Travel News

Southwest Is Refunding EarlyBird Fees as Credit for Future Flights

Written by Charlie

Good news for all Southweste fans as Southwest is now refunding EarlyBird fees for flights that the customer cancels. This will be a credit for future flights.

Southwest is a flyer favorite for many reasons and one big one is that they never charge to cancel a reservation or change it. This is something that the other major US airlines are only doing (in bits and pieces) now because of the coronavirus pandemic. But, Southwest has always done it. Now, Southwest is refunding EarlyBird fees for flights the customer cancels – for 3 months worth of flights.

Southwest Refunding EarlyBird Fees as Credit

But, one thing that has not been great for customers lately is the Southwest police on the Early Bird fees. This is the fee that is paid to help ensure that you are not boarding in “C” group and sitting in the middle between two strangers. Before yesterday, Southwest’s policy was “All EarlyBird Check-In purchases are nonrefundable. Customers who cancel their flight will forfeit the previously purchased EarlyBird Check-In option for that particular flight. In the event that a flight is cancelled by Southwest, the EarlyBird Check-In purchased for the cancelled flight will be refunded.”

However, according to USA Today, they have now changed that policy – at least temporarily. Now, it is this (according to this article): passengers with travel dates between March 1 and May 31 who cancel their reservations can request a credit for EarlyBird fees paid. It will be a voucher good for one year that can be used for a future flight.

Even better is that this will apparently be retroactive for flights back to March 1 for those flights that people had already canceled.

This is certainly a positive for any customers who have canceled their flights due to the travel warnings or the desire to stay at home like so many states are saying. Now, you get the money back to use with Southwest again in the future – good news indeed!

Bottom Line

The EarlyBird fee is always great for things like an early morning flight so that you don’t have to wake up earlier than normal two days in a row – once to check-in and once to fly! But, it can always be a gamble if you are someone who cancels flights or have fluid travel plans. At least for now in this travel time, it is good to know that you have a credit for future use!

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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.