Get 15% More From Your Southwest Points – Southwest & AirTran Schedule Open Through June 6, 2014!

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Get 15% More From Your Southwest Points – Southwest & AirTran Schedule Open Through June 6, 2014!

Million Mile SecretsGet 15% More From Your Southwest Points – Southwest & AirTran Schedule Open Through June 6, 2014!Million Mile Secrets Team

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Via Deals We Like, you can now book paid and award flights on Southwest and AirTran up to June 6, 2014 (instead of only up to April 6, 2014).  So you can book your Memorial Day and 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 Schedule Open Through June 6 2014
Beat the Southwest Devaluation by Booking Southwest Flights Up To June 6, 2014!

Save Points By Booking Now for Flights Up To June 6, 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 spring 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 Schedule Open Through June 6 2014
18,000 Points To Fly From Kansas City To San Francisco If Booked Before March 31, 2014, but ~21,000 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 Southwest points.

You can book a seat for yourself, and add your companion later, once you earn the 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 a calendar year.

And the sign-up bonus does currently count towards the Southwest Companion pass.

So Southwest credit cards and 10,000 extra points can get you ~$2,840 to $3,400 in Southwest travel and a Southwest Companion pass so that your companion can fly free (pay just the $2.50 security fee) for up to two years!

AirTran Schedule Open Through June 6, 2014

You can also book flights on AirTran up to June 6, 2014.

Southwest Schedule Open Through June 6 2014
You Can Book AirTran Flights Through June 6, 2014 on the Southwest Website

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 don’t get anything back.

Bottom Line

Southwest and AirTran schedules are open through June 6, 2014.

It doesn’t hurt to book your spring 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, 2013.

You’re also better off booking your AirTran flights from the Southwest website to get 2 free checked bags.

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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 bought a Southwest ticket from San Diego, CA, to Portland, ME, yesterday. I asked for the cost to be shown in points, and it cost 14,400 points, which I had, so I bought the ticket with my points. My friend wanted the exact same ticket on the exact same flight, and when he looked at the cost in points, it was suddenly 18,921 points. (I had 19,770 points before beginning the purchase, and he had 16,795 points.) Why did the price change suddenly for exactly the same flight? Had he reserved his flight first, would his point cost have been lower and mine higher? What relationship do points have to value or miles flown?

Author
Million Mile Secrets

@Merry – Southwest ties the number of points required to the actual cost of the ticket. So you will pay more point if the dollar price of the ticket increases.

SW will be opening up their schedule only until June 30th in December. Opening up 24 days?? What?! How stupid. Was told they would open up through July. Very unhappy customer! Hate how they wait so long to open flights!!!!!!!!

Hmm.. It seems like the title of this blog should be: “Hurry to book before your points are worth 15 percent less…” rather than “Get 15 percent more…”

Does transferring SW miles to Airtran credits still work?(example want to go to Aruba but can’t book on SW) if so will that cost more miles after March 31st,2014?