How to Find Out When Southwest Airlines Travel Funds Expires Before Cancelling Reservation

Good morning everyone, I am on a bit of a Southwest Airlines kick lately.  Luckily (or unluckily), this is my last Southwest Airlines post of the year.  In the last few days, I wrote the following Southwest Airlines blog posts:

In today’s post, I will show you how to find out when your Southwest Airlines travel funds expire before you cancel your Southwest Airlines reservation.  You might be wondering why you would ever want to do this, so let me give you an example.  Let’s say you have travel funds that expire on April 20, 2018 (from a previously cancelled Southwest Airlines reservation), but you already have a Southwest Airlines reservation for April 13, 2018.  Wouldn’t it be great to see when the travel funds linked to your April 13 reservation expire so you could decide if you are better off cancelling your April 13 reservation and rebooking the same exact flight with the Southwest Airlines travel funds that expire on April 20?  You could then use the travel funds from the original April 13 reservation for another Southwest Airlines flight in the future.  In a sense, you are swapping travel funds that expire far in the future with travel funds that expire sooner.  Remember, if you do not use travel funds before their expiration date, they become worthless, so it is always good to use your travel funds before they expire worthlessly.  Also remember that travel funds can only be used for the passenger who they were originally booked for, so you cannot gift travel funds to others.

To get started, click the FLIGHT | HOTEL | CAR top navigation link and then click the Change Flight link.

Enter your Southwest Airlines reservation number, your first and last name, and click the Continue button.  If you do not have your Southwest Airlines reservation number available, you can log into your Southwest Airlines account and go to the My Trips section to find your reservation number.

Select the flight you want to change and click the Continue button.

For simplicity, keep the same routing and departure date, then click the Select New Flight button.

Then select any flight and click the Continue button.  The price of the new flight doesn’t matter since you are not rebooking or changing your Southwest Airlines reservation.

There is nothing important on this page, so just scroll down and click the Continue button.

Scroll down this page until you see the Applied Travel Funds Summary.  For this reservation, I have $48.98 in Southwest Airlines travel funds that expire on May 20, 2018.  That is good to know.  If I have travel funds expiring before then (with no new Southwest Airlines flights that I need to book before then), I may want to cancel this reservation and rebook the same exact flight with the other travel funds.  It can also make sense to rebook at a higher price, if that means using your travel funds.  If you booked a Wanna Get Away flight, you will earn 6 Southwest Airlines Rapid Reward Points / dollar spent, so if your rebooked flight costs more money, you will earn more Southwest Airlines Rapid Reward Points.  If you do nothing and let your travel funds expire, you are missing out on earning more Southwest Airlines Rapid Reward Points.  I know this idea is a bit complicated, but it makes sense.

Another approach to quickly see when your travel funds expire is to go back a few pages and then search for a new Southwest Airlines flight with a departure date that matches the farthest date available (which is currently August 6, 2018).

If you get an error message, that means your travel funds expire before the new departure date you selected.  Therefore, I know my travel funds expire before August 6, which I verified earlier, that expire on May 20. It is not a great alternative, but might help in certain circumstances.

If you have any questions about this “go through the rebooking process to see when your travel funds expire before canceling your existing Southwest Airlines reservation” idea, please leave a comment below.  Have a great day everyone!

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