Southwest flight schedule extension coming tomorrow — book flights for Thanksgiving and Christmas


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Southwest works very differently than most other US carriers. Instead of having their flight schedule available 330 days out, they push out their booking window in batches a few months at a time. Up until now, flight are only available through Oct. 30, 2020, but that is set to change tomorrow. As of now, Southwest is extending their reservation schedule on May 28th so for you to book flights through Jan. 4, 2021. This means you’ll be able to book flights for many popular timeframes, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Typically, the new schedule is loaded at some point between 6am and 10am.

Book with the New Southwest Schedule

From past experience, booking the day the schedule is released could get you the best prices for peak travel dates — especially since this is an incredibly popular time to travel. Although, I have no idea what the current pandemic situation will look like for this fall and winter, so do not get your hopes up.

Fortunately though, since Southwest has no change or cancelation fees, you can book now and cancel later. This also means if a Southwest flight drops in price, you can get the difference back simply by going through the process of “changing” your flight. If you pay for your flight, you’ll end up with a Travel Fund voucher if you cancel or if the price goes down. But, if you use points, the points will simply go back into the account they were booked from. This also means if you need to cancel your flight due to COVID-19 you are pretty covered. Here is the break-down:

  • Paid for the flight. For non-refundable fares, you will receive a voucher for the difference in fare price (or full fare price if you are canceling). Typically, Southwest Travel Fund voucher can be used one year from the date the flight was originally purchased. However, Southwest has been very generous with extending expiration dates. For refundable fares, you will receive the difference in fare price back to the credit card used. Regardless of the fare type, there is no fee.
  • 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!

Book Now, Add Your Companion Later

If you are going for the Southwest Companion Pass, where you can fly a companion 2-for-1, you can still book your flight now and add your companion later. Once you actually receive the pass, you can go ahead and add on your companion to your reservation. Remember, your companion flies for free plus taxes/fees. This is a great way to take advantage of todays prices with the Southwest flight schedule release and have your companion fly for free.

Reminder: Points earned from the five Southwest credit card welcome offers will count towards earning the Southwest Companion Pass, but make sure to time your application accordingly.

southwest credit card

Overall…

We are a huge Southwest family and when flights open for peak time periods I am usually extremely excited. This year is clearly different. I will absolutely be making flights speculatively, but I truly do not believe I will be flying during this time frame. Fortunately though, Southwest makes it extremely easy where I can make sure I have December break flights booked in case the things start to look brighter in six months.

Will you be booking flights for Thanksgiving and Christmas break?


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Joeygirl
Joeygirl
10 months ago

Didn’t happen today even though their web site states August 15th. Do we know when they will open their schedule up?

Jacklyn
Jacklyn
10 months ago
Reply to  dealswelike

10:00am EST and still only through January 5, just for reference.

Austin.Adventuress
Austin.Adventuress
10 months ago

Thanks for reminding us so that we can plan ahead! Unlike some bloggers who “announce” new SWA booking dates 2-3 days after the fact ;-).

Paula
Paula
10 months ago

Aug 15 was to open today did not why and when will new schedule open ?p

John
John
10 months ago

Still nothing and its 9:18am EST

Cassi
Cassi
10 months ago

They really are taking their sweet time today! Lol!

Lynn Benoit
10 months ago

10:30 and nothing yet – I have had plenty of time this morning to search all other flights, I may just take one of those.

QT
QT
10 months ago

Past 10:30 am on east coast… I’ve been up since 5 am… still no extension to the schedule. I called and they said 9:15 CST which would have been 20 mins ago. Sigh…. I love Southwest except that you can’t plan travel past 5 months… and they don’t keep their word about the extension dates… sometimes early, sometimes late.

QT
QT
10 months ago
Reply to  QT

Right after I typed that, they opened up schedule… ha. But disappointed to find much higher prices than their usual. They’ve changed since starting Hawaii routes. SAD!!!

Rachel
Rachel
10 months ago

Updated sometime between 10:35 AM and 11:06 AM. All “Wanna Get Away” fares on my route show as sold out. Does this mean they didn’t actually offer this fare, or that other people hit “refresh” more often than I did and bought up all the cheap tickets?

Rosemake
Rosemake
9 months ago

Can you confirm when using points and you change a flight to get a refund for a lower fare that the tickets doesn’t become non refundable after that meaning no more changes or cancel without forfeiting the points because every time I try to do this I get a message saying that this ticket will now be non refundable even though it is booked with points

pedro
pedro
2 months ago

GREAT

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