The Basics

What Is the Southwest Cancellation Policy?

Written by Charlie

The Southwest cancellation policy is the best around! Find out what it is and how you can save money or points on your reservations.

When it comes to airlines, the Southwest cancellation policy is the friendliest out there. Here is what you need to know about the Southwest cancellation policy.

What Is the Southwest Cancellation Policy?

If you book a cheap fare, the Wanna Get Away fares, here is what the details are:

  • If you cancel within 24 hours of booking, the amount of the ticket goes back to the original form of payment
  • If you cancel any other time, the ticket (if paid for with credit card, etc) amount goes to a Southwest credit that is valid one year from the original date of purchase
  • You must cancel 10 minutes before departure

If you book the ticket with points, the points will go back into your account and will be eligible for use on any other flight. The points are subject to the normal expiration policy of Southwest and do not expire like the credit above.

How to Change a Southwest Ticket

Read More: Why Southwest Sales Are Important

If the price has dropped, you simply select to change the flight, enter the reservation and look at the same dates and flights again.

Once you go through and confirm, you will receive a refund of the difference in miles and the cash for the taxes will be transferred for the new ticket.

If you are changing a Southwest ticket paid with currency, the difference in fare will be issued as a Southwest voucher for us within 1 year of the date of the issue of the original ticket.

That’s it! 

Southwest has the best cancellation policy around and it makes for one of the main reasons to book with Southwest.

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


    • IF you simply cancel, the taxes and fees go back to the original form of payment. If you change an award ticket and then cancel it later, it will be a travel voucher. Will include in the post. Thanks!

  • Hey Charlie, came upon this thread of yours and I have a question. If I buy a SW ticket for Oct with my US real time mobile reward and decided to cancel with 24 hrs, will I get the points back or will the refund be back into my Flex credit card as a credit?

  • We are cancelling an upcoming round trip from MCO to SAT. We understand that the $$ will be deposited in a fund for use within one year of the actual purchase? or planned travel date? If future reservations do not use all funds, must remainder be used within the original one year window? Any ideas for making sure we don’t lose the funds already spent?