When will Southwest release March and April 2021 flights?
The Southwest Flight Schedule is now open for booking through April 11, 2021, so you should be able to book all of March and at least almost half of April! Southwest currently plans to release flights through June 5, 2021 for booking on December 10, 2020 so you’ll be able to purchase flights for the remainder of April.
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Southwest has been frequently changing the release date for flights with this release of flights already rescheduled twice. I believe this may largely be related to the pandemic, as well as the MAX 8 grounding.
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?
Southwest says they can’t tell you an “official” time that flights are released, but based on our study of many Southwest flight releases, they typically happen between 6 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. CT. This depends on many factors and one never knows for sure if it will be super early or super late or right on time!
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 5 a.m. Pacific to check for flights!) — process, but if you can score a cheap fare, it’s worth it in the end!
Join Go to Travel Gal ALL ACCESS so you’ll get an alert by phone AND email that flights are available for booking!
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
- Colorado Springs
Cancel or Change With NO Penalty on Southwest!
Watch our video on how to change a Southwest flight or read below.
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,” also called an Unused Southwest Travel Fund, 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
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!), though you cannot book flights currently due to the pandemic. They now 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 125,000 points you need to earn the Southwest Companion Pass, include:
- Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Visa card (Personal; 65,000 points after meeting $2,000 minimum spend in 3 months)
- Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card (Personal; 65,000 points after meeting $2,000 minimum spend in 3 months)
- Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority card (Personal; 65,000 points after meeting $2,000 minimum spend in 3 months)
Compare and contrast the varying Southwest credit card options HERE.
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