Southwest Schedule Opens Until January 4, 2013

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Via Frugal Travel Lawyer, Southwest Airlines is opening their schedule for booking flights up to January 4, 2013 today.

There is no penalty for cancelling a Southwest flight made with points (the points go back to your account when you cancel), so it doesn’t hurt to book your Thanksgiving, Christmas, or other holiday trips before you firm up your plans.  You can always cancel and rebook your ticket for no fee if the number of points required for the award drops since you booked the ticket.

If you cancel a paid flight on Southwest, the ticketed passenger gets a credit which can be used for up to 1 year after the booking was made.

If you’ve got a Southwest Companion Pass, your companion will fly free with you, on BOTH paid flights or flights booked with points.  Emily is attending a part-time graduate program after work, so the homework and classes gets in the way of maximizing our Companion Pass.

But we do have Holiday travel to book.  We usually bring gifts when we visit family, so it is great to fly Southwest and to not pay checked baggage fees.

If you’re running low on Southwest points, Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer instantly to Southwest Airlines in 1:1 ratio.

Bottom Line:  It doesn’t hurt to make your Southwest booking using points when the schedule opens since you can always cancel the award for no fee.

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20 responses to “Southwest Schedule Opens Until January 4, 2013

  1. you should note that Airtran has opened up its schedule beyond November, as of today as well. Appears to have done it in step with SW, however as of early this morning the SW sched hasn’t been fully implemented, while Airtran has.

  2. Thanks for the info. I’ve been trying to get my companion pass to work for Jan 1-4 2013 bookings, but it says that all of the flights are sold out. I wonder if they haven’t updated the system to include companion passes in 2013 yet

  3. Thanks, I’ve been waiting to use our SW points to fly home for Xmas that I missed last year.

  4. @SavortheSaver

    You can also get 2.5% cash back on some Southwest Travel at Ebates (and a $5 Gift Card for signing up):

    You can even get cash back for booking on sites like Orbitz too! I use it for all of my travel.

  5. Does anyone know if i book a ticket for another person with my points and then cancel the reservation will the points go to me? or are they stuck under their name?

  6. @Andy – if you book with points or with a free ticket from the old Rapid Reward system, the points will go back into your account and can be used again for anyone. The only time something is stuck under someones name is with a paid reservation that is cancelled. The credit then can only be used for that person and is non-transferrable.

  7. I just booked two flights for my wife and I for 48k miles. I had 6 points from the old system but they weren’t used. How do I use up those points that are doing me no good just sitting in my account? There’s no way to convert the old points to the new miles that I can find.

    • @Deals We Like – Thanks for helping out!

      @Ken – Do you mean 6 credits, not 6 points, right? You can convert points to credits (until you get to 16) and then you’ll get a credit for 2 1-way awards. In my experience, the 1-way awards were restricted and I could find 1 out of the 5 flights I wanted, but your experience could be different. You can’t convert credits back to points, though.

  8. Yes, I meant credits. Is there any way to see availability with credits before I convert my miles to credits? I’d hate to burn points just to find out there’s no availability with the credits.

  9. Thanks for this!! I just have a question though, i have Chase Freedom and have 20,000 points, can I transfer ese to Southwest or I do have to have a specific Chase credit card ( which you already mentioned) …bummer = (

    • @carmen – You need to transfer the points form your Freedom to a Chase Ink Bold, Chase Sapphire Preferred, or JP Morgan Select card (can be yours or someone else’s) and THEN transfer them to Southwest.

      @nate – How many points do you need? As Ken mentions you need the Chase Ink Bold, Chase Sapphire Preferred, or JP Morgan Select to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest. But they won’t count towards the Companion Pass. But you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt and then to Southwest and have them count towards the Companion Pass. You lose ~half your points, but it could be worth it for the pass.

      @Ken – Thanks for helping out!

  10. I’m close to the 110,000 point companion pass. Do you know if I transfer points from Chase Ultimate Reward to SWA do those points count toward the companion pass?

  11. @nate – No, they do not.

  12. Me again… I guessm y first question should be ‘is it possible to transfer Ultimate rewards to swa? I can’t seem to see where to do it.. thanks.

  13. Bummer.. thanks Ken.

  14. @nate – You can transfer UR points to SW miles only if you have the Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold or I think the JP Morgan card. If you have a freedom card you need to transfer the points to one of the 3 cards mentioned and then transfer them to SW. BTW, if you know someone with one of those 3 cards you can transfer your points to them and they can transfer the points into your SW account.

  15. @Ken – Thanks for all the info.

  16. Hi, I would need 10,000 points more to be eligible for SWA companion pass. As of today Jul 7, 2012…do you know if I purchase 30,000 from Marriott rewards then redeem it for 10,000 SWA points would still be counted toward the companion pass? My concern is the SWA companion pass page says that the transfer points are not eligible toward cp. I need to get quick points since my vacation schedule is coming in cpl of weeks from now…..thank you