We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
It’s time to book your spring getaway, before flights sell out and prices go up!
Because starting today, you can book paid and award flights on Southwest through April 24, 2017. And with Southwest’s great change and cancellation policy, there’s limited risk in booking your tickets early!
Here’s more about Southwest’s generous refund policy and ways to earn more Southwest points for your trip!
Book a Trip Next Spring With Southwest
Today, Southwest opened its schedule so you can book flights through April 24, 2017.
While most airlines open their schedules ~11 months to 1 year in advance, Southwest flights are only available to book ~6 to 8 months ahead of time, so they can sell-out fast!
And if you’ve been waiting to plan a Spring getaway with Southwest, you can book your tickets now!
It’s always a good idea to book your Southwest tickets as far in advance as possible, especially during busy travel times like Spring Break. Because if your plans change (or the price of your ticket drops), you can change or cancel your flight without penalty.
Plus, everyone gets 2 free checked bags!
Southwest Has a Great Change and Cancellation Policy
Paid Southwest tickets can be cancelled within 24 hours of booking for a full refund. And refundable (Business Select and Anytime) fares are fully refundable within 1 year of the date of issue. Or you can apply the value towards another ticket.
You can cancel non-refundable tickets (Wanna Get Away fares) without a fee, as long as you cancel at least 10 minutes prior to departure. And the value of the ticket can be used towards another flight within 1 year of the original ticket’s date of issue.
There are no fees for changing or cancelling an award ticket. And the points will be immediately returned to your account.
If you fail to cancel but don’t fly on the ticket, Southwest will redeposit your points within 3 to 4 days after the date of the last flight in your reservation.
Fly 2 for 1 for Up to 2 years!
To get the Southwest Companion Pass you must earn 110,000 Southwest points in a calendar year. Then a friend or family member can fly with you for (almost) free for up to 2 years!
This can save you thousands of dollars!
Check out my post about tricks for quickly earning the additional points you’ll need for the Companion Pass. And be sure to avoid these 3 common mistakes!
Ways to Earn More Southwest Points
Earning the sign-up bonuses from the Chase Southwest credit cards is the fastest way to get (almost) enough Southwest points for the Companion Pass.
Southwest Credit Cards
All 3 versions of the Southwest cards are currently offering 50,000 Southwest points when you meet the minimum spending requirements. So you can quickly earn lots of Southwest points with these cards.
Here are a few other perks that come with these cards:
- 2 points per $1 you spend on Southwest flights and certain hotel and car rental partners
- 1 points per $1 you spend on everything else
- 6,000 Southwest bonus points (Premier cards) or 3,000 bonus points (Plus card) on your card anniversary each year
- No foreign transaction fees
The $99 annual fee for the Premier cards ($69 for the Plus card) is NOT waived the first year.
There are no blackout dates when you redeem points on Southwest, so as long as there are seats available for sale, you can use your points!
We don’t earn a commission on the Southwest cards, but we’ll always tell you the best deals!
Remember, Chase has been tightening its application rules. So if you’ve opened more than ~5 credit cards within the past 24 months from ANY bank (except certain business cards), it’s likely you won’t be approved for most Chase cards.
Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
You can transfer the Chase Ultimate Rewards points you earn from cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Ink Plus directly to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio. Just keep in mind, this does NOT count towards the Southwest Companion Pass.
Starting today, you can book Southwest tickets through April 24, 2017. So it’s a great time to plan a Spring Break trip!
It’s a good idea to book early, before tickets are gone or prices go up, especially during busy travel times like Spring Break. Because with Southwest’s generous refund policy, you change or cancel your flight without penalty.
And if you have the Southwest Companion Pass, a friend or family member can join you for (almost) free anytime you fly Southwest for up to 2 years!