S
5 years ago

Just saved $5.00! This was so easy – I feared I had to get on the phone with someone!

BillyBob
BillyBob
5 years ago

I spent 30 seconds and got $5.

Staysha T
Staysha T
5 years ago

Does it give you the option to “change” or “rebook” to the exact same flight? For example, if I see that my 10 am flight price goes down $30, can I “change” to this exact same 10 am flight to get the $30 credit, or do I have to select a different flight?

Elliot
Elliot
4 years ago
Reply to  dealswelike

Thank you for the advice!!! I just did this for a Cancun trip next weekend and “saved” (got back in SW credit) $350 per person!!!!! Thank you!!!!! I’m premier on United and fairly loyal but this sort of benefit with SW is so great.

Cassie
Cassie
3 years ago
Reply to  dealswelike

– I went to go re-book to save about $60 a ticket but when I go through re-booking it doesn’t show the lower price. I went through just to see if it would show up on the final page but it doesn’t.

Any suggestions?

Tamara
Tamara
3 years ago
Reply to  dealswelike

We don’t fly much but have a family trip planned. Looking at southwest. If I book departing flight but not the return flight. And my departure flight goes down can I use it on the departure flight. Not sure we would travel again in the next year.

Angela
Angela
5 years ago

Woo-hoo! I just got a $70 voucher! Thank you so much for the step by step instructions! With most other airlines and their fees for everything I was nervous to change my reservation. But just like you said, it was a simple easy process, and who couldn’t use $70 off their next flight?! Thank you again!

Mercy
Mercy
5 years ago

How do you receive the voucher? I have rebooked twice and just assumed it went back to my credit card. Now, I see the ticket says I have unused travel funds. Is the voucher emailed? Thanks.

Vee
Vee
5 years ago

Cool, just made the change following your detailed instructions. 1000 points refunded. Thank you!

gil949
gil949
5 years ago

Great post. I just had 950 points refunded to me. The process took less than 2-minutes. Thank you.

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[…] We Like provided a very detailed walkthrough for requesting this credit when a fare drops on Southwest Airlines. I think it’s a little cumbersome because Southwest’s process is designed for a general […]

AlbyG
AlbyG
5 years ago

Thank you for this posting! i booked a trip about a week ago and checked today to only see that prices had come way down! they gave me a refund which can be used on the next trip that i book! this is awesome!

Becky
Becky
5 years ago

This isn’t working for me. One leg of my flight went down $30 (I searched the flight for two tickets just to make sure that there are indeed two tickets available at that price – I even have it open on another browser to be sure I’m looking at the correct price), but when I follow your instructions to change the flight and get all the way to the “select new flight” page, that flight has the old higher price on it. So I could book new tickets at the lower price and cancel the other ones for credit (theoretically… Read more »

Danny
5 years ago

Nice, just did this, got to a closer city and saved 2k points! Thanks for the walkthru.

JSK
JSK
5 years ago

I booked a flight for 3 people on a single reservation. I went on Southwest to check and the fare for a single person is less than what I paid per person. When I logged in to modify the reservation I did not see an option to select a change for an individual passenger. I also noticed in the image on Step 2 under “Please Note” that it says that “Changes apply to all passengers on the reservation.” I called a customer service agent and his only recommendation was to cancel and re-book the flights individually at the lower fare.… Read more »

MarkC
MarkC
5 years ago

This post saved me almost $80. Thanks!!

Jen
Jen
5 years ago

Thank you Thank you, just saved me $300. AWESOME

Tim Johnson
5 years ago

Just did this today (Jan2015). Worked perfectly – thank you!

Stan Jemiolo
5 years ago

I took advantage of a lower price leg on a flight to Las Vegas in May 2015. The re-booking date was Jan 2, 2015.

When do I receive this voucher I have been reading about in this blog? Does it come in snail mail or is there a credit some where on my RR Account? I appreciate any information.

Brenton
Brenton
5 years ago

One thing worth noting in the case of speculative bookings. A few months ago I make a booking for this june using $60 of unused travel funds set to expire August 1st and $150 worth of gift certificates. I noticed the price had dropped, so I called and they credited me the difference, but that entire amount went toward the travel funds and will expire on August 1st. So if that doesn’t make sense… If you have a booking you may cancel and have unused travel funds, don’t use them unless you’re comfortable potentially adding to the amount of those… Read more »

Brenton
Brenton
5 years ago
Reply to  dealswelike

I would call, but I have until Aug. 1st, and just today I got my companion pass from the Ritz 140k “Marriott flight and hotel package” transfer into southwest, so I’ll definitely use it before then… 🙂

Sherri
Sherri
5 years ago

I just checked a flight I’ve booked, and it’s dropped $9. There’s a possibility I’ll need to change the departure date, but I haven’t made that decision yet. If I were to get this $9 credit now, and later decide to change to a different date, and if that flight ends up being higher, how would that affect this credit? Would I just pay the difference in fare from the original price, and lose the credit?

Sherri
Sherri
5 years ago
Reply to  dealswelike

Thank you!

Kelly
Kelly
5 years ago

Where can I see how many points I originally used to purchase a flight? Looking in my confirmation emails, I cannot find that information. Do they “hide” it until you push to change the flight? I would rather just know if I can get any points back before clicking to change. Thanks! This article is really helpful 🙂

Erica
Erica
5 years ago

Does this work with International flights as well? Trying to change my Cancun flight and get 6k back in points and it keeps giving me an error. Thanks!

Randall
Randall
5 years ago
Reply to  dealswelike

Erica- What did you end up doing? I have an international flight price that dropped that i would like to have the difference back to me as well. let me know if you HAD to rebook?

Randall
Randall
5 years ago
Reply to  dealswelike

Erica- Did you have to rebook? I am in the same predicament. Let me know please!

Susan
Susan
5 years ago

Hi. Thank you for this information! Can the “voucher” funds be used for anything other than a future flight reservation? Early Bird, drinks, etc.?

Devon
Devon
5 years ago

How would this work for a situation where you have the companion booking and have paid for Early Bird? Since I have to cancel both reservations would I just lose the money I paid for EB on each? I have no option to just change the flights and keep the EB.

amanda
amanda
5 years ago

My mom purchased tickets for a future flight & just called yesterday to get the cheaper offer we saw online. She was able to get that but she is unsure how the credit will come back. She knows it will be of course to use only for a future flight, but since she booked all the flights & paid using her credit card, will she get 1 voucher to use or will each individual get a voucher for their part of the credit? Thanks!

Angela
Angela
5 years ago

Thank you, it worked perfectly!

~Michelle~
~Michelle~
5 years ago

Great tip! Just saved $36 (a day after booking) – but hey, it’s something!

Pankaj
Pankaj
4 years ago

I made changes and saved $10 & $9 in 2 bookings. Now I have credit in 2 confirmations, can these be used against a single booking.

april
april
4 years ago

If my fare just changed to lower price and I use the “change” reservation, will my credit card be credited the difference? We don’t fly often so it doesn’t pay to have a credit for future flight, or will I have to re-book with my credit card?

debbie
debbie
4 years ago

Does the credit need to be rebooked within a year or do the flights need to be completed within a year? Also can funds with one confirmation # but with two passenger names be used for a future ticket for just one passenger?

Pradnya
Pradnya
4 years ago

Thanks for this tip, i followed ur instructions and $54 difference, my question is how long it take to receive credit. Thanks in advance.

Mia
Mia
4 years ago

If I wanted to changed my roundtrip to a earlier date do I have to pay money?

Gail
Gail
4 years ago

What happens if I book a round trip flight using points – and I selected the lowest points/fare available but I’m not too happy with the departure times. Can I go online and change my reservation for one leg of the trip at a more convienient time which happens to be more points, will I be charged the extra points? I assume so but wanted to ask just to be sure

Mary
Mary
4 years ago

Thank you for this great tip! Followed your instructions – so easy and so quick. I saved $45 for a Christmas flight reservations to/from Florida made a couple months ago. Does it matter when you book the Early Bird on Southwest? Should it always be done at the time of reservation? I hate to take the risk of losing that money if a change is made, so I always wait until a couple weeks before the flight. Suggestions for best time to add Early Bird?

Diane
Diane
4 years ago

Do you have to actually have to “use” the credit within one year or can you book another flight within that year for a later time?

Elaina
Elaina
4 years ago

$30 credit. Disney here we come! Thank for the directions and advice

Irene
Irene
4 years ago

If I book a flight using points and later find a different flight for less (or more) as well as on a different date, can I change without a penalty? If more pay difference, if less get points back? Question basically is what if flight and date is not like for like?

Daley
Daley
4 years ago

I went through the process and received $200 back, however when I try to click on my reservation under my upcoming trips, it says “The page you requested cannot be found. It may have expired or been removed. You may wish to return to My Account.” I also see where it says I have an upcoming flight that’s not listed. When I enter in the information to find it, I get a message that says Oops! We were unable to retrieve your reservation from our database. Verify the following: The confirmation number is entered correctly. The passenger name on the… Read more »