Book Holiday Travel: Southwest Schedule Now Open Through January 4, 2016!

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Book Holiday Travel: Southwest Schedule Now Open Through January 4, 2016!

Million Mile SecretsBook Holiday Travel: Southwest Schedule Now Open Through January 4, 2016!Million Mile Secrets Team

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. 

You can now book paid and award flights on Southwest up to January 4, 2016.

So you can start booking your holiday travel now!

And if you think you’ll want to get away from the frigid temperatures, Southwest flies to destinations such as Aruba, Cancun, Costa Rica, and Montego Bay!

Book Holiday Travel Southwest Schedule Now Open Through January 4, 2016
Spend Your Winter Vacation in the Caribbean!

Many airlines open their schedule ~1 year in advance.  But you can only book Southwest flights ~6 to 8 months ahead of time.

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You Can Now Book Southwest Flights Until January 4, 2016

Even if you aren’t certain about your plans, you can book flights now and cancel later if you change your mind.  That’s because you can cancel or change Southwest flights for a refund up to 10 minutes before your flight.

Big Travel With the Southwest Companion Pass

Southwest recently changed their award pricing.  So certain award flights during busy travel times are more expensive.

But Emily and I still fly Southwest almost exclusively within the US.  That’s because I have the Southwest Companion Pass and Emily flies with me for close to fee, on BOTH paid and award tickets!

Book Holiday Travel Southwest Schedule Now Open Through January 4, 2016
The Companion Pass Is the Reason We Love Flying Southwest

With the Southwest Companion Pass all of your flights are essentially half price because your friend or family member can fly with you for (almost) free.

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

You can earn the Southwest Companion Pass in 8 easy steps!

You need to earn 110,000 Southwest points in a calendar year to get the Companion Pass.  The easiest way to earn most of those points is by signing-up for 1 business and 1 personal Chase Southwest card:

Emily and I don’t earn commission on these cards, but we always tell you about the best deals!

Need Southwest Points?

Here’s a look at some of the ways you can earn Southwest points.

1.   Paid Flights on Southwest

On paid Southwest flights you’ll earn:

  • Business Select Fares:  12 points per $1 you spend
  • Anytime Fares:  10 points per $1 you spend
  • Wanna Get Away Fares:  6 points per $1 you spend

Points are earned on the base fare and excise taxes, but NOT the government taxes and fees.

Book Holiday Travel Southwest Schedule Now Open Through January 4, 2016
How You Earn Southwest Points on Paid Fares

2.   Southwest Credit Cards

Link:   Southwest Plus (Personal) Card

Link:   Southwest Premier (Personal) Card

Link:   Southwest Premier (Business) Card

You can quickly earn lots of Southwest points with the Chase Southwest cards.  All 3 versions of the Southwest card are currently offering 50,000 Southwest points when you meet the minimum spending.

Other benefits that come with these cards include:

  • 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 1st 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!

3.   Transfer Points From Chase Ultimate Rewards

Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred directly from the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Bold (no longer available), or Chase Ink Plus to Southwest.

Chase Adds New Transfer Partner More Options To Europe
Points You Earn From Cards Like the Chase Ink Cash Can Only Be Transferred to Southwest If You Have the Chase Ink Plus, Chase Ink Bold, or Chase Sapphire Preferred

Note:  Chase Ultimate Rewards points transferred to Southwest do NOT count towards the Companion Pass.

4.   Earn Bonus Points

You can also earn Southwest bonus points by:

For example, you can use Choice hotels points plus cash to earn points towards the Southwest Companion Pass!

Book Holiday Travel Southwest Schedule Now Open Through January 4, 2016
Get Choice Hotel Points for Cheap and Transfer Them to Southwest!

Bottom Line

Southwest’s schedule is now open through January 4, 2016.

So you can book your winter travel now.  And if your plans change you can cancel and get a refund.

If you cancel a paid Southwest flight up to 10 minutes before your flight, you receive a credit that you can use towards future flights.  The credit is good for 1 year.

And if you cancel an award ticket, Southwest will also deposit the points back into your account.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

More Info

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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@JC, the wanna get away fares are showing up today for the flights to Liberia from Houston during the holidays, so the lady at Southwest who told me all of the “seats” were not loaded into the system yet was probably correct.

@JC, I see what you mean, I thought maybe they hadn’t loaded them yet but wow, no wanna get away seats on all those days, that is surely different from what they usually do.

@ODB, Sorry I wasn’t looking at the holidays, I was looking for earlier in November, as that is when we wanted to travel. 11060 points (or $208) each way from TUL. That is a pretty good deal but we wanted to go to Belize first, so hopefully some fares will stay at that price.

I had some trouble adding the CP to reservation, it was saying “sold out” and they said it was because the system hadn’t fully loaded, sure enough went back a few hours later and it went through with no problem. Maybe that was the problem with getting tickets around the holidays?

The “saver” fares between Nashville and San Juan, Puerto Rico were totally blocked from points usage, Dec 16 through Jan 2nd. It’s not that the seats were taken; no seats were ever made available. No other airline, that I know of, blocks all saver fares from points bookings for weeks at a time.

The value of RR just MAJORLY dropped for me. My business dollars are far better spent getting AA/Avios now that Southwest availability is so unpredictable…will there be saver seats made available for future flights I’m working towards???

@Angelia I see 70k miles RT from TUL to LIR during the holidays….? And ~50k RT from HOU to LIR. Not sure I’d call those prices good.

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