Book Southwest flights as One-Ways to maximise their generous rebooking policies

Southwest flight attendant delivers hilarious PA

We luv Southwest! 

Their flight attendants have the license to be funny and actually make the safety announcements fresh and worth listening to, even if you have heard them a hundred times.

We love that we can check 2 bags each for free thanks to their generous checked bag policy

On certain days each year (Valentine's Day, Southwest's Anniversary, National Holidays, etc) they offer a free adult beverage. Nice touch if you find yourself flying on one of these days. 

Being based in Atlanta, they have a lot of flights to compete with Delta after their merger with Air Tran who based their primary hub out of Atlanta. 

And probably the best benefit of all... their very generous rebooking policies. 

Southwest has 3 different types of fares- Business Select, Anytime, and Wanna Get Away. From Southwest's fare information page, business select and anytime fares are refundable and changeable. Wanna Get Away fares are non-refundable, but can be used as a credit towards future travel for the ticketed passenger. 

If using points, the ticket is fully refundable too (regardless of what kind of fare you purchase). 

So if they're refundable, why book one ways?

If a Southwest flight drops in price, you can cancel and rebook at the new, lower price. If you have booked a roundtrip flight, it is more complicated to do this because flight A may have decreased in price, but flight B may have increased in price. As such, the savings of the new, lower price would be offset.

Southwest used to allow you to just change your flight online to the lower price. If you had used 10,000 points to book the Atlanta-Milwaukee flight initially, and the new, lower price was 6,000 points, the difference of 4,000 points would be applied to your account after changing your flight. You could do this as many times as you wanted- if the price dropped 10 times you could do this each time. However, whenever you try to change a flight booked with points now, a message pops up advising you that your change will make your fare non-refundable. 

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The workaround

As Southwest advise in this notification, "cancel your existing reservation, request a refund of the refundable balance, and create a new reservation". Our workaround, however, has been to reverse the order of this, as long as you have enough points to do this. 

If you have booked a flight at 10,000 points, and the price has dropped to 6,000 points, first rebook the flight to guarantee that you have got the lower price secured (flight prices can change anytime). Then cancel the first flight you had booked. 

You will now be booked on the flight at a cost of 6,000 points and once you cancel the earlier flight you had booked at 10,000 will be posted back to your account, giving you a 4,000 point net benefit!!

Luv ya Southwest! Really do!