In a post on the Southwest Air Community page on March 31, Southwest announced they are completely reworking the May 3-June 5 flight schedule.
They explained that trying to reconfigure what existed no longer made sense and so they decided to build it from the ground up based on current circumstances and needs.
They are rolling out the new schedule now through the next few days.
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Southwest also has extended the date for international flights to return.
They will also continue with previous plans in reduced flights to Hawaii but announced a proposed end date for the reduction of June 5.
What Does This Mean?
According to Southwest, it means you may see any of the following for a flight you’ve booked:
- A cancellation
- A time change
- A flight number change
- New route
If Southwest cancels your flight, you will first be offered to re-book your flight followed by the offer of a Southwest travel fund (essentially a “credit”) that expires June 30, 2021.
But, you also have the right to a full refund according to the Department of Transportation. You will have to ASK for one if you want it.
If you don’t absolutely need it and think you will use the Southwest credit by June 30, 2021, it would be great if you can let Southwest hold onto the cash right now :).
The Big Overall Changes
There are some consistent changes that you will see.
- No departures before 7 a.m. or after 8 p.m.
- Only about 2,000 flights per day down from about 3,700 flights per day for weekdays
- Continued service to ALL domestic cities
- Six US cities will NOT see a decrease in flight activity (they did not say which ones)
Can I Re-book My Flights?
While not addressed in this announcement, Southwest had previously allowed re-booking of all flights through April 30 at no additional charge, even if the fare is higher, within 60 days of the original travel dates.
It appears they have extended that through at least May 31 at this point, though they have NOT officially announced it.
I was able to re-book travel May 19-26 into mid-June without paying the increase in fare.
So if you have a May flight you want to re-book, I’d advise giving it a go!
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