Southwest Will Refund the Points Difference if the Price of Your Flight is Reduced – How-to-Guide

There is good reason 90% of my domestic travel takes place on a red and blue (purple?) 737. My LUV for Southwest runs deep, likely due to the fact that their award programs is extremely pro-consumer.

Did you know that Southwest will return extra points if your booked flight becomes cheaper? The key is, YOU have to catch the new discounted fare! I am going to step you through the process of getting some of your points refunded if you find a cheaper flight, even if it is your existing flight that has reduced in price.

This is why it is so important that you book your Southwest flight to lock in the price as soon as you know where you are headed. You can always get the difference back if the flight lowers in cost, but if the flight goes up and you aren’t booked, you are out-of-luck. If you have enough points in your account and your times are flexible, book a couple of flights on the same day, even if the times overlap. Southwest will allow you to book any number of flights you wish. You can always cancel the flights you don’t need and receive all your points back instantly.



Step one: Log into your Rapid Rewards account and view your reservations. Once you find the flight reservation in question, click on the name of the city.


Click on the flight in question



Step two: In the top right of the screen, click “Change”. Just keep in mind, if you have a companion on your reservation, you may have to remove them first and add them back after the change.


Select ‘Change’ in the top right corner



Step three: Select the flight in question, if you booked a one-way you will only see one flight and one check-box. Click ‘continue’


Select your flight, if you booked a round-trip there will be more than one flight for that reservation



Step four: This is where you will choose what flight options you’d like displayed. You can change the date and you can even change the origin and destination.


If you are looking to receive a partial refund for your existing flight, don’t change these details, just click “Select New Flight”



Step five: This is where you will see a list of flights to choose from. You will find your existing flight in the list as well as others on the same day.


Choose which flight you’d like to change yours to. You can choose your same flight for a partial refund of points (the refund amount shows on the next page)



Step six: This page will show you a summary of the change you are considering. If your new flight is cheaper (or existing flight), your refund amount will be shown in parenthesis.


Confirm your refund amount in the parenthesis



Step seven: Chose which contact method you’d like to use for this itinerary.


Confirm where you’d like your new itinerary to be emailed



Step eight: Here is your confirmation page, make sure everything looks good. The price of your new flight will be shown in the bottom. When booking with points you still pay for the $5.60 security fee. That paid credit is automatically applied to your new flight when updating or changing your existing reservation.


Here is the confirmation page with your new (or same) flight details



Step nine: Go back to your account page and your will see the points immediately refunded. It will show a full refund for your old flight and a purchase for your new flight.


Your old flight is refunded and the new flight is purchased – in this example I updated the EXACT flight but it still shows this way


The great news is you can change your Southwest flights as often as you’d like. Make sure to peek at your existing reservations to see if they became cheaper. I ❤ Southwest



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