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Wing of Southwest Airlines plane as seen from the window of the plane at sunset
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This Secret Southwest Hack Could Save You Hundreds of Dollars

SmarterTravel

It can be so frustrating to book a flight and then later see the same ticket on sale for significantly less. With most airlines, there’s nothing you can do about a fare drop except pout. However, if you’re flying Southwest Airlines, you’re in luck.

Southwest Airlines has a fare drop program that most people don’t know about. If you’ve purchased a ticket with Southwest and the price goes down, you can rebook (for free) at the lower rate and get back the difference in cost.

Simply log on to Southwest’s website and rebook your reservation at the lower fare using the “change/cancel” option that will be displayed. You can also call Southwest directly to rebook at the lower rate.

The type of refund you’ll receive depends on which fare you purchased. 

Person using phone with superimposed graphics of airplanes flying from the screen
Nattawut Thammasak | Adobe Stock

Refundable Fares

You can choose to receive the difference in fare as a refund to your original method of payment, or as a flight credit.

Nonrefundable Fares

For nonrefundable fares, the difference in price will be returned via a flight credit for future travel. If the ticket is a Wanna Get Away Plus fare, the flight credit can be transferred to another Rapid Rewards member if needed. 

Reservations Purchased With Points

For any ticket that was purchased using points, the points associated with the difference in fare will be returned to your account. 

How to Take Advantage of Price Drops

Unfortunately, you can’t set up an automated alert on Google Flights or similar flight search sites to notify you if your itinerary becomes cheaper—Southwest does not allow third-party sites to show its fares. 

Instead, set yourself a reminder to frequently check the price of your flight to see if it’s gone down. Subscribe to Southwest’s email newsletter (or follow them on social media) to learn about any sales which could be a good indicator that your trip cost has gone down.

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