Southwest Airlines Cancelation Policy: What You Need to Know

Have you ever booked a Southwest Airlines flight thinking you had plenty of time to cancel if needed, only to find out at the last minute their policy isn't as flexible as you thought? We've all been there. As one of the most popular low-cost carriers, Southwest's open seating and free checked bags are appealing. But their cancelation policy can be tricky to navigate. If you've booked a Southwest flight, whether for business or pleasure, you'll want to understand their rules before you click purchase. Here's everything you need to know about Southwest Airlines cancelation policy so you can avoid unwanted surprises and fees. By being prepared and knowing the details upfront, you'll feel more at ease the next time you book a Southwest flight.

Overview of Southwest Airlines Cancelation Policy

Southwest Airlines is known for its flexible cancelation policy. Here's an overview of how it works:

You can cancel your Southwest flight up to 10 minutes before scheduled departure and the funds from your reservation will go into your Southwest travel funds account. ###Travel funds

The amount paid, minus any change fees, will be applied as travel funds to be used for a future Southwest flight within 12 months of the original booking date. So if you paid $300 for a roundtrip fare and cancel 10 minutes before departure, the full $300 will be applied as travel funds.

Southwest doesn’t charge change or cancel fees, even for “Wanna Get Away” fares, their most affordable ticket option. Compare this to most other airlines that charge $200-$500 per ticket for changes or cancelations.### No change or cancel fees

Travel funds can be used to book a new flight for yourself or someone else. Funds are tied to the passenger name on the original reservation. You can also choose to get a refund to your original form of payment if you cancel at least 10 minutes before scheduled departure, but refunds may take up to 7 business days to process.

If there’s a death in the family or other personal emergency, Southwest may provide a refund even after departure. They aim to be understanding and flexible in unforeseen circumstances. ### Compassionate refunds

The key things to keep in mind are cancel at least 10 minutes before departure, the value of your reservation will be applied as reusable travel funds, there are no change or cancel fees, and full refunds are possible if you cancel prior to departure with a valid reason. Southwest cancellation policy is designed to provide options and flexibility for their customers.

How to Cancel a Southwest Flight Online or Over the Phone

To cancel your Southwest flight over the phone or online, follow these steps:

Call Customer Service

For the fastest service, call Southwest at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-998-6716). Let the agent know you need to cancel your reservation and provide your confirmation number. They will cancel your flight for you, issue you a cancelation number, and your fare will be converted to reusable travel funds that are valid for one year from your scheduled departure date.

Cancel Online

If you prefer to cancel online, log in to your reservation on Southwest.com. Under 'Manage Reservations,' select 'Cancel Flight.' Enter your first and last name along with your confirmation number. Review and confirm the details of your reservation, then select 'Cancel Reservation.' Your reservation will be canceled, you'll receive a cancelation number, and your fare will become reusable travel funds.

Either method - over the phone or online - will cancel your Southwest flight quickly and easily. Just be sure to cancel at least 10 minutes prior to your scheduled departure time or you may forfeit the value of the fare. Once canceled, your travel funds can be used to book a new flight within a year. If you have any other questions or need help rebooking, Southwest's award-winning customer service agents are standing by to assist you.

Fees for Canceling Southwest Flights

Southwest Airlines is known for its generous cancelation and change policies. However, there are still fees to be aware of if you need to cancel your Southwest flight.

Travel Funds

If you cancel your flight without rebooking, the full value of your ticket will be converted to reusable travel funds in your name. These funds never expire and can be used for up to two years from the date of issue for future flight purchases. You can also request a refund to your original form of payment if you prefer. Refunds may take 7 to 10 business days to process.


A few exceptions apply. Business Select fares are fully refundable but subject to a $100 change fee. Any add-ons like EarlyBird Check-In or Upgraded Boarding fees are n onrefundable. Changes made less than 10 minutes before departure will also incur a $50 change fee.

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