Southwest Airlines typically hosts “sales” weekly, usually on Tuesdays.
If you’re looking for our Southwest sale analysis and our curated list of the best Southwest sale fares, these have moved into our FAMILIES FLY FREE membership.
Inside FAMILIES FLY FREE, you get real-time alerts sent to your email and phone about new Southwest sales and CHEAP fares!
Tips for Booking Your Southwest Sale Flights
If you want to find the LOWEST possible price to pay for a flight, we advise using the Southwest Low Fare Calendar.
The Low Fare Calendar will show you the lowest price per day for that flight across all the months the flight is available to book.
This will allow you to find the cheapest days to fly, but be sure to click into each date to make sure the flight is one you are willing to take. Check the time and the connections to make sure it works for you.
Keep in mind that there are often BETTER deals than Southwest advertises in their sales, so it’s always a good idea to check the Low Fare Calendar in addition to the list of sale fares.
Combine these sales with the Southwest Companion Pass, which lets one person fly free with you, and you can stretch your points quite far.
It’s also good to know that not ALL Southwest sales are good.
Southwest has a sale almost every week and most of them are not great!
In our Southwest sale analysis inside the FAMILIES FLY FREE membership, we help you understand if the current sale is a good one or not. Typically, the best sales of the year happen in June and October.
Families Fly Free members receive text alerts whenever Southwest has a sale!
What’s more, you can always CHANGE or CANCEL a Southwest flight with NO penalty. If you purchase the cheapest Wanna Get Away fares and you cancel or re-book, you’ll get a refund in the form of a Southwest Travel Fund.
These can be used up to one year from the original booking date only for the person whose ticket was refunded.
If you book in points, however, the BEST way to book a Southwest fare, and you cancel or change, the points go right back into your account.
So it’s always worth booking a flight knowing you can change or cancel later.
We have saved up to hundreds of thousands of Southwest points by checking the price of our flights once we’ve booked them!
Below, I explain how to check and see if a flight has dropped in flight and then re-book it.
How to Change a Flight on Southwest
If you’ve already booked a flight and want to see if there is a lower price, go to Southwest.com, scroll down to the blue bar and click on Change/Cancel, enter your name and confirmation number, select Change and then review the current points prices.
Alternately, you can click on My Account, scroll down to My Trips (left side) and then click Change under the flight you want to check.
Alternately, you can click on My Account, scroll down to My Trips (left side) and then click Change under the flight you want to check.
Southwest charges NO cancellation or change fees, so you can re-book with no penalty if you find a lower price.
With updates to Southwest’s online reservation system, when you select Change, the system now shows you how much more or less current fares are than what you paid (either in points or cash).
This makes it super easy to see whether you should “change” your flights to get a lower fare.
This functionality does NOT work, however, if you have added “companion” from your Southwest Companion Pass to your ticket.
You will have to go to the Southwest Low Fare Calendar, check prices, remember what you paid to start with and then see if you should re-book.
To re-book with a Companion, you’ll need to first remove your Companion (under My Trips in your My Account section at Southwest.com).
You can then re-add them also under My Trips in your My Account section after you’ve re-booked the flight, though sometimes it takes 24 hours from booking before it will allow you to do that.
Even easier is calling Southwest at 1-800-435-9792 and letting a helpful Southwest agent do it all for you so there’s no chance of you losing one of the spots!
Want more points for free flights on Southwest?
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.
Keep in mind you can only hold ONE personal Southwest card at a time, though you can hold two Southwest business cards.
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44 thoughts on “Everything You Wanted to Know About Southwest Sales”
Any historical info on when a sale that includes the first couple of weeks of January may come out?
Hey Ben! In looking back at my posts, there was one in early October last year that was pretty good. In general though, any holiday weeks are always terrible in pricing. This is the trouble with having to travel on a school schedule. I sure wish our school system would go to 2-week fall breaks to allow for more travel at a less busy time of year.
Sadly for me, there is not one “sale price” for flights out of MHT, which is odd, because there is always at least one, but never more than two.
Bummer. When I first looked at Indianapolis the prices did not look much better than normal, but delving in further and looking at “points” there were some pretty good points deals. HOpefully they’ll have another June one that lasts a bit longer.
The prices have actually gone up since I bought my Thanksgiving tickets last month. I was hoping they would drop, but I’m thinking at this point they will continue to rise or sell out. Thanks for the heads up though!
Thanks Nancy! That good info! I have not been looking for Thanksgiving flights so didn’t have much to compare it to. Some of these prices are definitely not the lowest sale prices but do seem pretty good considering it’s a holiday. Glad you booked when they were cheaper!
BWI-MCO $67 – 3,528. Had that booked for a while now and it s still the same. It’s interesting that there are FL exceptions in the rule language, yet they seem to have the best prices.
Does SWA ever have sales on their summer fares?
They do, yes. A few sales back they included summer dates. Stay tuned to my Southwest deals page for the lowest summer prices.
I missed it. I’m looking for flights in July and August for SEA-DEN.
Realize you’re Southwest focused — but some “independence” and critical eye in your posts would further boost the appeal of your SWA monitoring.
Example #1: Those massive and ever-increasing taxes on flights to and from the Caribbean — which you duly note (barely) — are a chronic severe drag these deals. Your headline blares a low point “cost” — which then gets dwarfed by the tax burden. Happens I again have the companion pass til end of 2019 (in part because I didn’t follow your advice last fall. 🙂 ) and I’ll be checking this out closely again….
In the past, I’ve done better booking flights on JetBlue to the region — via Chase UR. (which, don’t tell anybody, discounts the tax load significantly — so much so, that it is possible to pay less for two on Jetblue via CUR than one on SWA, even with the companion pass…. Something to watch for, if you dare.)
#2. Here across Virginia, SWA has done well in increasing flights to National & Dulles. But they’ve irritated the rest of the state by inexcusably killing once very popular routes out of Richmond to Florida…. (and ignoring growing CHO) Maybe SWA knew Spirit airlines was coming to Richmond (stunning) new fares now available there to replace SWA, sad to say. I’d have much preferred staying with SWA…. but they thumbed their corporate nose at us….
That is a great tip on JetBlue! I did not know that. This is our first time to the Caribbean, so I’m definitely not the expert on that yet :). I love Southwest because I think for folks who want to fly as much as possible for free, they give you the best opportunity to do so with flexible points pricing and the Companion Pass. But certainly they are not the best airline for every scenario. I do love that I have the comfort of knowing if I need to cancel or rebook I can without paying a penalty. Other airlines feel so final :). I talk mostly about Southwest because that’s where my expertise lies, what my family has used (so I can speak to it from experience), and because I think they are the best overall deal for flying almost free. I hope I provide information that others can take and use (or not) based on their situation. Certainly the best SWCP deal is to get it early in the year. I only advise getting it at the end of the year if you have a bunch of qualifying points that would expire otherwise. Thanks for your comment and happy travels!
Please tell folks that are not aware that if you cancel your flight for any reason and you paid say $100.00 for 2 people for EARLY BIRD you can KISS your $100.00 good-bye.
George, unfortunately, you’re right. If you cancel a reservation, your Early Bird is not refunded. That is a MAJOR downside to Early Bird!
Question – do you cancel the cards after you’ve used up all the points and benefits to try and re qualify for the big intro points and avoid the annual fee? I know of the anniversary points but will not help as my companion pass expires this year and I’ve already booked all the trips i can take. Thanks.
Yes you can do that, keeping in mind you can earn the bonus once every 24 months. So you can re-apply once you’ve passed 24 months from the last time you earned the bonus on a personal card or the business card. A downside to closing it though is that using the card is a good way to continue to earn Southwest points for free flights if you need some next year for example. But if you don’t need them and want to avoid the annual fee, you can certainly close it and re-apply again later. Hope that helps!
Ive did some math and at best could earn 20,000 points. With a family of 4 , i need some BIG bonuses. I loved this program ( companion pass) as it allowed my family to go on 3 vacations!!But no way can i get enough to pull it off without going thru the triple card bonus points. Thanks for all you do and I’ll plan on the companion pass/big bonus in 18 months.
Thanks for the info! I’m excited to see that we’re flying the new MAX plane all the way to MCO and a new 737-800 for one leg back in October! Our other flights coming up, all old planes.
Lucky you! I still haven’t flown the MAX!
I was able to rebook my September flight to Las Vegas for 2k points less per person! Yay! I prefer booking one-way segments so that I can cancel and rebook whichever end is on sale.
It is important to cancel a fare and rebook, rather than change, to maintain flexibility. You wouldn’t be able to make further changes. It’s in the fine print on the change screen.
Hi Kacie, can you tell us more about what you mean? I always do the “Change” feature if I have not yet added a Companion (it won’t let you use that feature if you have added a Companion) and I’ve been able to change the same flight multiple times to keep saving points.
Sure. The terms on the “change” screen state that if you change a fare, it then becomes non-refundable. Not sure if this is a recent change. I don’t want a refund to go to a travel voucher, but perhaps if it is a points booking it would just be refunded as points?
“Before you make a change
Modifying a fully refundable fare (Business Select® or Anytime) will result in the fare becoming nonrefundable. To ensure your new ticket is refundable, cancel your existing reservation, request a refund of the refundable balance, and create a new reservation. Nonrefundable fares may be applied toward future travel on Southwest Airlines® for the originally ticketed passenger only”
So, I’ve gone the “cancel and rebook” path since this new language has shown up.
Also, some reports on other sites are suggesting that in a points booking, the taxes are refunded as a voucher for a change, instead of a refund to credit card.
Hi Kacie, so yes your taxes and fees are given as a voucher. For ANY Wanna Get Away fare, any monetary portion is refunded as a travel voucher that must be used within a year. If you book with points, though, the points portion is put right back into your account if you change to a lower points price or cancel.
If you are booking with Anytime or Business Select fares, then yes, it sounds like if you “change” it, it becomes nonrefundable, ie you’d get a voucher instead of a credit back to your card. So if you have Anytime or Business Select, yes you probably want to cancel and rebook.
Most people are changing Wanna Getaway Fares, though, and this does not affect them. Does that help?
Thanks, Lynn! I just saved 4,000 points on a trip I had booked to KC to surprise my mom for her 80th birthday. It only cost me $11.20 and less than 5,000 points. Gotta LUV SOUTHWEST!
Just once-I would like to see Albany, NY have a sale on an international destination. Their flights are so high-Punta Cana last year was around $600. This year-same dates-about $1000 dollars. Unreal. No longer a “discount airline.” Sadly I don’t think I am even going to bother with the companion pass again. Their fares are just too high and there are never any sales from Albany. The airport that is closer to us has jet blue and they have better prices .
Totally understand. Southwest is not a great deal from every airport! You may consider what we did last year to get to Grand Cayman from Indianapolis. We flew to Ft. Lauderdale on Allegiant and then on to Grand Cayman on Southwest for like 6,000 point RT each + 1 of us using the Companion Pass.
Does SW ever have sales at Thanksgiving? Want to fly from ATL to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale…
Thanksgiving is typically an expensive time to fly, though Thanksgiving day usually is not bad. I’d recommend buying your flight as soon as they are released (currently scheduled for May 30; be sure to subscribe to the Go to Travel Gal email newsletter on the right to stay updated as this date is likely to change), as it is unlikely to do anything but go up in price. That said, if you can get a Southwest Companion Pass (super easy to do right now in just TWO steps; here’s exactly HOW), you can bring someone with you FREE, so it’s a bit of a buy one get one AND you’ll be able to bring someone with you free through the end of 2020, as well.
I’m flying from Milwaukee to New York, traveling December 26-30. Historically, are these dates blackout dates since they are so near to Christmas/New Years? Is there a chance Southwest may do another 3 day flash sale (I thought I’d read on another site they do one in June and one in October) and lower that route on those dates?
So I would not expect these prices to drop. Prices over the holidays have been very high this year even from the start and are likely just to get higher. Sorry for the bad news! You may want to compare Southwest with other airlines to see if you can find a better deal over the holidays.
Looking to book 2/13/20 to 2/18/20 from PIT to FLL, not sure if I should buy now or wait for fare to go down. Any advice
I always recommend buying now versus later on Southwest, as prices tend to just rise and you can get a credit or points back if the price does drop once you book. Here is my full post that answers this question, which is a common one :).
Greetings, I think I read in one of your recent posts that while limited to one personal card, you could have multiple business cards. Today I read in another blog that you could only have one of each. What is the current policy? Thanks, Doug
You definitely can hold BOTH Southwest business cards per the current Offer Terms listed on each business card. The only restriction is that you have not earned the bonus on THAT specific card in the last 24 months.
You should separate your applications by 30 days, however, or Chase will decline you, as they will only approve people for 1 of their cards every 30 days.
Thanks for the question!
We were able to earn our companion pass by March this year when the world shut down and we stopped traveling. Now we have our pass but feel we are unlikely to use it much or even at all this year. Thus not reaping the benefits for more than half the first year we have it. What is the likelihood of getting an extension past dec 2021 to make up for it?
Southwest has not made any mention of extending the Companion Pass for those who just earned it this year. It’s such a generous offering as it is that I just recommend people earn it again in early 2022 so you can keep on using. The way I teach it, it’s easy to earn subsequent passes :).
Hi Lyn, I stayed up late last night booking multiple flights with what you suggested (booking cheapest fare and then changing to better and more expensive flight with no fare difference). I am so glad I did because today I need to make two changes, but Southwest now is adding a fare difference. Would you suggest I just bite the bullet and pay the difference or wait and see if it changes and does not charge me the fare difference again like yesterday?? I am not clear if it comes and goes that way or not. Thanks in advance!
So I went round and round with a Southwest supervisor about this a few weeks ago. She couldn’t (or wouldn’t) give me any explanation about why this ability to change flights at no fare increase are there and why they aren’t. I was in a similar situation where the ability to do that was there 2 days before but when I was ready to make the change it was no longer there.
One thing I determined is they seem to take away the ability when you get within a week or two of your flight departure date. So if you are within that, it’s unlikely the ability to change the flight with no fare difference will come back.
If it’s further out, you might wait and see as the fares in today’s sale (our assessment and list of best fares is now in the Go to Travel Gal All ACCESS program – https://gototravelgal.com/allaccess) are really good — many $39 fares!
Thanks! We are a month out so maybe I should take my chances. In the meantime, I may book the flight with points as a backup plan.
Tried the change again today and it was available, but I kept getting an error. Maybe because I had already changed it once? Anyways called Southwest and they changed flight for me with no fare difference. So the lesson is try and try again. Thank you!
That same thing happened to me as well for one of our reservations. I, too, called them and they fixed it. I don’t think it’s the changing it already, as I had done that on all of our reservations and only some of them had errors. Glad you made the change!