It’s been a rocky road when it comes to when Southwest international flights will return.
So many things depend on these dates like at a minimum if the countries are open to American travelers (or ANY travelers for that matter).
The Bahamas, for example, did open for travel, but then closed to American travelers only to open again.
It is now open with some requirements in place to travel there, though Southwest has not yet resumed flights as of January 14, 2021.
Southwest now has many other destinations that are listed as open with specific entry requirements where it has resumed flights, but some destinations are still closed with no scheduled date for service to resume.
See below for a list of the entry requirements needed.
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When Will Southwest International Flights Return?
Southwest has resumed or scheduled flights to the following destinations:
- Dominican Republic-Punta Cana
- Jamaica-Montego Bay
- Los Cabos
- Puerto Rico
- Puerto Vallarta
For the below destinations Southwest has not resumed flights and currently has no scheduled date for flights to resume:
- Costa Rica
- Grand Cayman
- Turks and Caicos
Southwest says it’s monitoring each country’s government for easing of restrictions in order to determine when each destination will return to the schedule.
I know this is disappointing, but these destinations will still be there when this is all over, and hopefully we can get there as soon as possible.
The Requirements to Travel to Jamaica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Aruba
There are some added steps you’ll be required to take if you want to fly Southwest (or any airline) to these international destinations.
When flying to Jamaica, you’ll need to fill out this travel authorization form, prior to boarding.
All passengers traveling from the US:
- Are required to upload a valid negative COVID-19 test no more than 10 days old from the arrival date.
- Are required to bring the negative test result with them.
- If they arrive from a high-risk area without a negative test result, they will not be allowed into the country.
All passengers will be required to pay a sanitary fee of $30 USD that will be collected either during the booking process or at the time of departure from the United States.
All passengers must have a negative PCR-RT test result and supply proof of the results.
The PCR-RT test must have been taken within 72 hours of flight arrival.
Upon arrival airports and other points of entry will perform rapid COVID-19 testing on randomly-selected travelers and anyone displaying symptoms of COVID-19.
In Mexico, you will need to fill out a Questionnaire for Identification of Risk Factors in Travelers and present to immigration upon arrival.
You may also be subject to temperature checks and health screenings when you arrive.
As of July 15, to fly to Puerto Rico passengers must complete a travel declaration form and have proof of a negative molecular COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival.
If someone does not have this information, they will be required to take a rapid test upon arrival at the airport.
If negative, the traveler will still be required to quarantine and cover any medical or daily expenses resulting from their extended stay until they have received a negative molecular COVID-19 test, as well.
If a negative molecular test is not provided, the traveler will have to quarantine for 14 days or the length of their planned stay if it’s shorter than 14 days.
Testing sites in Puerto Rico will be available on site and online.
To fly to Aruba, you must have a pre-approved embarkation-disembarkation (ED) card, which requires you to complete this mandatory health assessment within 72 hours of your departure to Aruba.
Additionally, they advise you to take a PCR COVID-19 test and upload a negative test result in the application for the ED Card within 72 hours prior to departure.
If you do not provide the test results as required, you need to prepay for a COVID-19 test that will be administered upon arrival in Aruba, and you will be required to quarantine in Aruba for 24 hours while awaiting the results.
Lastly, you must now have Aruba Visitors Insurance, which is also part of the ED card application.
What Happens If Southwest Cancels a Flight
If Southwest cancels your flight, you are entitled to a full refund of the flight and anything else you paid for like EarlyBird seating or bag fees.
Refunds are given in the same form you used to purchase the ticket: travel funds, cash, credit cards or points.
So if you purchased a ticket using a Southwest travel fund (a Southwest “credit”), you will get your money back as another travel credit.
Southwest has extended the expiration of any travel credits resulting from cancellations between March 1 and September of 2020 until September 7, 2022.
Before a full refund, however, Southwest will first offer to re-book you at a later date or give you a travel credit.
But you can opt for a full refund if you’d like by contacting Southwest via phone or in the Southwest app‘s Live Chat feature.
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