With the current state of affairs with Coronavirus, Southwest Airlines is allowing customers to change their flights to another date — for free. Although Southwest already allows you to change flights with no fees, they do charge you the difference if a fare has increased in price. With this current waiver in place, you will not be charged a fare difference for paid flights or those booked with points. Originally, only flights through June fell into this waiver, but now it looks like they are extending it for all flights booked through Oct. 30 (which is the last day of their booking schedule).
Also, typically when Southwest puts this type of fare waiver in place, it only allows you to change your flight 14 days sooner or later. Right now, they are actually allowing you to extend your flight 30 days out. This is an extremely generous policy, especially if you are looking to re-schedule a trip and the fare price is significantly higher.
Change a Southwest flight
To change a Southwest flight, you’ll want to sign into your account and go to the Upcoming tab in the My Trips section. Find the flight you want to change and click “Change flight”.
You’ll then see the change waiver in place. You can change your flight to any other date, but you cannot change airpots. However, if your departure or arrival cities are part of a particular city pair, you can change to a nearby airport. For example, if you have a flight out of Boston, you can also switch to a flight out of Providence or Manchester.
You can then change to any other date. As long as there is at least one seat left for sale on your new dates and flight, you can switch to that flight for no extra cost. As long as it says “Available”, you are good to change to that particular flight.
You’ll then see on the bottom of the next page that there is no change fee, regardless of the fare price.
If your fare has gone down in price
Another amazing benefit of Southwest is that if your fare has gone down in price, you can re-price your flight for no fee at all. If you are looking to change your flight to a different date and the fare has gone down in price, you’ll have to cancel and re-book. With the current fare waiver in place, it will not allow you to keep the same confirmation number and get the difference back in points or in a Travel Fund credit.
However, canceling and re-booking your flight is quite easily and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. Unfortunately though, you might lose any amount paid for Early Bird Check-In.
Although travel this summer will most likely be minimal for most, if you do have a flight booked, you can easily change to another date for absolutely no fee at all. Best of all, even new flights booked are eligible for the change. Theoretically, this means that you can book a cheap flight right now and then go ahead and change it to a different flight that might have originally been more expensive. If you think you might be able to travel this summer or fall, this could be a good opportunity to travel for less.