Southwest Updated Its Online Reservation System! Here Are 4 Awesome New Features

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.

Southwest Updated Its Online Reservation System!  Here Are 4 Awesome New Features

Go to Travel GalSouthwest Updated Its Online Reservation System!  Here Are 4 Awesome New FeaturesMillion 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.

Lyn writes about how to fly free on Southwest on her GotoTravelGal.com blog and has a free guide that walks you step-by-step through how to earn the Southwest Companion Pass.  The pass lets 1 person fly nearly free with you for up to 2 years.

We’ve asked Lyn to give us the scoop on the new features of Southwest’s online reservation system, which they quietly updated last week.

Lyn:   If you’ve logged into Southwest.com in the last 2 weeks, you may have noticed that the online reservations system has a new look.  But I’ve yet to see an announcement from Southwest about it.

After using it for a week or so, I’ve found some great new features they’ve added that I want to share with you.  These updates should make booking flights on Southwest easier for everyone.

Southwest Reservation Updates Here Are 4 Awesome New Features
Did You Notice the Sneaky Southwest Website Makeover?

While we know Southwest upgraded its reservations system in 2017, consumers did not see much change in the way they book flights.  Instead, the system was supposed to improve flexibility for offering different flight times on different days of the week and improve the ability to re-book someone in the case of missed or cancelled flights.

But, finally, the portion of the system that consumers use to book flights has also gotten a facelift, which is largely positive.  Overall, the site has a cleaner look that makes it easier to view flights and complete your reservations.

4 Helpful Features of Southwest’s Updated Reservations Interface

Here are some of the useful features I’ve discovered after using the updated system:

1.   See Difference in Price When Changing a Flight

This is my favorite new addition, because it makes it SO much simpler to see if you can save by re-booking a flight.  When you click on “Change / Cancel” on the Southwest.com home page (about halfway down) and enter your confirmation number and name, it actually shows you how much more or less the current priceeither in points or dollars – is from what you most recently paid.

Southwest Reservation Updates Here Are 4 Awesome New Features
Awesome! You’ll Now See the Difference Between Current Fares and What You Paid When You’re Considering Changing or Canceling Your Flight

In the above image, you’ll see that there’s zero difference in price from what I paid for a particular flight for the first 2 options and the bottom options would cost me even more.

You can choose to change one or both flight segments (departing and returning) and instantly make the change right there.  I’ve already saved thousands of points by checking this feature each day!

Southwest Reservation Updates Here Are 4 Awesome New Features
You Can Now Opt to Change Your Entire Flight or Just 1 Segment

One caveat:   This does NOT work if you have added a Companion (if you hold the Southwest Companion Pass) to your flight.  Instead, you’ll have to remember or go back and find how many points / dollars you paid for the flight and check the Low Fare Calendar to see if there’s a better deal.

If there is, you’ll have to REMOVE your companion from the flight under “My Account / My Trips” and then go to “Change / Cancel” to change and re-book.  Once you book the new flight, you can go back and ADD your companion again, again under “My Account / My Trips” though sometimes it may take 24 hours before you can do this.

2.   See If a Flight Is Close to Selling Out

When reviewing flights, the system now shows you how many seats are left, but only if the flight is close to selling out.  I suppose it lights a fire under you to go ahead and book the flight, but it’s also good to know if you should grab it while you can.

Southwest Reservation Updates Here Are 4 Awesome New Features
The Updated System Will Now Show You How Many Seats Are Left If the Flight Is Close to Selling Out

Remember, you can always cancel a Southwest flight without paying a fee.  If you have non-refundable fare, for which you paid cash or credit, you’ll get a travel voucher for the amount refunded that is good for 1 year.  If you pay in points, your points are immediately refunded.

3.   Display of the Number of Points You Can Earn for a Paid Flight

If you’ll be paying cash or credit for a flight, when reviewing flights and times, it now shows you how many points you will earn by booking and paying for a given flight.

Southwest Reservation Updates Here Are 4 Awesome New Features
The Points You Can Earn by Booking a Particular Flight Is Now Displayed

Right now, Southwest is offering a targeted promotion that lets you earn DOUBLE points on any paid flights booked and completed by June 13, 2018.  Check the “Promotions tab under “My Account when logged on to Southwest.com, or click on this link to see if you are eligible.

And don’t forget to factor in the additional Southwest points you’ll earn (2X points per $1) if you book your flight with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, or Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card.

4.   Get Security Fees Refunded for Canceled Flights

I’m pretty certain this is a new feature, as previously, when I would cancel a flight, I did NOT have the option to get my ~$6 per way mandatory security fees refunded to my credit card.  Instead, it issued me a travel voucher, which had to be used for that person to whom the fee was tied and within a year.

That meant you had to make note of the confirmation numbers and person the voucher was tied to so you could use it when booking a new flight.  The new interface allowed me to actually have the ~$6 security fee refunded to my credit card, instead.  Yeah!!

Have you noticed any new features in the new system that I missed?

Bottom Line

Southwest slipped a new redesign of its online reservation system under the radar over the last 2 weeks!  It’s got awesome new features like the ability to see how much more or less a flight you booked now costs, and how many points you will earn by paying for the flight.

These upgrades should simplify the Southwest booking process, which has always been a bit cumbersome, and make it easier to save on Southwest flights!

What do you think of the new look and features?

If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 25,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

  • Earn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • 6,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary.
  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn points on employee spending
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • No blackout dates when you redeem points, no seat restrictions, bags fly free®, and no change fees
  • No foreign transaction fees

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! :)

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

7comments

by Newest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

Unfortunately you cannot change international flights online. You have to call and sometimes it can take 45 minutes or it can be 10 minutes. I have also been told that the decrease I am seeing is not what they see and they will not adjust the points to what is on my screen. I then have to take screenshots and send an email and hope for a response asking for the screenshots. I have lost out on my flight going down 4000 + points. With 3 tickets that is considerable. I wish they would change that feature.

That’s a lot of steps to go through! Thanks for the head up with international flights!

I don’t think the number left refers to number of seats. I believe it refers to the number of tickets left at that price.

I’m actually not a fan of the change. You used to be able to see the lowest fare for the day at the top of the column containing the search results. Now you need to scroll down the entire column – or go into the low fare calendar and search by month. I think this is a change for the worse.

Yes, their UI changed. It will take some time used to, for old timers. But all the features mentioned here are pre-existing.

We miss Daraius.

Hey Lyn, great post! I’m a little iffy on the change – I really dug the old interface, but hey, I guess all things change! And like Nick mentioned, you could always get the option for a refund, unless (which happened to me plenty of times) you made a change to the flight (I would typically rebook at a cheaper price). Making a change of any sort makes the security fee non-refundable. Prior to that, if you canceled a flight I always sent the money back to my cc. When this wasn’t an option once, I went back and forth with Southwest on this, and that was when they let me know the above.

Load more