Southwest Airlines’ Refund Policy

Discover the ins-and-outs of Southwest Airlines' refund policy, including fare types, cancellation procedures, and how to request a refund.

Southwest Airlines is known for its customer-friendly policies, and its refund policy is no exception. In this article, we will explore the various aspects of Southwest Airlines’ refund policy, including the types of fares, how to cancel a flight, and how to request a refund.

Types of Fares and Refund Eligibility

Southwest Airlines offers different types of fares, each with its own refund policy:

  1. Anytime and Business Select fares: If you cancel a flight booked with an Anytime or Business Select fare, you can choose between receiving travel funds and a refund to the original form of payment[1].
  2. Wanna Get Away fares: These fares do not guarantee a full cash refund, but all offer Southwest travel funds, which are easy to use[2].

Flights Booked with Rapid Rewards Points

Southwest’s cancellation policy is generous for award tickets. If you cancel a flight booked with Southwest Rapid Rewards points, your points will be automatically refunded back into your loyalty account[1].

How to Cancel a Southwest Flight

To cancel a Southwest flight, you’ll need to look up your reservation online or on the app. Then, you’ll either get a cash refund or travel funds to rebook[1].

Requesting a Refund

All refund requests submitted in writing to the Refunds Department must include your unused ticket information or proof of purchase and/or the confirmation[3]. You can also use the online form to request a refund from Southwest Airlines[4].

Special Circumstances

In some cases, such as flight cancellations due to severe weather or other disruptions, Southwest Airlines may offer additional refund options. For example, customers with a cancelled flight from Dec. 24 to Jan. 2, 2023, could request a refund of the unused ticket in the original form of payment[5].

Reimbursement for Unexpected Travel Expenses

Travelers who paid out of pocket for unexpected travel expenses due to flight cancellations can submit receipts for hotels, car rentals, food, and rebooked tickets on other airlines. Southwest Airlines states that they “will honor reasonable requests for reimbursement for meals, hotel, and alternate transportation”[6].

Lost Luggage

If your luggage was lost during a flight disruption, you can use the dedicated form for travelers trying to track down lost luggage[5].

In conclusion, Southwest Airlines’ refund policy is designed to be customer-friendly and accommodating. By understanding the different fare types and refund eligibility, as well as how to cancel flights and request refunds, you can navigate the refund process with ease.


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