Southwest Airlines Flight Change Policy: Know About Refunds and Charges

Most of us have this habit of booking our flight tickets well in advance to avoid the last-minute rush. But sometimes we might even regret it if any emergency occurs. Or maybe if the ticket for the same flight is available at a lower rate and we feel we should have booked the ticket a little late. 

What to do at such a time? You might think there is only one way left and that is to cancel the old ticket and book a new one bearing the ticket cancellation charges, but this is where most passengers lack information. Many flights have a policy for flight change with or without extra charges depending upon your ticket type and time elapsed. 

In this article, we will tell you about the Flight Change Policy of one of the most popular airlines from the US— the Southwest Airlines. 

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What is Southwest Airlines Flight Change Policy?

At one point or another, we all have been in a situation where we needed to make changes in our flight booking, and you will definitely agree that the process gives you a headache in the cases of most airlines. However, this is where  Southwest Airlines stands out. The flight change policies of Southwest are customer-friendly, convenience-driven and flexible.

Southwest Flight Change Policy

Southwest does not charge any fees to change or cancel flights. Southwest Airlines Flight Change Policy mentions 24-Hour Risk-Free Cancellation. You have 24 hours after booking to cancel or change a Southwest flight with no penalty. This applies to all fare types and itineraries.

If you change to a flight with a higher fare, you simply pay the difference in fare costs. If changing to a lower fare, you receive the difference as a travel credit. Changes can be made at any time before travel by accessing your reservation and selecting the “Change Flight” option to book flight on alternate dates.

Southwest Flight Change Policy for Same-Day Changes

Southwest Airlines allows the customers to change their Southwest flight on the same day of travel. You can make the required changes through the Airlines’ website, app, airport kiosks, or with a gate agent up to 10 minutes before scheduled departure.

The popular US Airways provides the customers with the facility to confirm a seat on another flight on the same day of the departure. Same-day change through Southwest Airlines lets you swap your flight on the day of travel for an earlier or later one—as long as there’s an open seat and your origin and destination airports are the same.

How to make same day changes (step-by-step)

You can make confirmed flight changes on the same day of departure by following the following steps:

  • Go to the Southwest Airlines official website. You will need to login, if you are A-List preferred or A-List. 
  • Select the same day flight changes option after opening the itinerary of your existing flight.
  • Select the new flight you want to register.
  • You will receive a confirmation email shortly after you confirm the new flight.
  • Proceed with the check-in process and retrieve your boarding pass.

What is Southwest Airlines Flight Cancellation Policy?

In case you face any emergency after booking your flight ticket, and you want your flight to be cancelled and your registration fee to be refunded, the Southwest Airlines Flight Cancellation Policy enables you to do so.

You can easily cancel most flights on their website or through their phone application without having to call. Just look for the Manage Reservations option on their website or app, and then click on the Cancel option. If you’re eligible, you can even cancel just a part of your trip and keep the other part of the reservation available for flying.

If the flight cancellation request is made within 2-4 hours of the booking, you are eligible to get the complete refund as travel credits, but this must be at least three days before the scheduled flight departure.

Southwest Airlines allows you to cancel the flight without paying any extra charges for up to 24 hours of departure, but if the time left for departure is less than 24 hours, you will need to pay some charges to cancel your ticket. The penalty you may have to pay to cancel a flight on Southwest will vary depending on the time left for the scheduled departure, the type and class of your ticket and the destination of the flight.

Southwest Airlines Same-day Stand by List

Southwest allows the customers to list themselves for another flight on the same day of the departure. Same-day standby allows you to retain your current flight while listing for standby on an earlier flight via the Southwest app or mobile web, should one become available.

You need to access your itinerary on the Southwest website or mobile app at least 30 minutes ahead of the scheduled departure. Then, click on View/Manage option, and then select same-day standby. Now, select the flight and the airlines will let you know if you are cleared via your contact preference.

Southwest Flight Change Charges and Refunds Decoded

With Southwest Airlines, you won’t get charged any fees for changing your flight after you’ve made your reservation. Irrespective of what is your destination or how soon your flight is, as long as there are seats available on the new flight you choose, you can make the change hassle-free.

Southwest Airlines Flight Change policy

If the flight you have selected costs more than your previous itinerary, you will be required to pay only the fare difference and no extra charges. Moreover, if your new flight is less expensive than your previous one, the airline will refund the fare difference to the original form of payment (if applicable) or as travel credits which you can use in future bookings.

How to Change Flights in Southwest Airlines?

You can enjoy the ease of changing flights with Southwestern Airlines if you book a ticket online with them. To change flights in Southwest Airlines follow the given steps.

Step 1: Visit the official Southwest Airlines website and click the “Sign In” button located at the top right of the home page. Now enter your username / account number and password to log in.

Step 2: Select the “Change / Cancel flight” option. You will find this option on the right side of the home page.

Step 3: Enter the confirmation number and the first and last name. Now click on the flight transfer button.

Step 4: Select “Change flight” or “Cancel flight” and then click on “Search”.

Step 5: Find the flights you want to change. Find the flights on your booking ticket and select the “Choose new flights” option and click the Continue button.

Step 6: Check your flight options and flight prices. Now click on “Continue” and then on “Buy”.

Step 7: Now select the new flight and check the price.

If the new fare is higher than your previous fare, you will have to pay the fare difference. And if the new fare is lesser than the previous itinerary, you will be refunded the due amount.

In addition to the online flight change, you can also choose the offline method to change or cancel your flight. With this method, you can cancel your booking by phone or by posting.

To make changes to your Southwest flight, you can contact Southwest Airlines Customer Service at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9792).

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many times can I change my Southwest flight?

There is no such limit. You can change your flights as many times as you want, without any incurring charges.

  • How late can you cancel a Southwest flight?

You can cancel the flight anytime, with zero cancellation charge, up to thirty minutes before the flight’s scheduled departure. For non-refundable reservations, you can get the refund back to the initial form of payment if you cancel within 24 hours of booking.

  • How much does it cost to change a Southwest flight?

No extra charges. You just pay the difference in the ticket you bought and the price of the ticket you need, if the new ticket has a higher price.


As per the Southwest Airlines Flight Change Policy, Customers can change their flights without any extra charges for as many times as they want. The process to change the flight is convenient and you enjoy a customer-friendly service with the renowned US Airlines. Southwest even allows you to make same-day changes, setting its standards way apart from its fellow airlines.