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PSA: Check Existing Southwest Airlines Flights for Price Drops, then Rebook

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Good morning everyone, greetings from rainy/windy Super Bowl City (San Francisco).  I just got an email from Southwest Airlines regarding their current flight sales.  In most cases, Southwest Airlines flight sales would not be newsworthy, but if you are an experienced/savvy Southwest Airlines flier, you know that Southwest Airlines lets you make free changes and cancellations to existing reservations.  I keep a spreadsheet on my computer (saved to OneDrive and available on my iPhone) that shows all my upcoming flights.  I book a lot of flights and sometimes I forget when I book flights (and I accidentally booked 2 trips for the same weekend #facepalm).

SWA Last Call Email

Anyway, as I was double checking my existing reservations, I noticed that some of the prices went down.  For my upcoming trip to Phoenix for MLB Spring Training, I saw the price of the flight go down by $51.  I rebooked the same flight and got a $51 travel credit for future Southwest Airlines travel.

SWA Refunded Balance

When you change or cancel a reservation booked with Southwest Airlines gift cards (or egift cards), the balance will be held as a travel fund, linked to your Southwest Airlines confirmation number.  To view your available travel funds, go here and enter the relevant information.  When I entered my confirmation number, it shows that I had $51 available.  Keep this information saved somewhere where you can find it when you book your next Southwest Airlines flight.  You can only use travel funds for a future reservation booked for the same passenger.  For example, I cannot use my travel funds to book a flight for my friend, I can only use my travel funds to book a flight for myself.

SWA View Travel Funds

If you used Southwest Airlines Rapid Reward Points to book the flight, the difference in points will automatically be deposited into your Southwest Airlines account when you rebook at a lower rate.  Conversely, if you rebook at a higher rate, the difference in points will be pulled from your Southwest Airlines account (don’t do that by mistake).  My dad and brother are flying to Phoenix to join me for MLB Spring Training and their flight went down by 3,256 points.  After easily rebooking them on the exact same flights, I had an extra 6,512 Southwest Airlines points after a few minutes of work.

SWA Change Refund Points

If you want to learn more about Southwest Airlines travel funds, see my in-depth explanation of How to Cancel Southwest Airlines Flights (Paid or Points) & View Travel Funds.  If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.  Have a great day everyone!

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20 thoughts on “PSA: Check Existing Southwest Airlines Flights for Price Drops, then Rebook

  1. Chris L

    Grant, I had to cancel my son’s SWA flight around Christmas and he has a credit of $362. He has no plans to fly before the travel funds expire. I can request a refund, correct?

    1. Grant

      Sorry Chris, you might be out of luck. There is no way to turn the travel credit into a credit card refund. For future trips, you might want to consider using SWA points since if you cancel, the points go right back in your account.

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  3. PedroNY

    Thanks for the reminder. I just rechecked 5 r/t tickets and got ~8,500 miles back in about 3 minutes. Score!



  4. Liz @ Yes/No Films

    Hi Grant – I’m thinking of booking one leg of my DTW-LAX trip, for August (LAX-DTW still isn’t at the price I want, just yet). I’ll be using SWA points. To cancel, I would cancel it first, then rebook with the poitns I get back, correct? Thanks!

      1. Liz @ Yes/No Films

        Aha – thanks. I used your link above so I see what you mean now. I STILL haven’t booked LAX-DTW because it’s $298, or about 19,500 points, and I need like 150 more points … I have the Southwest credit card (I got 50,000 points after 3 months spending $2K total, woohoo!) so I should be good after another month or so to book.

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