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Getting the cheapest Southwest flights isn’t just luck — there’s a way to ensure you get the lowest flight prices, every time! In a few easy steps, you can make sure you always get the best deals that Southwest Airlines has to offer! The best part? It’s free and takes less than five minutes.
I discovered this little-known lifehack a few years ago and have been using it ever since! A few weeks before I was set to depart for my Belize honeymoon, an email came through my inbox that literally made my heart drop. Southwest Airlines was having a Thanksgiving sale.
Since our trip was taking place over Thanksgiving week, I had purchased our airfare several months in advance to try to avoid sky-high fares for holiday travel. Travel from Austin to Belize City for two would cost approximately $2,000 roundtrip – the most expensive plane tickets I had ever purchased, but that’s what we got for traveling internationally for the holidays, right?
I clicked over to the Southwest website to see what the current prices were for our flights. Just to torture myself. Roundtrip prices were now down to just $1100 – a difference that would cover our entire week’s stay at our resort and then some. I did some digging and made some phone calls and figured out how to get the deal for myself.
And now, I pass the savings on to you! Read on to learn how to maximize your vacation funds every time you travel and make sure you always get the cheapest flights possible on Southwest Airlines.
How to Get the Cheapest Southwest Flights Every Time
Disclaimer: To my knowledge, this hack only works for Southwest Airlines.
1. Log in to your Southwest Rapid Rewards account.
This is assuming you have already purchased your flight(s) and are ready to take advantage of a lower price you’ve found. Click the My Account link at the top of the page to review your upcoming flights.
Once you’ve initially purchased your tickets, you should monitor Southwest’s website frequently in the months/weeks leading up to your trip. You can reduce your costs as many times as you want, given that the flight is not sold out (obviously, or there would not be further advertised rates) in order to get the very cheapest Southwest flights. Sign up for their email newsletter so you will be notified of new sales.
Once you see a lower fare listed for the flight(s) you have already purchased, you’re ready to take the next steps to get your refund!
2. Find your itinerary and click Change.
Check the box for each flight that you want to change and then hit Continue.
3. Search for new flights.
Enter your travel details (date, departure, and arrival locations) and click Select New Flights. A list of flights will pop up the same as when you originally booked your flights, listing all available options.
You will be able to re-select your original choices with the cheaper rate and then click Continue. You can also choose a different flight, if a non-stop option now fits in your budget, etc.
4. Review the fare differences.
Review your choices to ensure you have selected the correct dates, destinations, etc. When you’re happy, click Continue to move forward with the new flights.
5. Get your refund!
A purchase summary will appear showing you the refund you will be receiving. The new amount due should be $0. There you have it – you just hacked your Southwest flight! If you paid with miles, your miles will immediately be credited back to your account. If you paid by credit card, you will either have the option to have the difference refunded back to your card or held in your Southwest account as a credit toward future flight purchases.
The whole process takes just a couple minutes and can be repeated as many times as you want if the prices keep dropping. While planning my honeymoon, this hack saved me $900 that was better spent on copious amounts of rum punch.
6. Repeat as needed.
If you find an even LOWER price, you can just repeat these steps!
A Few Things to Keep in Mind…
If you are modifying a refundable ticket, this hack will make your ticket non-refundable. You can continue to modify your ticket for lower prices if possible, but you won’t be able to full-out cancel and get your money back as you normally can with Southwest. If you know your travel plans are set, this shouldn’t be an issue.
In most cases, your refund will be applied back to your original form of payment. However, if your ticket was non-refundable when you originally booked it (mostly for international travel), your refund will be credited to your Southwest account. You can easily access the credit to put toward your next flight.
Southwest is my airline of choice whenever I fly domestically, and having this travel hack in my back pocket allows me to confidently purchase airfare at any time, knowing that I will be able to get any discounts that come up down the road. It takes less than five minutes of work to get the cheapest Southwest flights – wouldn’t you say that’s worth it?!
I have personally done this and can give you my seal of approval – it really does work!
If you use this method, comment below and let me know how much money you save!