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This week on Twitter, TPG follower Laura wanted to know how Southwest Airlines deals with fare changes:
“@thepointsguy do you know how SWA does fare changes? Say my flight drops in price and I want to rebook?”
Southwest makes it very easy to change your ticket, without having to pay extra fees. All you have to do is call up Southwest customer service at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA and explain to the representative that the price of your flight dropped, and ask to be rebooked at the price of the new flight, and you’ll automatically get a voucher for future travel. You will not get a refund on your credit card, but it is better than nothing. Southwest doesn’t charge any fees to do this, and in that regards are very friendly about it.
Now with the other major airlines like American, Delta and United, generally there is a $150 change fee for a domestic trip and a $250 change fee for an international itinerary. So unless your price drops by that much, it’s not worth it to reprice at the lower level. But, if for some reason you purchase a ticket at an unusually high price, keep checking and if for some reason a ticket on your itinerary does drop by more than those thresholds, you can call. They will charge the change fee, but you will then get a voucher good for future travel on the airline.
This is generally the rule with hotels as well. With refundable hotel rates, often you have up until the day before you arrive to cancel. So once you make a hotel reservation, keep checking because if you see a lower price, you can cancel your original reservation and rebook at the lower price.
The same goes for car rentals. That’s why websites like Autoslash, although it’s no longer supported by some of the major car rental companies, will continuously check to see if the price has dropped for you.
With airlines though, there’s no tool that I’m aware of that will automatically tell you if the price drops on the same exact flights, but if anyone has tools they use to save money on flights after they book, please feel free to share.
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