Tip: There’s Never a Penalty to Change or Cancel a Southwest Ticket

Jan 16, 2017

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One of the more egregious fees airlines have added and even increased over the last few years is the change and cancellation fee. That’s the penalty airlines like to charge for altering a ticket after buying it, even if the change is being made months in advance of the flight. It’s not unusual for these fees to reach hundreds of dollars just to change a flight by a day or two, and that cost doesn’t even include any actual increase in the airfare itself.

That’s why it’s important to remember that one airline — Southwest — never charges a fee to change or cancel any ticket it sells, so long as you make your change no later than 10 minutes before departure.


Yes, you’ll have to pay any difference in airfare, but if the price of the new ticket is less than the old one, you’ll get credit for that as well. Any extra money leftover from a lower airfare will become a Travel Funds credit if you purchased one of Southwest’s cheaper Wanna Get Away fares, or you can get the money back if you’re traveling on a higher-priced ticket.

This generous policy also applies to tickets purchased with Southwest Rapid Rewards points, so any award flight can be cancelled at any time without penalty. And if you’ve purchased either a cash or points ticket ahead of time and find your flight later decreases in price, you can trade in your ticket for the lower cost one and get the difference returned to you.

Southwest is very proud of its “no change fee” policy, and it should be. It’s very customer friendly and just one reason you should strongly consider Southwest when making travel plans. If you want to learn some of the other great reasons to fly Southwest, check out 6 Ways Southwest Stands Out From Other Airlines.

Featured image courtesy of 700 Pale Blue via Wikimedia Commons.

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