Southwest Airlines Flight Cancellation And Refund Policy in 2024

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Planning to cancel your Southwest flight? Afraid of a delayed refund? No more worries! We are here to help you out with the Southwest Cancellation Policy. It is very easy and streamlined to cancel a Southwest Airlines flight without any hassle. You can directly cancel your flight. Let’s take a quick read of the guidelines and policies of Southwest Airlines. 

What Does Southwest Airlines Cancellation Policy Say

southwest airlines cancellation policy

Cancelation policies differ among different airlines. However, these are very crucial to know even if you cancel or not. The traveler should understand every piece of information about it. Southwest Airlines stands out with a notable flexible cancelation policy. This offers their travelers a wide range of options to get free cancelation within 24 hours of booking, conversion of non-refundable fares into Travel Funds for future use, and no change fees. This brings utter joy and customer satisfaction in managing their reservations. Let’s read about Southwest Airlines Cancellation Policy:

  • In case you wish to cancel your Southwest flight, ensure that you do this at least 10 minutes before the scheduled departure. 
  • According to Southwest refund policy, if you have an Anytime ticket or Business Select and fail to cancel at the right time, you get the refund amount in the form of travel credit. 
  • If you don’t cancel it at the right time, and book with a Wanna Get Away Plus Ticket or Wanna Get Away Ticket, you don’t get a refund. 
  • You can cancel the flight even ten minutes before the departure if you hold a refundable ticket and the money you get is in the form of transferable flight credit. 
  • In the case of using flight credits from the previous booking to pay for Business Select or Ever fare, you get those credits in return. 
  • According to Southwest cancellation policy, if you hold a non-refundable ticket but have to cancel it, you receive travel credit. 
  • If you hold a companion pass, note that canceling your ticket also cancels your companion’s ticket. 
  • If you make use of the gift card to book your flight, it is a non-refundable booking. 
  • In case you missed a flight and used a gift card, you get a reusable flight credit. 
  • If you cancel a flight within 24 hours of the departure and want to use a gift card, you must contact the customer service of Southwest. 
  • Southwest cancellation policy says that if you paid taxes on booking your flight, these taxes will be refunded to you through the original payment source. 
  • If you travel with an unaccompanied minor, you get a refund of $50 per ticket on cancelation. Although a ticket for an unaccompanied minor is non-refundable if the journey is not taken. 
  • Booking a ticket with a pet on Southwest and then canceling it, can get you a refund of up to $95 for pet rental. 
  • Early bird check-in tickets will not be refunded. If Southwest cancels your flight, you get a refund on the fee of early bird check-in. 
  • Under Southwest 24 hour cancellation, you can cancel a Southwest ticket within 24 hours of booking without any cancellation fee, irrespective of the fare type chosen.
  • If your plans change shortly after booking, you get a full refund to your original payment or Southwest free cancellation.

Refundable vs. Non-refundable Fares Under Southwest Cancellation Policy

The airline offers various fare types which include:

  • Wanna Get Away which is non-refundable,
  • Anytime which are refundable,
  • Business Select which is refundable.
  • In case you buy a Wanna Get Away ticket it is non-refundable which means that you won’t get any refund to the original payment form if you cancel it. Yet, the value of the ticket gets converted to Travel Funds which are also known as Flight credits to use for future flights. 
  • Anytime and Business Select ticket is refundable which allows you to cancel the reservation and get a full refund to the original payment source. 

Non-refundable Fare Credits Under Southwest Airlines Cancellation Policy

  • If you cancel a reservation with a Wanna Get Away fare which is non-refundable, the amount paid for it will be converted to Travel funds or flight credits to use for future flights with Southwest. 
  • These are valid for one year from the booking date. Keep in mind that you should buy a new flight before the date of Travel Funds expires, but the actual dates of traveling can be after the date of expiration.

What happens if Southwest cancels my flight?

In the event that the airline cancels your flight for any reason, such as due to weather, mechanical issues, or schedule changes, you are entitled to a full refund to your original form of payment. Alternatively, you can choose to receive Travel Funds for future use. Southwest typically notifies passengers of flight cancellations via email or phone, and you can also check the status of your flight on their website or mobile app.

No Change Fees with Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines does not charge change fees for any fare type. This means that even if you have a non-refundable Wanna Get Away fare, you can change your flight without penalty. If you choose to change to a flight with a higher fare, you'll need to pay the fare difference, but there are no additional fees for making the change. 

Can you cancel your flight after checkin on Southwest?

You can cancel a Southwest Airlines flight after check-in but the process of cancelation refunds varies on the factors like the type of fares, time of booking and the reason for cancelation. Here is everything that you should know:

Time of booking

If you are canceling a flight after check-in, the process of canceling remains the same as if you had not checked in. However, if you cancel it closer to the departure time after checking in, you don’t get a refund, mainly for non-refundable fares. 

Refundable vs. Non-refundable Fares

If you purchase a refundable fare which is Anytime or Business Select, you are eligible to cancel it anytime, even after check-in and get a full refund to your original payment form. For the non-refundable fares ( Wanna Get Away or Wanna Get Away Plus), if you cancel after check-in there is a conversion of the fare value to Travel Funds or Flight Credits which you can use for future travel.

Change Fees

Southwest airlines flight cancellation fee as per the ticket types

Ticket Type

Amount of charge And Condition

For Pet fares

$95 each way If cancels reservations or pet does no travel

For Unaccompanied Minor Booking

$50 each way if minor does not travel or customer cancel reservations

For Anytime fares

cancel atleast 10 minutes prior to the scheduled departure (100% ticket value)

For Business Select fares

cancel atleast 10 minutes prior to the scheduled departure (100% ticket value)

Cancellation Fees

cancel atleast 10 minutes prior to the scheduled departure (100% ticket value)

As per Southwest Airlines cancellation policy, the airline charges no change fee. If you wish to cancel a Southwest flight after check-in and book for another date and time you can get Southwest free cancellation done and no additional charges on rebooking. However, any fare difference between your original booking and the new flight may apply.

Cancellation Process

After check-in, if you cancel a flight under Southwest cancellation policy, you are allowed to do that freely through the website, app or customer service. Bear in mind that if you've already checked in and got your boarding pass, you'll need to cancel your flight to avoid being considered a no-show, which could impact your ability to use the remaining value of your ticket as Travel Funds.

What Does Southwest Cancellation Policy 24 Hours Say?

Southwest 24 hour cancellation allows you to cancel a flight anytime within 24 hours of the booking made. Details about the Southwest 24-hour cancellation policy are given below; 

  • If you are not sure about the travel plans and want to move forward with the cancelation just after the booking, you better make it within 24 hours of the booking. You get a full refund from the airline for doing so.
  • If in case the airline delays your cancelation or cancels it from its end you are entitled to full compensation from Southwest. 
  • Southwest 24-hour cancellation policy for different types of tickets:
  • Wanna Get Away Tickets: Purchasing this ticket allows free cancellation within a day of booking. However, as per Southwest Refund Policy, these fares cannot be reused or refunded. 
  • Business Select Tickets: These fares provide the same Southwest 24 hour cancellation as Wanna Get Away fares but they can be reused or refunded too. 
  • Anytime Tickets: If you have Anytime fare, you can enjoy various amenities of Wanna Get Away and Business Select tickets.
  • Wanna Get Away Plus Tickets: Such tickets come with the same Southwest 24 hour cancellation as Wanna Get Away fares but according to Southwest refund policy they can also be reused or refunded.

How to Cancel Southwest Flight

This might happen to anyone due to certain unavoidable circumstances. However, if you are planning to cancel a flight under Southwest Airlines cancellation policy, here are following steps to carry:

  • You can go to the official website or download the app.
  • Tap on the three vertical lines on the left-hand side towards the top. 
  • Click on the Look Up Reservations option. 
  • Enter the confirmation code and last name to get all the details of your booked flight. 
  • Now click on Retrieve Reservation.
  • Go through your reservation details.
  • Tap on the cancel button and check the cancellation details. 
  • The buyers of non-refundable fares can only see the choice to hold the ticket for future use.
  • Click the “Cancel Flight” option.
  • Get the confirmation in the mail.
  • Once you confirm cancelation refund process starts.

Another way to cancel a flight is through customer service. You can call Southwest Airlines customer service and tell them the booking details such as confirmation code and last name. Once the details of your ticket are retrieved you can get it canceled. Get the confirmation mail of the canceled ticket and the refund processed in a certain time.

Southwest Airlines Refund Policy: Important Things to Know. 

southwst airlines refund Policy

Southwest Airlines Refund Policy is very simple and easy to understand. Also, it is in favor of the travelers. It gives complete flexibility and convenience to all travelers. Here is the highlight of Southwest Refund Policy:

24-Hour Free Refund Under Southwest Refund Policy

  • Same as cancellation policy, it offers a Southwest 24 hour cancellationfor free to all passengers who cancel a flight within 24 hours of booking.
  • Under this kind of refund, there is no ticket-type restriction and even non-refundable fares are included. 
  • Through this traveler can make changes or cancel their flights without getting any penalties within a day of their purchase. 

Refundable Fare Options Under Southwest Refund Policy

  • Southwest Airlines offers refundable fare options—Anytime and Business Select. 
  • Travelers who purchase such fares have the ease to cancel their booking and get a full refund to their original payment form, even beyond the Southwest 24 hour cancellation.

Non-refundable Fare Credits Under Southwest Refund Policy

  • The travelers who have Wanna Get Away or non refundable tickets and want to cancel their booking, Southwest Airlines converts the value into Travel Funds or Flight credits. 
  • These Flight credits can later be used for future purchases and are valid for one year from the date of purchase of the original booking. When passengers don’t get a refund they get the value of the ticket purchased.

Refunds for Cancelled Flights Under Southwest Refund Policy

  • If the Airline cancels your flight due to any reason such as bad weather, schedule change, or mechanical issue you get a full refund to your original payment form. 
  • Alternatively, passengers can choose to receive Travel Funds or Transferable Flight Credits for future use depending upon the type of fares.

FAQs About Southwest Airlines Flight Cancellation Rules

Q1. How To Contact Southwest Airlines For a Refund?

You can reach out to Southwest Airlines through the website, app, or Southwest Airlines customer service to get the refund to your original payment form.

Q2. Can I cancel or change only one leg of my round-trip flight with Southwest Airlines?

You can cancel only one leg of your round trip with Southwest Airlines without penalty. The fare rule should allow it. For example, if you have to change your departure date for one leg but keep the return date the same, you can do so without any change fees. However, if any fare differences apply to it. You can contact the customer service of the airline to know in detail.

Q3. Can I cancel my Southwest flight and get a refund?

Yes, under Southwest Airlines cancellation policy and refund procedure, you can cancel and get a refund. However, the value of a refund might vary depending on the type of fare you purchased. 

Q4. Can I cancel my Southwest flight if I booked through a third-party travel agency or website?

If you have booked your flight through any third party or agency then contact the same for canceling your flight and get a refund. The website is not responsible for any kind of action on it. Please contact the airline before you cancel the booked flight. 

Q5. Can I cancel my Southwest Airlines flight if I purchased a discounted or sale fare?

You can cancel a Southwest Airlines flight, even if you purchased a discounted ticket. Southwest Airlines cancellation policy applies to all fare types, even the discounted ones. However, Southwest Airlines refund policy depends upon the type of fare you have purchased. Always contact the airline before booking to deal with any changes in the booking further.

Q6. Can I use Travel Funds or Flight Credits for my future booking?

Yes, you can keep your flight credit for future use and get the booking done through it. You should use it within one year of the original booking else, it is not valid. Contact the airline to learn more about the use of Travel Funds.