Don’t Forget to Cancel Your Southwest Airlines Flight 10 Minutes Before Departure

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Don’t Forget to Cancel Your Southwest Airlines Flight 10 Minutes Before Departure

Million Mile SecretsDon’t Forget to Cancel Your Southwest Airlines Flight 10 Minutes Before DepartureMillion Mile Secrets Team

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This likely will not impact most travelers (who don’t cancel their flights) – but don’t forget to cancel your Southwest Wanna Get Away or Ding! ticket at least 10 minutes before departure if you don’t plan on flying.

You won’t get a credit for the price of your ticket if you don’t!

Southwest No Show Policy Change
Southwest Has A New No-Show Policy

Southwest No-Show Policy

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.

But if you book a non-refundable Wanna Get Away or Ding! ticket and don’t cancel or change your ticket within 10 minutes of departure, you will lose the value of your ticket.  Which means that you won’t get a credit towards a future flight!

Business Select Or Anytime Tickets

The no-show policy only applies to the cheapest Wanna Get Away tickets.  If you buy a refundable Business Select or Anytime ticket and don’t fly on the ticket (i.e. no-show), you will still get a refund.

But you won’t get a refund if your Business Select and Anytime ticket has even one Wanna Get Away segment on it and you don’t call to cancel the segment.

Let’s say you book a Business Select fare from Kansas City to New Orleans and a Wanna Get Away fare on the return.

Southwest No Show Policy Change
Combining A Business Select And A Wanna Get Away Fare

You eat lots of Arthur Bryant’s, Oklahoma Joe’s, LC’s and Jack Stack BBQ the night before.  So you oversleep, and wake up at 9:00 am for your 8:30 am flight departure!

Before the change in policy, you would get a full credit towards another flight.  But now, you would lose the ENTIRE trip value because your return trip is a Wanna Get Away segment.  And you have to cancel 10 minutes prior to departure.

Bottom Line

You have to cancel or change your ticket 10 minutes before departure or you will forfeit the value of your Wanna Get Away or Ding! ticket.

You will also lose the value of your ticket if your Business Select or Anytime fare includes a segment with a Wanna Get Away fare.

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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I have a credit from a ticket I cancelled on 12/27/13. I can not use the credit before the 27th.
Is there anything I can do to get an extension or maybe a partial refund or extension?

In reference to 2centsworth – Intelligent and educated travelers – now that is funny. I think it would just be common courtesy to cancel a reservation so that seat may be available to another traveler regardless if SW had a policy in the past saying you could NO Show but still get your money back. Interesting too how all these intelligent and educated travelers knew of the old policy but knew nothing of the new policy until they were No Shows. I have been on many Southwest flights and I never realized they had such a policy in the past where you could just be so rude as to not show up and not be penalized.

It is not hard to call and cancel a flight ahead of time, but most people are griping about the lack of notice regarding the new policy. 1. So many people wouldn’t have made this ‘no calling ahead’ error if they hadn’t been allowed to *not* call ahead for years and still get credit. 2. As for notice, Southwest may argue that it gave plenty of notice in its fine print, but if so many intelligent and educated travelers are making this error, is the fine-print notice actually reasonable and sufficient to notify long-time Southwest customers?


How did it go with the credit card dispute?

I agree with JD. Southwest has one of the most lenient no show policies in the industry. Why gripe and complain if it was your fault, not the airlines, that you missed a flight. All you have to do is call beforehand and you can save your $. I for one, am very thankful for Southwests lenient policies concerning cancellation, baggage allowance, and fees. They are the best value airline in the business as far as I’m concerned.

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