Southwest Airlines Cancellation & Refund Policy

Southwest Airlines is an affordable, ultra low-cost air carrier hailing from the North American continent. As such, it has a reputation of providing quality service at a budget. However, the airline has never compromised customer satisfaction. It is one of the few rare airlines that do not charge anything for a flight change or Southwest Airlines cancellations. As long as the passengers adhere to the Southwest cancellation policy, they can even get a full refund. How? That is what we will explain in today’s article.

Table of Contents

How to Cancel a Southwest Flight Online?

Southwest Airlines Cancellations Online

First up is the most convenient method to cancel a flight. Passengers can use the Southwest website to modify and cancel bookings. Thus, by following the steps detailed below, a traveler can view and cancel an existing trip. All he has to do is:

  1. First, the passenger needs to visit the official Southwest Airlines website
  2. Then, he has two options to proceed forward:
    • First, if he is a member of the Rapid Rewards program, he can use his credentials to log into the respective account and then view all the existing reservations at a single place. Doing so will make it easier to cancel a flight.
    • Or, if the passenger doesn’t have an account, he can still continue as a guest, there is no need to login anywhere.
  3. To proceed as a guest, the passenger should look for the Cancel/Change tab on the home screen.
  4. Then click the tab. Now, he has to provide the necessary booking details to look up the flight in question.
  5. Hence, input details like:
    • The six-digit confirmation number. It was sent to the customer at the time of booking confirmation. Look it up in your email.
    • And the passenger’s full name as on the ticket.
    • After filling in the boxes, select Cancel button and click on Search.
  6. Here, the passenger can view his booking he wants to be annulled.
  7. Now, select the flight and scroll down.
  8. You can see a few links like Change, Cancel, Rebook etc. Select Cancel.
  9. A new page will load, and the passenger will find himself at the checkout.
  10. Here, he has the option to receive the refund amount with cancellation. There is no need to request a refund separately. However, the refund depends on the fare type.
    • If the passenger is using a refundable ticket he can select to receive the travel funds after subtracting all the charges as a refund. The refund will revert to the original mode of payment.
    • If the passenger is on a non-refundable ticket, he doesn’t have a choice. The Travel funds will be converted into credits upon cancellation with a validity of 1 year. Although the passenger can try to request a refund against these credits, it is unlikely as they will be used for future travel.
  11. Lastly, the passenger should confirm the refund amount and the charges levied and finish the process.

Southwest Airlines Cancellations with Phone Number

Alternatively, passengers can also approach Southwest Airlines cancellations over a phone call as it is still a popular choice. The passenger need not worry as long as he adheres to the Southwest Cancellation policy. All he has to do is:

  • First, he should call the customer care service at the phone number: 1-800-548-3192 .
  • Then, listen carefully to the on-call instructions to connect to the airline agent.
  • Now, request Southwest Airlines cancel flight and give out his booking details.
  • Lastly, he should ensure the refund amount and request a refund immediately

Southwest Airline Cancellations Via Mobile App

Cancel Southwest Airline Flight Via Mobile App

Passengers are also heavily reliant on smartphones. Recognizing the fact, the airline has also permitted Southwest Airlines cancellations via the exclusive app. Hence, one can visit his app store to download the app and proceed with the cancellation. All he has to do is:

  • Download the Southwest airline mobile app on your smartphone from the play store or app store.
  • Once the app is running, the passenger can either log in using the Rapid Rewards account or simply continue as a guest.
  • Enter your credentials such as email id and password.
  • Click on the Sign in tab.
  • Hence, tap the Cancel/Change tab
  • Now choose the upcoming flight to be cancelled.
  • Click on cancel flight.
  • Confirm the cancellation of your flight.
  • You will receive a confirmation for cancellation via SMS or registered email.
  • Either you can request for a refund through the original mode of payment.
  • You can reuse the ticket by converting the same into a travel credit for booking a future flight.

Cancel Southwest Flight at the Airport

Although not many try to cancel their flights at the airport, it is still a valid option, especially in an emergency. The passenger can reach out to the ticketing counter and request flight cancellation after providing the booking details. Then receive the refund if any.

How to Use Southwest Airlines Travel Funds

Southwest Airlines allows passengers to apply flight credit on the purchase page. However, it is only available when buying a ticket online through the website or the app. These flight credits are rewarded when the passenger cancels a non refundable ticket. As such, the remaining travel funds are converted into credit as the ticket, although non-refundable is still reusable. But these credits have a clear expiry, which is 1 year from the day of issuance. Also bear in mind that one needs access to the Rapid Rewards program to utilize these funds.

Using Travel Funds via the Website:

  1. First, the passenger needs to head to the Southwest website and initiate a new reservation process.
    • One has to click on the Book tab and enter the following details:
      • Departure venue
      • Arrival destination
      • Departure date
      • Number of passengers
    • Then, the passenger has to create an itinerary.
      • Enter the passenger name,
      • Contact information
      • Seat selection
      • Fare type
      • Cabin class etc
  2. Finally, when one arrives at the check-out page, he has to indicate a mode of payment.
  3. Here, the passenger can select the Apply Travel Funds option.
    • Enter your confirmation number against which you were issued the funds. It will be the confirmation number of the ticket you previously cancelled.
    • Then, click on Apply Funds and the website will auto deduct the necessary amount.
  4. If your travel funds are insufficient you will have to pay the balance using other methods.

How to Cancel Southwest flight & Rebook it Online?

In order to rebook a flight, one has to first change or cancel it. The process is similar to making a new reservation, however the rebooking should adhere to the Southwest Cancellation Policy.

  • Start with visiting the website and cancel your trip.
    • You can follow the steps mentioned above to easily annul your booking.
  • Then, go to the home page and click on Log In.
    • Now, use your Rapid Rewards program to log in.
  • Here, view all of your Southwest Airlines cancel flight.
  • Now, select the one you want to rebook and scroll down.
  • You will find an option: Rebook Flight, click it.
  • After that the passenger is free to create, amend his itinerary.
  • Once you are done, click on Rebook now to proceed to the payments page.
  • Since the website doesn’t charge any change fee, all you have to do is pay the difference in fare. Your rebooking is done.

Southwest Cancellation Policy – Updated 2022

Southwest Cancellation Policy

The airline has its own set of rules and regulations. As such, here are the guidelines under the Southwest Airlines cancel flight:

  • The airline won’t charge any cancel fee or change fee.
  • Southwest allows the passenger to cancel a trip online or offline.
  • The airline offers refundable and non-refundable fare types. Although a passenger is allowed to cancel both for free, one ticket is eligible for refunds while the other will only allow the remaining travel funds for future use, as it is reusable and not refundable.
  • When a passenger receives the flight credit, he can use the Rapid Rewards account to view and manage the credits and use it towards other reservations.
  • You are not allowed to request a refund against such credits.
  • However, a refund will be met automatically when you cancel a refundable flight.
  • The latest you can cancel a flight is 10 minutes before scheduled flight departure.
  • The passenger can only cancel those flights that have been bought directly through the airline.
  • The airline also offers a 24-hour risk free period. During this period one can cancel a ticket and get a full refund, regardless of the ticket type. Hence, if you cancel the non-refundable trip during this period, you will receive a refund. However, the booking and departure must be 7 days apart.
  • A refund can take up to 10 days to reflect in your account.
  • Group bookings are exempted from Southwest Airlines flight cancellations.

Different Southwest Airlines Flight Cancellations Policies

Southwest Airlines flight cancellations cover a lot of topics. As such, we have included a few in our article to showcase the airline rules and regulations under different situations:

Southwest Airlines 24 hours Cancellations Policy – Same Day

The airline, in accordance with the US DoT, provides a 24-hour risk-free period that allows free cancellations against a full refund, without taking the fare type into consideration. The period starts from the time when you complete initial bookings. However, the passenger has to ensure that the booking and scheduled flight departure must be separated by more than a week.

The policy allows for online and offline cancellations. However, the ticket must have been purchased directly from the airline. Any ticket procured via a third party would have to be proceeded through them.

Southwest Airlines Flight Cancellations Policy for Award Tickets Booked with Points

Southwest allows the cancellation policy to affect tickets purchased with Rapid Reward points. In fact there is no separate policy for award tickets.

  • The cancellation policy for them is exactly the same.
  • Refundable tickets will get refunds.
  • And non-refundable ones will get travel credits/vouchers.
  • There is no penalty for canceling these flights.
  • And you can cancel award tickets anytime as long it adheres to the No show policy, that requires a ticket to be cancelled at least 10 minutes before departure.
  • The refunded points will go back to your Rapid Rewards account.

Southwest Cancellation Policy for Flights Paid with Companion Pass and Gift Cards

The airline allows the passengers to cancel tickets bought with a companion pass or gift cards. It falls under the cancellation policy, and dictates the following:

  • Any passenger can easily cancel a ticket bought with a companion pass.
  • The travel funds will be allotted to the future travel credits and the taxes and other charges will be refunded directly to your original mode of payment.
  • If you are cancelling a ticket that was purchased by redeeming a gift card, you will only get travel credit as these tickets are reusable and non-refundable.
  • Also, the credit will have an expiry of 1 year from the day of issuance.

Southwest Flight Cancellation Policy for Non-refundable Tickets

Southwest Airlines offer two different type of fares, refundable and non-refundable. As per the policy, your non-refundable tickets are entitled to get a 100% travel credit on cancellation, as they are reusable. However, there are other guidelines too, such as:

  • If the passenger cancels a non-refundable during the 24-hour risk-free duration, he will qualify for a full refund. Thus, instead of travel credits, the refund amount will revert to the original source of payment.
  • Or the passenger can choose to get travel credits instead. However, these will be valid for only a year.
  • But, if the passenger misses the period and cancels the ticket after 24 hours, he will only get travel credits as the ticket itself is reusable.
  • However, you have to ensure that the cancellation is made at least 10 minutes before flight departure.
  • Wanna Get Away and Wanna Get Away Plus are both non-refundable tickets.

Southwest Flight Cancellation Policy for Refundable Tickets

Similarly, there is a cancellation policy governing refundable tickets. Refundable tickets can be cancelled anytime for a full refund. Furthermore, the passenger has a choice to opt for future travel credits or the original mode of payment. There is no need to request a refund separately for these tickets. The only limitation is that the passenger has to cancel the flight with at least 10 minus remaining for flight departure. Business select and Anytime are both refundable fares.

Southwest Flight Cancellation Policy for Reusable Tickets

Southwest Airlines offer reusable tickets. These are issues automatically, no matter what fare type you select. In a way any ticket purchased from the airline is reusable. A reusable ticket is one when cancelled provides the traveler with future travel credits. Here your travel funds won’t be lost after cancellation. As such, the passenger can cancel any flight with Southwest Airlines and still get travel credits at the minimum. The four fare types available with the airlines are all reusable, even if they fail to qualify for a refund. As long the passenger cancels a flight with 10 minutes remaining for departure, he can use these credits.

Southwest Wanna Get Away and Wanna Get Away Plus Tickets Cancellation Policy

As per Southwest cancellations, a passenger is free to cancel Wanna Get Away and Wanna Get Away Plus tickets for free and still receive travel credits. Although non-refundable these tickets are reusable. Hence, you can’t request a refund but save the credits towards future use. The credits do have an expiry period of 1 year.

Furthermore, both of these tickets don’t qualify for same-day changes and cancellations. Hence, you won’t get a free rebooking in case you miss your flight at the last minute.

Southwest Cancellation Policy for Anytime Tickets

Anytime tickets fall under refundable fare. They qualify for a full refund, regardless of when you cancel them as long it is at least 10 minutes prior to a scheduled flight departure. Also, you have a choice to convert the refund amount into travel funds/credits for future use.

Southwest Airlines Cancellation Policy for Business Select Tickets

Similar to the previous one, Business select tickets are also refundable. Passengers can get a full refund and do not have to pay any cancellation fee. Also, they have a choice to convert the refund into travel credit with a validity of 1 year. Only, the passengers have to cancel the fare at least 10 minutes before a flight departure to avail these benefits.

Southwest Airlines Cancellations Fees

Southwest Airlines Cancellation Fees

Fare Type Ticket Type Refund Type Cancellation Fee
Non-refundable Wanna Get Away Reusable Free
Wanna Get Away Plus Reusable Free
Refundable Anytime Refundable Free
Business Select Refundable Free

Southwest Airlines Covid 19 Waivers:

  • Southwest Airlines ensures they do not charge a change fee to change or cancel the flights.
  • Southwest Airlines ensures they are able to convert the tickets to travel credits.
  • You can read details about travel credits on southwest.com.
  • These policies assist customers to enjoy flexibility in their travel plans.
  • Nonrefundable tickets can be converted to travel credit in future.
  • Covid test is mandatory on arrivals and departures.
  • The temperatures need to be checked before arrival and departure.
  • The passengers also need to follow the quarantine processes to ensure they remain safe post landing.

Southwest Change Policy

Flight change on Southwest is equally easy, and is governed by the Flight change policy that state the following:

  • The passenger is allowed to change any flight, regardless of fare type, as long it was purchased directly from the airline.
  • However, he has to change the flight at least 10 minutes before flight departure.
  • Also, any changes will not incur a fee. The airline offers free flight changes.
  • But, a fare difference can be applied if the new flight is costlier than your older one.
  • Similarly, if the new flight is cheaper, the passenger will qualify for a refund. The airline will provide said refund as travel credits.
  • Non-refundable ticket do not warrant same-day changes.
  • Also, the passenger has to make any same-day changes for international booking offline.
  • And, the change must be made at least 2 hours prior to flight departure.
  • Passengers are also allowed to change cabin class, seats and the name on the ticket.
  • The airline also allows a change after check-in is complete. But there should be 40 minutes left to flight departure.

Southwest Airlines Refund Policy

Southwest Airlines Refund Policy

Under the Southwest Airlines refund, the rules clearly state the following:

  • There are two types of fares – refundable and reusable.
  • Although a passenger is unable to get a refund on non-refundable tickets, he can still claim travel credits for future use.
  • But these travel credits can’t be redeemed via a refund request. They will remain as credits and only expire after their validity is over.
  • Business select and Anytime are refundable fares and thus qualified for a full refund into the original mode of payment.
  • Wanna Get Away and Wanna Get Away Plus are non-refundable, and you can only get travel credits on cancelling them.
  • The airline takes up to 10 days to revert a refund.

How do I Know I am Eligible for a Refund with Southwest Airlines?

As per the southwest airlines refund policy, only Anytime and Business Select ticket category is refundable in nature. if passengers manage to cancel their tickets at least 10 minutes before the scheduled departure they become eligible for a refund from southwest airlines. They will receive their refund amount in the original mode of payment used at the time of booking.

As per the Southwest airlines refund policy not all tickets are refundable in nature. Business select and Anytime tickets are refundable in nature. Wanna Get Away Fares are reusable in nature. You can exchange them for a travel credit instead of cash.

The southwest airlines refund policy clearly states that the nonrefundable tickets can be used for a future travel upto 12 months. As a passenger you can convert the travel ticket into a travel credit.

How to Get a Refund from Southwest Airlines?

Request For A Refund Through Website:

  • Open the homepage of southwest airlines on their official website.
  • Now choose the option to cancel the flight and press the click button.
  • Enter Your booking reference number and last name.
  • You can view your existing travel credits near your booking reference number.
  • Now click on refund to initiate southwest airlines refund on the website.
  • Now select the original mode of payment to receive your southwest airlines refund amount.

Request For A Refund Via Phone:

  • Call the toll free number of the refund team at 1-800-548-3192 .
  • Provide your booking confirmation number and last name.
  • Have your flight details such as date, origin, and destination of travel handy.
  • Select the do not pay option from the voice menu.
  • This notifies passengers when a customer care executive answers the phone.

Request Refund Through A Refund Letter:

Passengers can write a letter to the refund department of southwest airlines. The refund letter can be mailed to the following address:

Southwest Airlines
Refund Department
P O Box No. 36649
Dallas Texas, 752351649

All the refund requests raised through a refund letter must have details of the unused ticket, as a valid proof of purchase. The booking confirmation number should also be mentioned in the refund letter clearly.

Compensation for Delayed & Cancellation Flights

Southwest Airlines Delayed Flight Compensation

Southwest Airlines Compensation for Delayed Flight

Delay Distance Amount
More than 3 hours Up to 1500 Km £250
4 to 5 hours  1500 to 3500 Km £400
More than 5 hours More than 3500 Km £600

Southwest Airlines Cancelled Flight Compensation

Southwest Airlines Compensation for Cancelled Flight

Delay Distance  Amount
More than 3 hours Less than 1500 Km $325
4 to 5 hours  1500 to 3500 Km $475
More than 5 hours More than 3500 Km $725

Southwest Airlines Cancellations Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Can you cancel southwest airlines?

Ans. Yes, You can cancel your flight on southwest airlines on the official website. Within 24 hours booking the flight. You can also get a refund in the original form of payment. Yes, the airline permits you to cancel your flight in a simple manner through website, mobile app and airport counter.

Ans. You can cancel the flight 10 minutes before it is scheduled to depart. The refundable tickets get converted to a travel credit which is used in a future booking of the flight.

Ans. The validity of the travel credit lasts for 12 months in Southwest Airlines.

Ans. If you have purchased a refundable ticket you can get a full refund. You can get a full refund if you cancel your tickets in the risk free cancelation period.

Ans. Southwest Airlines charges a no show fee, which means that if you fail to pay these fees, the future booking that you have made with the airline is canceled by the airlines. You will be banned from traveling by the southwest airline.

Ans. Yes you can cancel the Southwest flight without a cancelation fee since due to Covid 19 pandemic this penalty or change fee has been removed by the airline for making travel more flexible for passengers.

Ans. Yes, all reward points are completely refundable. You can cancel your flight through the online website. All rapid reward points can be redeposited into your southwest airlines account. You can use it to purchase flight tickets in future.

Ans. Yes, you are entitled to a complete refund if your flight is changed by southwest airlines. You will receive your refund through the original mode of payment. Your account will be credited with a future travel credit. If the new alternative offered by Southwest airline is not changed.

Ans. Generally Southwest Airlines takes 10 business days to process the refund to the passengers. This helps passengers to purchase tickets in future. You can seek assistance from the customer care representative to complete the process of refund.

Ans. Southwest airlines can change your flight at any time however you are eligible to receive the fare difference. Once the Southwest airlines changed the flight.

Ans. Refunds from Southwest Airlines require a period of 10 working days to be processed in the original mode of payment.

Ans. This category of tickets can be refunded in the form of a travel credit. Which is used for future flight purchase. This is a good way to ensure that your flight ticket with southwest airlines gets reused without an issue.

Many passengers experience sudden change in their travel plans hence this is a good way to save your ticket for future use.

Leave a Reply

Please rate*

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment by: Anna Meister on Mon Aug 1st 2022

When it comes to affordable travel, Southwest is unmatched. They're tough to beat in terms of price, customer service, and policies. Even their Southwest airlines cancellations are also so good. I had to cancel my flight due to some personal reason. I have never cancelled any flight in my life so I did not know anything about cancellation. I checked their cancellation policy and was able to get my refund. It was a bit late but something is better than nothing !!!!! Thank you Southwest Airlines.

Flight Helpdesk
For
Cancellation or Change Queries


Call Now Toll Free

1-800-548-3192

Current Wait Time: 15 Seconds


  • Booking,
  • Reservation,
  • Cancel,
  • Support
call for reservation call for reservation
Call for reservation,
Changes, Upgrade & cancellation.
call for reservation
Looking for immediate assistance?
+1-800-548-3192