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When Will Southwest Release October, November and December 2023 Flights?

When will the Southwest flight schedule for October, November and December 2023 flights be released?

The airline has currently opened the Southwest Flight Schedule for booking through November 4, 2023.

So you can now book those summer flights and fall flights too!

The holidays can be a busy time to fly with high fares, so it’s a great time to purchase your flights.

If you want help paying as little as possible for Southwest fares, I highly encourage you to join my Families Fly Free membership below, where I show you all my INDUSTRY INSIDER hacks to help you pay 1/4 of the price (in points OR dollars) for Southwest flights!

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Keep reading to find out when Southwest will open the next set of flights…

My family saves more than $8,000 every year flying free using travel rewards, and I can show your family how to make flying free a LIFESTYLE too! Join my Families Fly Free program -- where flying free is GUARANTEED -- to learn my simple Fly Free Process, so you can start making more priceless travel memories with your family. Learn more below…

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Why Is It Important to Schedule Southwest Flights on the Day They Are Released?

southwest schedule flights

Southwest only releases about 4-12 weeks of flights at a time, and fare prices when they are first released, especially on popular routes, are often at their lowest.

Many of our readers say they see prices go up by $50-$100 within a matter of hours on the release date!

So it’s important to try and schedule flights as early as you can on the Southwest release date if you want to save.

That said, when booking a flight on Southwest, you can still always continue to check and see if the price has dropped from what you originally paid.

If it has, you can re-book online if you paid with points and get the points difference put right back into your account.

If you paid in cash, you can also re-book online or by calling Southwest at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA and get a “credit” back for the difference in fare if you purchased their cheapest Wanna Get Away fare.


How Do I Schedule Southwest Flights on the Release Date?

Southwest Schedule Flights

It’s helpful if you can book flights as soon as they are released, but what time is that?

Unfortunately, Southwest will not say what TIME on the release date they will release flights, though generally we have found that release times range between 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. ET.

Members of our Families Fly Free membership program are alerted via text as soon as Southwest flights are released so they can take full advantage. This is one of many benefits of membership.

southwest engine vertical

When you get on to book flights on the release date, if you don’t see flights on your mobile device, try your desktop or vice versa, as sometimes they are available on one platform first.

I’ve most recently seen them first on desktop in Southwest’s Low Fare Calendar.

Additionally, they typically release flights in batches, so you may see them appear on one route before others.

Just keep checking!


What Are Other Ways to Save on Southwest Flights?

Southwest Airlines release august september flights

A simple way to save on Southwest flights after you’ve booked them on the release date is to continue to check and see if the price of the fare has dropped.

Because Southwest does not charge change fees, you can either get a credit or your points back for the difference in the fare price when you re-book at the lower price.

If you purchased a Wanna Get Away fare in dollars, you’ll get a Southwest Travel Fund (credit) for the difference. These no longer expire, but they are not transferrable. 

If you purchased the fare originally with points, the points difference goes immediately back into your account when you re-book at the lower fare.

My family saves tens of thousands of points every year by doing this!


Booking Southwest Airline Hawaii Flights

Southwest Airlines Hawaii
Credit Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines’ Hawaii flights are some of the most popular, so buying when they are first release is a GREAT WAY to save on the cost of airfare to Hawaii.

Southwest flies directly to:

  • Oahu
  • Maui
  • Kauai
  • Big island of Hawaii

You can fly direct from:

  • Long Beach
  • Oakland
  • Sacramento
  • San Diego
  • San Jose
  • LAX
  • Las Vegas
  • Phoenix

Here’s everything you need to know about Southwest Airlines Hawaii flights.

Southwest wing Hawaii Maui beach

You can also learn how to fly free AND stay free in Hawaii inside our Families Fly Free members program, which has a 5-video course on traveling free to Hawaii.

My family flew from Chicago to Maui in 2021 for 30,000 points for FOUR people with a Southwest Companion Pass over spring break and Easter weekend! We can show you how to get deals like that as a member, as well.


Earning the Southwest Companion Pass

Credit: Southwest Airlines

If you’d like to bring someone free with you on your Southwest flights, I highly recommend earning the Southwest Companion Pass, which is good for up to two years.

Once you accrue 135,000 points, you’ll have a pass where one person can always fly free with you (aside from the $5.60 mandatory government security fee per way).

Southwest Companion Pass

The Southwest Companion Pass lasts from the time you earn it until the end of the FOLLOWING year, but all qualifying points must be collected in one calendar year: January 1-December 31.


Want more points for free flights on Southwest?

Southwest Priority Card Check out the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa cards, which let you earn tens of thousands of points that you can use to book free flights on Southwest! These points also qualify for the 125,000 points you need to earn the Southwest Companion Pass, so one person can fly free with you for up to two years. These include... Keep in mind you can only hold ONE personal Southwest card at a time, though you can hold two Southwest business cards. To ensure you time these cards in the best way possible to easily ALWAYS have a Southwest Companion Pass, join hundreds of others inside our Families Fly Free membership, where we'll show you our proprietary Fly Free process and map out a step-by-step plan personal to your family.


Read this post to compare/contrast all Southwest credit cards.


To review and apply for any credit card offers, please use the links within this post or use the CREDIT CARDS links in the main menu shown in the image below. This allows me to earn a commission — at NO COST to you — to help support our small business. We sincerely appreciate you taking this step!


When Will Southwest Airlines Schedule October, November and December Flights?

Southwest sale
A Southwest plane over Washington, DC

You can currently book flights through November 4, 2023.

So you can now book summer and fall flights!

Southwest has announced the next flight release date will be May 4, 2023 for booking flights through January 7, 2024. 

Southwest typically releases flights every 4-6 weeks, though these dates are subject to change, so check back frequently.

Also note that Southwest often CHANGES the release date after first announcing it.

If you want to get a text alert if and when that occurs, as well as be notified as SOON as flights are posted ON the release date, we recommend joining our Families Fly Free membership.

As a member, you’ll get these notifications, as well as many other benefits like video consults to develop a plan for your family to simply and easily fly free and access to live weekly webinars about travel saving topics.


My Favorite Travel Credit Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred

If you want to earn EVEN MORE Southwest points, Chase Sapphire Preferred, my FAVORITE travel credit card, offers 60,000 points upon meeting a $4,000 minimum spend in the first three months and a low $95 annual fee.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred

  • Flexible points transfer to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio instantly and are worth DOUBLE if you have a Southwest Companion Pass
  • 3X points on dining 
  • 2X points on travel
  • 10% points bonus annually on spending
  • Primary car rental insurance
  • Trip interruption and cancellation insurance

Please note, this card’s points DO NOT qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass but CAN be used to book FREE flights on Southwest.


Read my full review of this card.



Where do you hope to travel next? Our family would highly recommend checking out San Diego, Marco Island, Pigeon Forge or some of our country’s amazing National Parks.

Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, Utah

Here are our posts on these fabulous destinations:


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41 thoughts on “When Will Southwest Release October, November and December 2023 Flights?”

  1. Do you know where I can find the info that flights can be purchased starting at 5 am EST on release dates? I read that release dates can change but does the time on release dates ever adjust? Need to get some tickets for weddings in October so would like to get them as soon as I can. Thanks!

      • Are you sure they will start 5am Central Standard Time even though most states have switched Central Daylight Time back in March? Does Texas not use Daylight Savings Time?

        • Yes Southwest confirmed 5am CT is when they are supposed to release flights, though again check both mobile and desktop as they seem to show up in one place or the other first. I don’t think daylight savings time matters. Just 5am CT current time. Thanks!

          • Ok, so when you wrote 5am CST, you meant CT. So most of the US uses Daylight Savings time so it is likely SWA means 5am CDT. (Note that this could matter if they do in fact mean CST. Some regions do not use Daylight Savings and 5a CST would be 6a CDT.). So I’m getting up before 3am Pacific Daylight Time in hopes of getting good flight choices. thanks)

  2. We have a wedding that falls just after the end of the currently published schedule. With the no cost flight change policy, I’m thinking of booking the round trip with existing calendar dates. I can later reschedule the return portion when our desired return dates become available. I’m scheduling fur my wife and I as well as my elderly parents. Are there any cautions you have about this strategy?
    What happens if the round trip with preferred return is less cost than what I book to ensure the available outbound dates now? Will the difference in charge go on my account fur future use or be distributed among the for passengers booked? (My parents may never use the excess on another trip.

    • Hi Randy,
      I think this is a great idea. I love it! The only caution here is that, as you said, if you pay in cash and the price for the correct dates end up being less, you will be issued an “Unused travel credit.” This is a credit with Southwest that must be used within 1 year of issue and it must be used tied to the same person it was originally associated with. So if, as you said, your parents would never use, you’d be out that money.

      In the future, I’d recommend collecting Southwest points, because when you book with points and the points price goes down, the points go right back into your account so you don’t have to worry about the travel credit issue :).

      Good luck!

  3. Hi! I am planning a trip to Cabo San Lucas over Christmas. I am wondering what the Wanna Get Away fares were for 12/23 to 12/30 in 2018 so I have some idea what to budget for this year. This is for PHX to SJD. Thanks for the help!

  4. Thank you for this helpful information. Does this mean that the flights listed for October are the only flights there will be? Any chance for additional flights in October? Thank you in advance!

    • Hi Jenna,
      Great question! So likely, yes. They are already short 30+ planes due to the grounding the MAX8, so it’s very unlikely (not impossible though :)), that they would add any flights to the schedule. What you see are probably going to be your only options. Hope that helps!

    • Do we have any idea for the delay. Could it be for the max 8 issue? I’m not sure I’d want to fly on that plane even if it was operational give the past history of accidents. I don’t have faith in Boeing.

      • Yes I think it is highly likely it’s due to the MAX 8 issue. The latest I’ve seen is the government could further delay these planes returning to the skies and they may be waiting to see if that’s the case or it may be taking longer to figure out the schedule without these 30+ planes. Sometimes they move the date back up, though, so I’ll stay tuned and let you know!

  5. I need to book a trip to Cabo in November and a trip to Hawaii over the Xmas holidays. When will I be able to book my flights?

    • Right now, they are saying those flights will be released at 5am CT on June 20 (complete details), but this has continued to fluctuate, so stay tuned to Go to Travel Gal (be sure you’re subscribed by email) to stay notified if anything changes.

  6. I am looking to book a trip to Disney leaving on November 26th returning December 3. When will these dates open to book. Thanks

    • They have said there is an “update” they had to upload first and so it is delaying the release. When I called at 7am ET, I was told the new time is currently 8am Ct, though she didn’t sound terribly confident in that…

  7. Hi, just got off the phone with Southwest. Still downloading the flights from post Nov 2 to Jan 2020. Was told they would ready in about 3 hours — about 10ish am EST. Will keep checking back to see if download finishes sooner.

  8. I’m so disappointed in SW. I stayed up all night for the release & nothing happened! My face is flushed & my heart is beating fast. Stay up another 2 hours? Disgraceful. You can be in love with SW; if I’m lucky enough to get a decent fare with this update, I’ll take it all the way to the bank…then I’ll never book SW again! And in the NY area, it’s very easy to choose another airline. This is hogwash.

    • Completely understand your frustration and based on the fact they seem not to have released Wanna Get Away fares for some routes, at this point, it’s definitely worth comparing prices with other airlines unless you have the Southwest Companion Pass, which totally eliminates the cost of one person’s flight no matter the cost.

  9. Our son and fiancée have a Destination Wedding planned for 4/24/20. We have a Southwest Credit Card so hoping to book flights once they release those dates. Do you know when that will be?? Thank you for your information

  10. Lyn, Have you tried calling Southwest today to see what might be happening with the next release of flights? https://www.southwest.com/html/travel-tools/index.html has not been pushed yet to another date, but it is now almost 9am CT and no sign of flights past Jan 5 on anything (calendar, desktop, phone). Can you tell I’m anxious?? I’d just love to have things settled more so than a price thing. We are in a small airport and SW keeps removing direct flights to places with every release.


    • Hi Ann!
      We are hearing 9:15-9:30am CT (which would be right now, but I don’t see anything yet). Fingers crossed they will come online soon. They seem to progressively roll-out flights, so some may appear sooner than others. Stay tuned! 🙂

      • Thanks. I found them around 11 my time. They did mess with my direct flights, but I was still able to make something work, but unfortunately now on my overnight stay to make CMH to PVR work, I’m spending more time in Houston and less time in Puerto Vallarta. For me, still worth it to be able to fly SWA and not one of the other airlines.

  11. It doesn’t look like the flights to Punta Cana have any Wanna Getaway Options. The booking agent I spoke with said they haven’t been released yet. I assumed they had already been sold. Can you confirm whether they have been released or not?


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