Southwest is a fantastic airline. While it does not have the bells and whistles of a lot of the foreign carriers or have a first class cabin, they are efficient, friendly, and still have tons of customer friendly policies.
Southwest is the last domestic carrier to offer free bags, no change fees and provide refunds (in the form of travel funds) for cancelled flights.
One of the biggest perks of Southwest is that all flights booked with rapid reward points are fully cancellable without any penalties.
For those who use timeshares, the above customer friendly policies are great in that you have a lot of flexibility to book fares at decent rates and potentially cancel them without a fee if other timeshare destinations become available.
I wrote a longer article about Southwest here.
As of November 3, 2017, Southwest has opened its schedule to August 6, 2018. On February 8, 2018, Southwest will open their schedule until September 28, 2018.
With their schedule opened for the summer, now is the time to begin to solidify your summer travel plans. Summer is a busy time of year for travel and flights can get extremely expensive quickly.
With Southwest's customer friendly policies, the best option is to book flights with Rapid Reward Points. You can book your flights and if your plans change, you can simply get all your points redeposited without a fee!
During a recent booking session, I cam across an unknown policy with Southwest. For Thanksgiving, we had flights booked to Cabo, Mexico. We were on the fence on whether to take that trip or to book somewhere else. Flights with decent rates came available to Costa Rica so I booked them with points.
At that point, I have overlapping reservations to Cabo and Costa Rica. I figured that I would cancel whatever flight we opted not to take once our accommodations were solidified. Unbeknownst to me, Southwest's system will automatically cancel duplicate flights without notice and without contact if they overlap with the same travelers.
After I completed our flights to Costa Rica, I woke up the next morning with cancellation e-mails from Southwest. In a panic, I called Southwest and they explained this policy and why it happens.
This policy was new to me and I had no idea that Southwest's system would automatically cancel the reservation without a phone call or e-mail to tell you of the pending cancellation. They just do it! For me, I had booked with points, travel funds and gift cards so I had to recreate the bookings and find out where all the money had gone.
This was frustrating and really wish that they would have simply called me to explain the policy before cancelling my flights.
Despite this hiccup, Southwest is generally a pleasure to deal with and generally enjoy dealing with their representatives.
Now that I know if this policy, I will make sure to not do this in the future.
Since Southwest has such flexible policies, it makes sense to book your flights now and figure out accommodations. If you need to change flights to a different destination or change dates by a few days, it is easily done with a couple of clicks or a quick phone call.
Book your flights now. Even though Southwest is a low cost carrier, this does not always mean that their fares or low cost. During peak travel times during holidays, I have seen some very expensive fares.
You should book early as even if fares drop, you can even call Southwest to get the difference in fare refunded. This is yet another reason why Southwest is the best customer friendly airline left in the sky!
Where are you going this summer? Leave you comments below!