What is Southwest Airlines Cancellation Policy

Southwest Airlines has flexible provisions to cancel the flight. Even the non-refundable fares are accepted for refund in cash or cheque according to the 24-hour cancellation. Cancellations beyond this duration are eligible for a refund but in different forms as per the fare types. 

Wanna Get Away, and Wanna Get Away Plus are the non-refundable fares. Whereas, Business Select and Anytime ticket types are refundable for Southwest Airlines. Let’s read in detail about what is Southwest Airlines cancellation policy in reference to the time duration and the fare types. 

Does Southwest Have 24-Hour Cancellation?

Does Southwest Have 24-Hour Cancellation

Yes, Southwest Airlines’ 24-hour cancellation policy allows all passenger tickets to be canceled for free at no additional cost. The non-refundable and refundable fares are credited with the ticket fee in the original mode of payment. The hours are counted from the moment of confirmed booking till the completion of 24 hours or one day. Log in to the airline account and follow the guided instructions to cancel a Southwest Airlines ticket for full refunds.

This is applicable for all tickets including the non-refundable fares which are otherwise not allowed for travel credits only. Read a detailed version on the late cancellation of tickets beyond the 24-hour valid time period.

Southwest Airlines Late Cancellation Policy   

Southwest Airlines Late Cancellation Policy 

If you are late to realize that your plan is no longer intact and will have to cancel then Southwest Airlines cancellation policy has provisions for the same. Not only can you cancel within 24 hours but also later. Southwest passengers can cancel the flight ticket anytime before 10 minutes prior to the departure.  However, there are slight changes in the refund policy which differ according to the fare types.                                                                                                                                                         

Non Refundable Fares

As previously mentioned, the non-refundable fares are the Wanna Get Away and Wanna Get Away Plus. Unlike the 24-hour policy, the fares are refunded as Travel Credit and not as cash or cheque. The original amount will be credited to your airline account and can be used to book a new flight. 

Refundable Fares 

While the refundable fares canceled at least 10 minutes before are eligible for refunds in the original form of payment. You can apply for cancellation from the website or the app and request for refund. Else, the choice to save the refundable fee as credit for future travel. 

Award Tickets 

The tickets purchased by using the airline points (Rapid Rewards) are known as Award tickets. These are also eligible for refunds and are credited back to the account. Use them in the future to book flight tickets with Southwest Airlines. Other tickets are bought via coupons, and others are also applicable for refunds. 

The refundable amount will be credited back to the account. The taxes and additional payment can be claimed in the original form of payment or may be saved with other points for future travel.  However, these ticket holders need to inform the airline representative over a phone call. It is an additional step as it is to claim the reward points back in the account.

How Late Can You Cancel a Southwest Flight?

A passenger must cancel the ticket within the time limit of maximum of 10 minutes prior to departure. However, if you are late to cancel as per the deadline mentioned, then Southwest cancellation policies are so relaxed that the refundable fares are given an opportunity for refunds. The fare-wise policy is as following:

Refundable Fares  

The refundable fares of Southwest Airlines canceled after the time limit of at least 10 minutes prior to departure are applicable for refunds in the form of Travel credit. The amount refunded can be used to book the tickets for the future. 

Non-refundable Fares

Southwest Airlines does not return the money on non-refundable fares which are canceled after the 10 minutes limit before departure is over. The amount is forfeited and can not be claimed. It is essential for such ticket holders to act smartly and swiftly. Cancel the ticket within the determined duration and use the refundable amount for future travel. 

Try saving the money by canceling the ticket under Southwest 24 hours cancellation policy and get a complete refund in cash or in the original mode of how you made the payment

Early Bird Check-In 

Early Bird Check-In 

The Early-check-in tickets do not qualify for a Southwest Airlines refund until an involuntary cancellation occurs. This is a priority check-in program by Southwest Airlines that allows early access to the check-in portal from the usual 24 hours before departure. It allows the freedom to select preferred seats.

Unfortunately, this is not applicable for cancellations and refunds. Only if Southwest Airlines cancels the flight, a full refund will be credited to the passenger’s account.  Read about the provisions for Involuntary cancellations in the next segment. 

Involuntary Delays and Cancellations 

While we have discussed the provisions for canceling a Southwest airline ticket. But, what if the airline cancels it due to various reasons? 

In such scenarios, Southwest Airlines offers a complete refund for involuntary cancellations. Given, the airline is unable to offer a new alternative flight or you don’t wish to fly on the rebooked schedule. The airline mails or messages the details of flight cancellations and allows the opportunity for a complete refund if you are not satisfied with the new reservation. 

A new itinerary message is sent on your device meaning that the reservation is confirmed in replacement of the original reservations. If you are not interested in flying on the next best alternative offered, then simply contact the airline representative and ask for cancellation and refund. 

Any sort of inconvenience due to flight delays and cancellations is reimbursed in the form of rewards, refunds, or reimbursements. 

Southwest Airlines information for contacting

Airline official headquartersDallas, Texas, United States
Website www.southwest.com


Southwest Airlines has a detailed and flexible cancellation policy allowing the non-refundable and refundable fares to be canceled within 24 hours for free with a full refund. After this duration, a penalty will be applicable for a few tickets. Whereas, the non-refundable tickets will only be credited as the Travel credit. Most importantly, cancellations are valid until the last 10 minutes before departure. There are few other conditions that will be applicable to your ticket. Confirm what is Southwest Airlines’ cancellation policy for your fare type and destination from the above-detailed content. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Southwest Cancellation Policy?

Southwest Airlines’ cancellation policy refunds tickets canceled anytime before 10 minutes of scheduled departure. 

Does Southwest Airlines have a 24-hour cancellation policy?

Yes, Southwest Airlines have a 24-hour cancellation policy and enables refunds in cash or cheque for non-refundable and refundable fares.

Can non-refundable fares of Southwest Airlines be canceled within 24 hours?

Southwest Airlines non-refundable tickets are eligible for a refund if canceled within 24 hours.

What are the refundable and non-refundable fares of Southwest Airlines cancellations?

Wanna GetAway and Wanna Get Away Plus are non-refundable fares of Southwest Airlines. However, the Business Select and Anytime tickets are refundable. 
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