When will Southwest release March and April 2020 flights? The Southwest Flight Schedule is currently open for booking through April 13, 2020, but the airline will release the remaining April flights and flights through June 6, 2020 on October 30, 2019.
Lots of you are anxiously awaiting this date, because April falls right during Spring Break season. Some of you may have even booked the first half of your Spring Break trip and are waiting to book the return flight. That happened to us one year!
Southwest has been frequently changing the release date for flights even after announcing a date. I believe this may largely be related to the MAX 8 grounding.
So far they have NOT changed this release date and it’s unlikely, though not impossible, that they will change it at this point.
Nevertheless, to stay updated in real-time on any changes to the flight schedule, subscribe to the Go to Travel Gal email list below.
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Go to Travel Gal readers were the first to know about $49 Hawaii flights, which sold out in just a few hours along with a several-hour delay in the release of holiday 2019 flights on May 30! I also send notices direct to your inbox as soon as Southwest makes any changes to the schedule.
What Time Will Southwest Release Flights?
Previously, Southwest’s communication department had told me that they release flights at 5 a.m. Central Time. But because they have NOT the last few scheduled releases, I checked in with them again.
They told me they cannot confirm a release time :(.
So… I ALSO called Southwest’s customer service line and asked a customer service rep. He told me the official “scheduled” release time is 8 a.m. CT and 9 a.m. ET.
HOWEVER, when flights were released on September 26, we first noticed their availability around 6:30 a.m. CT and 7:30 a.m. ET, so one never knows, unfortunately!
That said, the last few flight releases prior to September 26 have been AFTER 8 a.m. CT either. One was around 8:30 a.m. CT and another around 9:30 a.m. CT. So, you have no choice but to be flexible folks :). It’s out of our hands!
AND be sure to join the Go to Travel Gal email list above, as I notified everyone as soon as I saw the flights go live for booking on September 26. You’re likely to hear it from me first :)!
Also, be sure to join the Go to Travel Gal Facebook group (Note: You MUST be a Go to Travel Gal email subscriber to join) where you can pop on the day of the flight release to chat with others in REAL TIME about if flights are or are not available and any great deals you’ve spotted! I am not always available RIGHT at the time the flights are releases, since one never knows exactly, due to family engagements, but you can CERTAINLY check in with one another on the Facebook group!
What to Know About Booking a Southwest Flight on Release Day
To prepare for the Southwest flight release, here are some of my top tips.
Be sure to check for flights on a mobile browser, the Southwest app AND your desktop or vice versa, as sometimes they come online in one place before another.
Additionally, the flights seem to progressively “roll out,” so you may find some flights available before others.
This can be a somewhat frustrating — and tiring (especially if you get up at 5am Pacific to check for flights!) — process, but if you can score a cheap fare, it’s worth it in the end!
Top Spring Break Destinations on Southwest
Here are some great Spring Break recommendations from Go to Travel Gal. Read our posts on these destinations below:
- San Diego
- Nassau, Bahamas
- Grand Cayman
- Cabo San Lucas
- Marco Island, Florida
- New York City
- US National Parks
- Ft. Lauderdale
Cancel or Change With NO Penalty on Southwest!
Remember, when you book a flight on Southwest, there is no fee if you need to change or cancel a flight.
It’s best to pay in Southwest points, because if you cancel or change because fares have dropped, the points go right back into your account. No questions asked!
If you don’t have a Southwest Rapid Rewards account, it’s easy to create one by visiting Southwest.com. Plus, you’ll be able to start earning points when you pay for flights and that you can use to book FREE flights (always my goal :)).
If you pay in cash/credit and purchased a Wanna Get Away fare, you’ll instead get a “credit” good for one year (must be used by the same person) for the difference in fare price or as your “refund.”
How to Find Low Fare on a Southwest Flight for March or April
To find the absolute LOWEST price for a flight, I always recommend starting your search at the Low Fare Calendar.
This fab Southwest tool lets you see the lowest fares across each month, and you can click forward or backward to check other months, as well.
Once you find a date with a low price, choose that date along with a return date. On the next screen, you’ll see all the flight options for that day where, again, you can select the lowest option (if that’s what you want).
Keep in mind that Southwest does not list fares on comparison sites like Google Flights or Expedia, so you’ll need to check directly on Southwest.com.
Book Your Southwest Flight to Hawaii!
Southwest now flies to Hawaii (hooray!) with options to fly direct to Maui, Oahu or Kauai nonstop from Oakland, San Jose and Sacramento airports in northern California. San Diego is scheduled to come online soon (my family is awaiting that one!).
Southwest Hawaii flights continue to be in high demand, so booking them as soon as they are released is a good plan. Southwest prices always tend to go up over time and especially as planes fill!
Here’s everything you need to know about Southwest Hawaii flights.
A Great Option to Earn Points to Book FREE Flights on Southwest
Hands down, my FAVORITE travel credit card is Chase Sapphire Preferred. This card, which has a very affordable $95 annual fee, earns points that an be instantly transferred at a 1:1 ratio to Southwest to pay for free flights (though they DO NOT qualify for the amazing Southwest Companion Pass that lets one person fly free with you).
Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of card opening.
Chase Sapphire Preferred also earns double points on dining and travel to help you KEEP earning points for free flights!
Read my full review of this card.
Note: I recommend getting this card AFTER 1 personal and 1 business Southwest card, which can help you quickly earn the Southwest Companion Pass, so one person can fly free with you for up to two years!
Southwest Card Options for FREE Southwest Flights
Southwest cards, which also earn you points for FREE flights on Southwest AND qualify for the 110,000 points you need to earn the Southwest Companion Pass, include:
- Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Visa card (personal)
- Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card (personal)
- Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority card (personal; read my full review)
- Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business card
- Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business card (read my full review; 80,000-point sign-up bonus!)
Compare and contrast the varying Southwest credit card options HERE.
Again, Southwest flights for the rest of April through June 6, 2020 are scheduled to be available on October 30, 2019. Put it on your to-do list and calendars, but stay tuned to Go to Travel Gal in case that date changes!
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