Save Your Points – Southwest And AirTran Schedule Open Through June 30, 2014

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You can now book paid and award flights on Southwest and AirTran up to June 30, 2014 (instead of June 6, 2014).  So you can start booking your summer travel now!

Unlike other airlines which usually open their schedule ~ 11 to 12 months in advance, Southwest opens their schedule ~ 6 to 8 months in advance.

Southwest And AirTran Schedule Open Through June 30, 2014

Southwest Schedule is Open Through June 30, 2014

Save Points By Booking Now For Flights Up To June 30, 2014

There is no penalty to cancel a Southwest flight paid with points (the points go back to your account when you cancel), so you can book your summer travel before you confirm your plans.

You can save your Southwest points if you redeem your points before March 31, 2014 for flights on Southwest after March 31, 2014.

That’s because the cost of using points will increase for flights booked after March 31, 2014.  For example, your points will be worth ~15% less if you book a flight on, say, May 1, 2013 AFTER March 31, 2014.

But you will pay fewer points for the same flight if you book them with points BEFORE March 31, 2014.  And remember that you can cancel and rebook your ticket without a fee if the number of points required for the award drops or if your plans change.

Southwest And AirTran Schedule Open Through June 30, 2014

12, 240 to fly From Austin to Seattle if Booked Before March 31, 2014, but ~14,000 Points After That!

If you cancel a paid flight on Southwest at least 10 minutes prior to departure, the ticketed passenger gets a credit for the entire ticket amount (no change fees on Southwest!) valid for up to 1 year from when you booked the flight.

Note that you should be able to cancel an AirTran ticket for free as long as you booked it on the Southwest (and not on the AirTran) website.

If you’re running low on Southwest points, you can instantly transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest Airlines on a 1:1 ratio.  Note that  transferring points directly from Ultimate Rewards to Southwest do NOT count towards the Companion Pass.

Southwest Companion Pass

If you have a Southwest Companion Pass, your companion will fly free with you, on BOTH paid flights or flights booked with points.

You can book a seat for yourself, and add your companion later, if you don’t currently have a Companion Pass.

Read this post for all you need to know about the Southwest Companion Pass!  You get the Companion Pass after earning 110,000 Companion Pass qualifying points in a calendar year.

AirTran Schedule Open Through June 30, 2014

You can also book flights on AirTran up to June 30, 2014.

Southwest And AirTran Schedule Open Through June 30, 2014

You can Book AirTran Flights Through June 30, 2014

Southwest and AirTran have connected their networks, so you can usually book AirTran flights (within the US and NOT to international destinations) on the Southwest website.

You are usually better off booking AirTran flights from the Southwest website, because you won’t pay for 2 checked bags and you won’t pay a fee for cancellations!

But you should book on the AirTran website if you want to pay for the privilege of getting an assigned seat, but you’ll also have to pay for your checked bags.  I’d personally prefer saving money on checked bags than getting an assigned seat.

AirTran charges for cancellations while Southwest doesn’t:

  • You have to call AirTran at 800-247-8726 and request a credit (less the cancellation fee) when you cancel a paid flight.
  • You have to call at least 1 hour prior to departure
  • AND you will pay a $150 fee per passenger

You will be issued a credit for the remaining balance valid for up to 1 year after the booking was made.  If you don’t call at least 1 hour prior to departure you forfeit your airfare.

Bottom Line

Southwest and AirTran schedules are open through June 30, 2014.

It doesn’t hurt to book your summer 2014 travel now, even if you’re not 100% sure of your plans.

That’s because Southwest does not charge change fees so there is no penalty for canceling the flights and re-booking.  And because your Southwest points are worth ~15% less if you use them to book award flights after March 31, 2014.

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8 Responses to Save Your Points – Southwest And AirTran Schedule Open Through June 30, 2014

  1. D-

    You stated that UR’s can be transferred over to SW points but do not count towards the Companion Pass- Will Marriott points that are transferred over to SW count towards the pass? I know the transfer ratio is abysmal; but sometimes taking one to the chin is necessary to get something better.

    Also, now that SW and AirTran have partnered up- Is it possible to use our SW points to book AirTran flights to places like the DR, Aruba, Cancun, etc?

    Every time I tried to do the above- it redirects me to the AirTran website.

    Thanks much- you rock.

  2. Can u use a companion fare on AirTran international flights? Ex. Cancun

  3. Living in Miami I was initially excited to see that I could finally book award travel to the Caribbean on the Southwest site. However, I was a bit disappointed to find that flights from MIA to anywhere in the Caribbean take between 6.5 to 8 hours! All flights have to go through Air Tran’s hub in Atlanta. So it may be good for those in the North, but not worth it in the south.

  4. Oh–and no Companion Pass on the Air Tran international flights.

  5. Holding out points for when the International routes open up for WN booking! All reports say 2014 but hopefully before the deval, FLL is the alleged gateway for MEX/Carribean not sure about Bermuda.

  6. @Chance @Erica – Hotel points do currently count towards the Southwest Companion Pass. See the linked articles for more details. You can’t use Southwest points for international flights as yet.

  7. Actually, I found that you can use SW points for international points. The conversion rate was about 19,000 SW points for 8 Air Tran A+ points, which is good for a R/T to the Caribbean.

  8. Meant to say “international flights.”

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