PSA: Southwest Airlines Schedule Changes, No Alert to Passengers

Good morning everyone.  Like clockwork, Southwest Airlines sends out emails every Tuesday morning with details of their latest fare sale.  And every Tuesday morning, I check all my upcoming previously booked Southwest Airlines flights to see if any of the flight prices have gone down.  If they have, I follow the advice in this post: PSA: Check Existing Southwest Airlines Flights for Price Drops, then Rebook.  Depending on the flight, you might save $5-$10 and sometimes you might save $40-$50, it just depends, but the only way to know for sure is to check all your upcoming previously booked Southwest AIrlines flights.

During my usual pass, I noticed that one of my upcoming Southwest Airlines flights was not showing up online.  I booked a late night flight from SFO to SNA for Fourth of July weekend, but when I looked on the Southwest Airlines website, I could not find this flight (time or flight number) anywhere.

7-1-16 SFO-SNA SWA

I double checked that I had the right cities and date, but I still could not find the flight.

SFO-SNA 7-1-2016 Flights

I did what any savvy travel hacker does and reached out to Southwest Airlines on Twitter.  I learned that the flight I was originally booked on was canceled.  I never received an email about changes to my flight from Southwest Airlines or Award Wallet.  Since I am relatively indifferent about flying from SFO or OAK, I looked at flights from OAK to SNA and found a 7:15pm flight.  The cost of that flight was more than what my original SFO-SNA flight cost, so I could have probably changed the flight online and paid the difference.  Since Southwest Airlines is responsible for the change, I asked them to put me on the OAK-SNA flight.  The Twitter rep instructed me to call Southwest Airlines to resolve the problem.  I was busy, so I didn’t call.

SWA Twitter Conversation

A few hours later during my lunch break (perfect timing), I received a call from Southwest Airlines.  She didn’t specifically mention my Twitter conversation, but she told me that the flight I originally booked (SFO-SNA) was canceled.  Without missing a beat, I asked her if it were possible to put me on the OAK-SNA flight that left at 7:15pm.  She said that would not be a problem and I received a new confirmation email from Southwest Airlines a minute later.  I thanked her for her time and hung up.  The entire call lasted 3-4 minutes.  I then tweeted Southwest Airlines to let them know that my problem was resolved.

SWA Twitter Conversation Happy

Long story short, keep checking your Southwest Airlines reservations to see if the price goes down and rebook.  In the rare case that your flight is canceled, reach out to Southwest Airlines and have them rebook you on a different flight.  If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.  Have a great day everyone!

12 thoughts on “PSA: Southwest Airlines Schedule Changes, No Alert to Passengers

  1. Liz @ Yes/No Films

    I love Southwest :) I’ve only flown them twice so far, to Atlanta (nonstop, yay) and to LA, but this year I will be flying them 2-3x as well. My flight from San Diego back to Detroit this May, for Yelp Spring Break, was originally $230 – I’ve been checking the prices every few days and one day a different SAN-DTW flight was $67, which was insane. My friend and I rebooked!

    That was actually on a Monday instead of a Tuesday too, I believe. I’m flying them to San Diego, LA again, and possibly New Orleans this year – I have 50,000 miles to burn from one of their credit card promotions :). I’ve never heard of them canceling a flight though! I will have to keep an eye on my flights.

    1. Grant

      Sounds like you got a very good deal on a flight, nice job. Canceled flights on southwest are very rare, I’m not sure what happened to my flight exactly.

  2. Betty

    Just a question re rebooking. While in the process of canceling the original reservation to rebook the lower price, does your seat become available to anyone else to book?

        1. Grant

          I’m not sure I understand your question. When you book a SWA flight, you have no assigned seat. When you rebook the same flight or to another flight, you get another unassigned seat.

          1. Betty

            Sorry Grant. After reading this post I was focusing in on “seeing if any of the flight prices have gone down”, not the main part of your post about a canceled flight. I’ve had a SWA flight drop in price but was afraid to cancel and rebook thinking I may be at risk of losing that specific flight if sold out. Thanks for your help regardless. Enjoy your Blog!

  3. Bill Price

    Grant, I took my first flight with Southwest in many years this past weekend, and the experience was generally good. I do prefer assigned seating, but that’s just me.

    The TSA experience was not as pleasant. I sent the following email to the TSA:

    “I wish to report an incident related to public safety.
    This morning [March 14, 2016] while attempting to board Southwest AL Flight 3135 through Gate B at McCarrin Airport in Las Vegas, my group and I went from the SW desk, up the escalator to the TSA check point only to find the entryway barred by a metal gate. We could see movement in the far reaches of the facility, but no one acknowledged our presence. To our distress, people kept coming up the escalator, and they had to get off in a space that was already full. After about twenty minutes of waiting, we were admitted to the screening area. As I was near the front of the crowd, I don’t know if anyone behind me was injured, but the whole situation was unnecessary and could have been easily avoided by coordinating TSA screening operations with the flight schedules of the airlines using those gates. This might seem so simple as to be intuitive, but it clearly did not happen in this instance! Worst of all, the TSA staff didn’t seem apologetic or the least embarrassed by their failure. Debacles such as this are injurious to the professional image of your entire organization, and I urge you to correct this situation before someone is injured or an ugly event occurs.”

    It appeared that TSA’s attitude was that the airlines needed to accommodate TSA’s work schedule or risk having their passengers injured or late for their flights. Like we need a little more stress in our travel experience!!

    Bill Price

  4. Quasimodo

    Awesome Grant. My first comment on your blog. I had booked a Southwest trip with RR points. It originally cost 13,500 points. I checked the same flight after reading your article and it was now 10,268. So I cancelled and rebooked. Never occurred to me to do that – as all other carriers point prices are fixed (Ok, maybe not Delta — but I don’t have any Skymiles, nor have I ever – but they’d have a cancellation fee anyway) I estimate the value was $56 for those points. 3200 points. 1.75 cents/point.


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