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One of the questions I get a lot when people are using miles and points is how to cancel a Southwest flight. The nice thing about flying Southwest is that you can cancel a Southwest flight at any time without any extra change or cancellation fees. The Southwest cancellation policy is the best one of all the major airlines out there! Whereas most airlines (United, Delta, American, etc) charge anywhere from $50-$100 to change or cancel your flight
How to cancel a Southwest flight within 24 hours
If it’s within 24 hours of booking your flight ,canceling a Southwest flight quite easily. Remember – the US Department of Transportation requires all airfares to be refundable within 24 hours of booking. All you need to do to cancel your Southwest flight is call 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (435-9792) and ask to cancel your Southwest flight. Your payment for your cancelled Southwest flight will be refunded however you paid it – credit card back on the credit card, voucher funds back on the voucher, points back in your account
How to cancel a Southwest flight AFTER 24 hours of booking
You can still cancel a Southwest flight after 24 hours has passed, even if you’ve booked the Wanna Get Away fare (their cheapest fare). The Wanna Get Away fare is Southwest’s cheapest fare and it’s technically non-refundable. Still, if you need to cancel your Southwest Wanna Get Away flight booking, you still can! Just know that instead of a refund to your credit card (or Southwest Rapid Rewards balance), you will be given a Southwest travel voucher. IMPORTANT NOTE: The Southwest travel voucher you get is good for 1 year from the time of your ORIGINAL BOOKING. This can cause confusion and problems, so you’ll want to use that voucher sooner rather than later
You can cancel a Southwest flight by calling 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (435-9792), but it’s also possible to cancel your Southwest flight online. Here’s an example from an upcoming flight I have. Simply pull up your reservation on Southwest.com
Because my flight is a Wanna Get Away fare, it is nonrefundable, so like I mentioned earlier, I won’t get money back on my card – instead the $239.96 I charged will be given to me as a travel voucher.
Note that if you want to cancel a Southwest flight that is one of the more expensive Business Select or Anytime flights – for those fare types, the Southwest Airlines refund policy allows you to get a full refund back on your credit card (or Rapid Rewards points balance!)
One problem with the Southwest cancellation policy is that it affects the Southwest standby policy. If you’re on a Wanna Get Away fare, it’s impossible to fly standby on Southwest (unless you want to pay the fare difference)
That’s it! Even after the 24 hour “grace period”, there is no problem if you need to cancel a Southwest flight! Isn’t Southwest’s cancellation policy the best!