Southwest recently unveiled a new reservation system, and while the new reservation system generally presents improvements, there is something that you need to be very careful about if you ever make changes to your reservations.
First, keep in mind that Southwest has three main types of fares. Wanna Get Away Fares are not fully refundable, but they are cancelable until 10 minutes before departure and are refunded in the form of a travel voucher valid only for the same traveler.
Business Select and Anytime fares are both fully refundable. Refunds are given to the original form of payment. Reservations made with Southwest Rapid Rewards points also fall into this category.
Nothing about the fare types has changed, but making changes to a ticket has a new quirk.
If you make a change to a Business Select or Anytime fare, the ticket will lose it’s fully refundable status. A full warning is given by Southwest before making the change: “Modifying a fully refundable fare will result in the fare becoming NON-refundable. To ensure your new ticket is refundable, cancel your existing reservation, request a refund of the refundable balance, and create a new reservation. Non-refundable fares make be applied toward future travel on Southwest Airlines for the originally ticketed Passenger only.”
This basically means that when you make a change to a Business Select or Anytime ticket, it will essentially be converted into a Wanna Get Away ticket in terms of it’s refundability.
If you are sure you are going to take the flight or don’t mind having a Southwest travel voucher, this little quirk isn’t a big deal at all. If that’s not the case, this quirk creates a couple of extra steps any time you want to change a Business Select or Anytime Southwest fare.
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