As us timeshare owners know, planning for a vacation using a timeshare can be difficult as exchanges to prime resorts and weeks can be difficult. While request first, deposit first and ongoing searches can help with getting the desired week, the issue then becomes airfare. Airfare can make or break a reasonable vacation. There have been plenty of times that I was able to exchange into a very desirable resort only to find out that the airfares for the particular week were astronomical and quickly derailed that plan.
Southwest Airlines is the last airline that still has consumer friendly policies. Southwest actually allows you to cancel, change or revise your reservation for no change fees. This is drastically different that the other major carriers who charge significant penalties per ticket to make these changes.
If you book with cash, Southwest will allow you to change or cancel your flight for any reason and you will receive a refund for the full amount of your flight in travel funds. Travel funds are essentially vouchers where you can use the value of the travel funds to book trips for a year from the initial date of the reservation.
For timeshare planning, this is very helpful since you can make reservations before a the timeshare week is confirmed and if the week does not get confirmed or you end up booking a timeshare in a completely different destination, you can simply cancel the airfare and use the travel funds for another destination. This flexibility is why Southwest is essential when dealing with timeshare planning.
An even better method is to use Southwest Rapid Reward points. Rapid Reward points are Southwest's frequent flyer program. You can reserve flights using Rapid Reward points and you are still given the same flexibility as with cash. However, when you use Rapid Reward points for flights, first, they are free, and second, in the event you need to cancel, the points gets redeposited immediately so you do not need to worry about travel funds.
Travel funds can be difficult to keep track of since they are tied to confirmation numbers.
By using Rapid Reward Points, you can book speculative airfare for multiple trips for the same time period and see if and when a certain timeshare week becomes available. You have the ability to book flights in advance without worrying about a confirmed week knowing that you can cancel it at any time for a full refund of points.
Southwest has recently expanded its operations to various international destinations and these consumer friendly policies still apply.
One issue is whether Southwest services your area. If so, you are in luck. These policies and their free bag policies make Southwest a clear winner.
The other issue becomes on how to acquire the Rapid Reward Points. The fastest and easiest way is to apply for a Chase Southwest Credit Card. They currently are offering a sign up bonus of 50,000 points! Depending on where you travel and if wanna get away fares are available, this can get you 3-4 round trip flights.
I recently used points for my family of four to travel to Montego Bay, Jamaica for about 15,000 points round trip per passenger. That is an absolute steal!
In other posts, we can explore more about how frequent flyer points and hotel points are essential to acquire in order to make timeshare vacationing easier and more affordable. In addition, free flights are great and can save you thousands of dollars. Everything is better when its free!
Make sure to follow me on Twitter and Facebook. Also, subscribe below!