When will Southwest release October, November and December 2021 flights?
The airline has currently opened the Southwest Flight Schedule for booking through January 5, 2022.
So you should now be able to book ALL your November and December flights and those over the holidays.
That 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!
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 and I can show your family how to make it a lifestyle, too. In fact, I guarantee it! Join my Families Fly Free membership to learn my simple automatic process, so you can start making more precious travel memories before your kids leave home. Learn more below…
Why Is It Important to Book Flights on the Day They Are Released?
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 book flights as early as you can on the 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 Book Flights on the Release Date?
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.
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?
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 to be used by you within 1 year of the original booking date.
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 Hawaii Flights
Southwest’s 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:
- Big island of Hawaii
You can fly direct from:
- Long Beach
- San Diego
- San Jose
- Las Vegas
Here’s everything you need to know about Southwest Hawaii flights.
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
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 125,000 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).
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.
One of the easiest ways to earn Companion Pass points (or Southwest points to fly free!) is by signing up for a Southwest personal or small business credit card, whose bonuses range from 40,000-100,000 points after you meet a set minimum spend between $1,000-$5,000.
Southwest card options include:
- Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Visa card (Personal: Earn 65,000 points after $2,000 minimum spend in 3 months – Ends July 14, 2021)
- Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card (Personal: Earn 65,000 points after $2,000 minimum spend in 3 months – Ends July 14, 2021)
- Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority card (Personal: Earn 65,000 points after $2,000 minimum spend in 3 months – Ends July 14, 2021)
- Chase Southwest Performance Business card (Small business: 80,000 points after a $5,000 minimum spend in 3 months; $199 annual fee)
- Chase Southwest Premier Business card (Small business: 60,000 points after a $3,000 minimum spend in 3 months; $99 annual fee)
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.
Keep in mind you can only hold ONE personal card at a time, though you can hold two business 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 Release October, November and December Flights?
You can currently book flights through January 5, 2022.
So you can now finally book holiday flights!
They have not yet announced when they will release the next set of flights, but I’d estimate early August.
Southwest typically releases flights every 4-6 weeks, though it hasn’t been quite as frequent during the pandemic, as they continue to adjust flight schedules as demand ebbs and flows.
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.
Want MORE Points to Book Free Flights on Southwest?
My FAVORITE travel credit card is Chase Sapphire Preferred (UNPRECEDENTED 100,000-point bonus after a $4,000 minimum spend in 3 months), whose points can be instantly transferred to Southwest for free flights (though they DO NOT qualify for the Companion Pass).
This is the card’s HIGHEST BONUS ever and an offer I truly think EVERYONE who likes traveling free should grab!
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.
Here are our posts on these fabulous destinations:
- 35 Suntastic Activities in San Diego
- Top 20 Things to Do in Pigeon Forge, TN
- Your Marco Island Beach Vacation Checklist
- Ultimate Guides to US National Parks: Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone and Grand Tetons
- 21 Stunning Things to Do in Santa Barbara
- 10 Fantastic Things to Do in Panama City Beach, Florida
- Check out ALL of our Destination posts