PSA Reminder: Check Existing Southwest Airlines Reservations; I Rebooked & Saved $60

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.

Hopper Alert SFO-SNA

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.

$60 SWA Travel Funds Credit 6-4-2016

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.

$366.95 SWA Travel Funds Cancelations 6-4-2016It’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!

23 thoughts on “PSA Reminder: Check Existing Southwest Airlines Reservations; I Rebooked & Saved $60

    1. Grant

      Thanks Donnie, i’m trying to figure out where to go for a short weekend trip in July and September that I can use my SWA credits on. Got any recommendations?

  1. Brenton Thomas

    I was recently able to do the same thing (with points). I booked my parents on a non-stop from OMA-DCA and on separate occasions was able to rebook and ultimately save a little over 6,000 points.

  2. Sam

    I do the same thing! But I should just remember to check the fares time to time for Southwest. Is there any alert for price drop for Southwest?

  3. Hoang


    You don’t have any SW points? Since if you book by points, it is even better since the points coming back to your account, no worry about travel fund

    1. Grant

      I have a few thousand SWA points but I was buying a bunch of SWA egift cards for a discount on eBay using eBay gift cards I bought from Staples. I fly SWA often so there is no doubt that I will use the travel funds before they expire.

  4. Ash

    Great post! Checked my flights today after reading your tips & found that I can save $123! I have booked a multi city flight for myself and my husband in July. My question is, if I cancel these flights (which have the same confirmation number), will I be able to use the travel funds to rebook the same flights for both of us or just myself? May sound like a stupid question, but I’ve never done this before and don’t want to mess it up! Thanks in advance for your answer and keep up the good work!

    1. Grant

      Hi Ash, you don’t need to cancel your existing reservation first, just go to the Change Air Reservation link ( Even though you booked both of your flights at the same time, you each have your own reservation number. Each name is linked to its own reservation number. I believe the above link can only change one reservation at a time. You might need to go through the rebooking process twice. Let me know if you have any questions. You can also call Southwest Airlines and tell them that the flights you book went down in a price and that you would like a travel credit for the difference. The rep should be able to help you out for free.

      1. Ash

        Oh sa-weet! Thanks so much for the quick response! I’ll probably just call them in this case. Whoo-hoo!

  5. Alex

    If you really know how to manage your account, your points or your credits never really do expire. all you have to do at the end of the year is buy another ticket and you can cancel that later on and then you renew your credit for another year.

  6. Rocel

    Did the same last Wed for family flights to SoCal in 3 weeks and saved $60. The biggest one was during a layover at Houston enroute to Costa Rica last Mar, I checked the return flight 6 days away and saved 20K points between me and my wife!

  7. Debora

    In March, I booked a trip from Dallas to Vegas for October. After getting a sale email, I rebooked my flights and got enough points back to book a 4 night Memorial weekend flight to Denver. Score!

  8. Pingback: PSA Reminder: Check Existing Southwest Airlines Reservations; I Rebooked & Saved $66 | Travel with Grant

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