Advertiser Disclosure: Travel with Grant is an independent, advertising-supported web site. Travel with Grant has financial relationships with many of the cards mentioned here, and is compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program. Travel with Grant has not reviewed all available credit card offers in the marketplace. Advertiser partners include American Express, Bank of America, Barclaycard, Chase, Citibank, Discover, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo.
Good evening everyone. The inspiration for this post came from this Hopper alert for $130 roundtrip flights from San Francisco (SFO) to Orange Country (SNA). Before I go on, do you like The Flight Deal, Fare Deal Alert, Secret Flying, etc.? If so, you should check out ExitFares which aggregates all the airfare deal websites and sends you a daily email whenever they find deals for your specific airports.
I fly SFO-SNA several times a year and I usually book Southwest Airlines flights since they tend to be much cheaper than United Airlines. But with the below airfare deal, I wanted to double check all my existing SFO-SNA reservations and see if I could save a few bucks.
Since Southwest Airlines flights can be easily canceled, changed, or rebooked, I tend to book flights as far out as the Southwest Airlines schedule allows, which is currently through January 4, 2017. When I book that far out, sometimes I get a great deal on a flight and sometimes I overpay for a flight. That is the great thing about Southwest Airlines. If I find the same Southwest Airlines flight for cheaper, I can rebook the exact same flight and get a travel credit for a future Southwest Airlines flight.
I checked all my existing SFO-SNA reservations on Southwest Airlines to see if the price went down. Luckily, I found 3 cases where the ticket price went down. I then rebooked the same exact Southwest Airlines flights and saved a total of $60 for a few clicks.
In some cases, United Airlines had cheaper flights than the cheapest Southwest Airlines flight. In those cases, I canceled my Southwest Airlines reservations and purchased my United Airlines flights with Citi Thank You Points. In the most extreme case, the cheapest Southwest Airlines flight was $115.98, while the cheapest United Airlines flight was only $68.10 – a savings of $47.88.
It’s important to keep track of your travel funds and the expiration dates since it can be very difficult to find this information after you cancel a Southwest Airlines reservation. You will need to manually enter the confirmation number during the checkout process to use the travel funds on a future flight. Travel funds can only be used by the person who was originally on the reservation. With the 3 travel credits and the 3 canceled tickets from above, I am sitting on ~$460 in Southwest Airlines credit that I need to use by March 2017.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. If you rebooked any Southwest Airlines flights, let me know how much you saved. Have a great day everyone!