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!