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How to change or cancel a Southwest Airlines flight

One of the best features of Southwest Airlines is the ability to change or cancel flight reservations without a fee. I often book Southwest flights when I know I may need to travel somewhere in North America that Southwest serves. Then me changed my Southwest flight when I found a lower price; I also cancel flights if I decide not to go on the trip or find a flight on another airline that works better.

I change or cancel at least one Southwest flight most weeks. So here’s what you should know about changing or canceling Southwest flights.


Cancel Southwest flight

Southwest offers four fare types, each of which you can cancel without a fee. However, the type of refund you receive if you cancel at least 10 minutes before your flight’s original scheduled departure time will depend on the fare you booked:

If you book a Wanna Get Away or Wanna Get Away Plus ticket and cancel within 10 minutes of your flight’s originally scheduled departure time, you will forfeit the fare. However, let’s say you cancel your Anytime and Business Select fare less than 10 minutes before your flight’s originally scheduled departure time. In that case, you’ll receive any cash you returned as transferable flight credit, and any points you converted will be deposited back into your account. The reward is quick to the southwest the account they were originally taken from.

Flight Credits currently never expire, so there’s little risk in having some Flight Credits in your account if you plan to fly Southwest in the future.

Related: 12 easy ways to earn Southwest rewards points fast

How to cancel a Southwest flight

It’s quick and easy to cancel Southwest flights on the Southwest website or through the Southwest app. To cancel your Southwest flight online, log in to your account and view your upcoming trips. Find the trip you want to cancel and click on “Cancel flight”.


Scroll down to the “Review Refunds” section to see how you’ll get a refund if you cancel your flight. For this flight, I will receive a Southwest flight credit if I decide to cancel. If you want to cancel your Southwest flight, click “Cancel flight”.

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You may see other refund options depending on how you booked and the ticket price you booked. For example, if I cancel this award flight, I can choose to receive a refund to my original method instead of receiving a flight credit for the taxes and fees I’ve already paid.


Let’s say you only need to cancel reservations for some travelers in your booking. In that case, you can usually split your reservation or change the number of people flying through the Southwest website or app. If you have Southwest Companion Card and want to cancel a flight where you’ve added a companion, you’ll need to cancel the associated companion flight and then cancel your flight.

Finally, if Southwest significantly changes your trip after you booked and you decide not to travel, you may be eligible for a refund based on your payment method.

Related: Best Southwest Airlines credit card

Change to Southwest flight

You may want to change your Southwest flight for many reasons. For example, I recently changed Southwest flights to secure a lower price on the same flight. But I’ve also changed Southwest flights when I discovered I needed to get to my destination earlier in the day or even on a different day.

When you change a Southwest flight, you will typically pay or receive the difference in fare. However, you can change departure point, destination, ticket class and flight number. Therefore, changing rather than canceling your Southwest flight can be a good way to keep non-refundable extras like Check in early attached to a ticket.

Related: Southwest baggage fees and how to avoid paying them

How to change Southwest flights

To change your Southwest flight online, log in to your account and view your upcoming trips. Find the trip you want to change and click on the text “Change flight”.


Then, check the box next to the flight you want to change.


By checking this box, an area to update the selected flight will appear. This is where you’ll change your departure city, arrival city, and departure date if you want to change more than flight time or ticket price. Click “Explore Options” when you’re ready to see your options.


This page shows your flight options and how much more (or less) they cost than your original trip. You can check nearby dates by selecting them in the bar above the results. You can also filter to only direct flights if you want.


If I change another flight I booked with Southwest Points, my nonstop flight options will be as follows:


After selecting your new flight option and clicking “Review Changes,” you’ll click through a few pages until you reach a page where you have to confirm your changes and enter your payment method if you plan to. Switch to a more expensive option.

Like canceling a Southwest flight, if you only need to change reservations for some of the travelers in your booking, you will need to split your booking. If you have a Southwest Companion Pass and want to change the flight to which you added your companion, you will need to cancel the associated companion flight, change the flight, and re-add your companion.

Finally, if Southwest significantly changes your trip after you book, you can change the date and time of your flight up to 14 days at no additional fee. However, your starting point and destination should usually stay the same. You can change your booking up to two times.

Related: How to get the best seats on Southwest Airlines

Southwest changed the same day

Starting from midnight of your flight’s scheduled departure date, you can confirm a change to another flight without additional fees if you have A-list status or book Wanna Get Away Plus, Anytime or Business Select tickets. If you booked a Wanna Get Away ticket and don’t have Class A status, you’ll have to pay the difference in fare; this will usually not be worth it.

I booked a Wanna Get Away Plus ticket for a 6:45pm flight but was able to change it to a 9:25am departure for free on the day of departure. SOUTHWEST.COM

Travelers can use same-day change benefits up to 10 minutes before their flight’s scheduled departure time if seats are available and the departure and arrival airports are the same. If you have a Southwest Companion Pass and have a companion attached to your booking, you will need to remove your companion, change your flight, and then re-add your companion.

Related: Free bags and spacious seats: Why I always choose Southwest

Bottom line

As you can see, changing or canceling Southwest flights is easy and free. You’ll usually have to pay the fare difference when changing to a Southwest flight, but it’s also possible to get a lower fare. If you frequently fly Southwest, you should understand how a flexible change and cancellation policy can benefit you.

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