How To Get A Refund From Southwest Airlines

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Get Your Money Back From Southwest Airlines Stress-Free

Southwest Airlines was founded in 1967, and has since become one of America’s largest airlines. The company flies passengers to over 120 domestic destinations in the US and to 10 foreign countries. Southwest is the 4th biggest Airline in the world behind Delta, American Airlines, and United.

Though if plans have changed for an upcoming flight, or you suddenly can’t fly or don’t have the need to, you’re probably wondering what happens with your money and what you need to do. Let show you the ropes on getting a Southwest refund.

Does Southwest Accept Refunds?

Southwest Airlines has outlined their policies on refunds. Basically, there are multiple scenarios that the airline considers to determine whether the customer can get a refund. When Southwest refunds you, it will return all or a portion of the money back to your original payment method.

Southwest Airlines Refund Scenarios

Here’s the rundown of Southwest’s general refund and cancellation terms:

  • You can get a refund if you cancel your flight within 24 hours of booking and you have Business Select or Anytime tickets.
  • Wanna Get Away and Wanna Get Away Plus tickets can only be converted to flight credit.
  • Southwest will refund you or offer you flight credit if the flight is canceled, but only if you contact them about it first.

Thus, if you’re looking to get cash back on your flight tickets, they need to be labeled Anytime or Business Select. If you’re looking to fly in the future, however, Wanna Get Away tickets wouldn’t be bad to have, either.

What Are All The Refund Methods Southwest Airlines Allows?

When you get a refund from Southwest, they’ll return the money or other currency back to its original source. Here are all the methods of payment Southwest works with:

  1. Credit Card - Eligible refunds take up to a week to be returned to your credit card.
  2. Cash - Eligible refunds take up to 20 days and will be delivered to your address in the form of a check.
  3. Points - If you pay for your flight using points, they will return to your Southwest points balance for you to use another time.

These methods of payment cannot be reloaded, and instead, Southwest will convert them into flight credit.

  1. Flight Credit - Original flight credit becomes new.
  2. Southwest Gift Card - Southwest gift cards can’t be reloaded once used.
  3. Southwest LUV Vouchers - Similar to gift cards.
  4. Credit From Tickets - If you decide you want a credit rather than a cash refund from an Anytime or Business Select ticket, you can decide to receive credit instead.

How To Contact Southwest Airlines For A Refund

If you want a refund for your unused tickets, there are two primary ways you can do this: With an email or a phone call.

  • Call 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9792) if you’re looking to get a refund done urgently. You’ll be put on hold to get a representative but in most cases, you’ll get your resolution within the hour.
  • Email Southwest at this link. Follow the directions on the page for what options to choose to ask for a refund. Then, you’ll need to fill out a form documenting the flight information and explain why you want a refund. After all that’s complete, a specialist should respond to your email inbox in 1 to 2 business days.

These are the only two ways as of now to contact Southwest for a refund. While the company does have social media accounts, they use them to market the brand and don’t take customer help inquiries.

Reasons For Southwest Refusing To Refund You

If your ticket is a Wanna Get Away ticket, you won’t get a cash refund back, not even if you prefer one. If Southwest cancels a flight you were scheduled to be on, the entirety of your transaction may not be refunded, such as check-in fees and if portions of your round-trip were already honored.

There’s a 24-hour window to cancel your flight after you book it. If you take too long to get this booking canceled, Southwest will instead offer you flight credit.

And sometimes, there could be just a misunderstanding with the Southwest specialist you’re talking to. All the fine print can really throw green or inexperienced reps for a loop, making it more difficult for you to get the refund you’re seeking.’s 4-Step Refund Process

If Southwest can’t or won’t refund your cash, it never hurts to try With, you can contact your bank, and they’ll have the final say on your refund status.

Here’s how works:

  1. Get registered on
  2. Tell us your story with Southwest. What happened and why are you owed a refund?
  3. Watch as our AI companion will write up a formal letter to your bank with the most appropriate reason code necessary for your refund to happen.
  4. Wait as we send the letter to your bank where it will be reviewed.

And there you go! It should take a few days for your bank to make a decision, and several days after that to get your money back on your credit card if they give you a favorable outcome.

Southwest Airlines Competitors

If this experience has affected your relationship with Southwest, there are many other airlines prominent in the US to consider. Most of these airlines should have generous refund policies, but if you review each of them, you should find that some airlines will be better for your specific situation than others.

Delta Air LinesWorld’s Biggest Airline, “Most Reliable Airline”
Spirit Airlines“Most Affordable Airline”
SkyWest AirlinesPet-friendly
United AirlinesWorld’s 3rd Biggest Airline
Alaska AirlinesPet-friendly
Hawaiian AirlinesN/A
jetBlue Airways“Most Comfortable Airline”
Envoy Air“Safest Airline”
American AirlinesWorld’s 2nd Biggest Airline
Frontier AirlinesN/A

Is Southwest Airlines A Bad Airline?

Flyers will have different experiences with different airlines, so it’s not a fact that Southwest has an overall bad reputation. But as an easy way to compare airlines with one another, WalletHub has put together rankings for all the popular airlines in the United States.

In this study, Southwest ranks dead last — 11th out of 11. This is due to Southwest ranking last or close to last in several categories, such as airfare costs, mishandled luggage, and aviation mishaps. WalletHub gives them a score of 23.39 out of 100, while the highest score is achieved by Delta Air Lines at 66.79.

What Are Southwest Airlines’ Customer Service Hours?

According to Southwest's mobile site, customer service is available 24/7. If you decide to call them overnight, you’re sure to get someone to help you. Picks Up Where Corporations Leave Off

We at feel customers that are unsatisfied with what they paid for should get reimbursed, and it can’t be any more true when it comes to plane tickets that cost hundreds — or even thousands of dollars from your own bank account.

Sign up with today so you can do something about Southwest and other companies right now. Request a refund with us at home or on the go!

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do I Have To Pay To Change A Southwest Flight?

According to Southwest, there are no fees to change your flight if you can. If there’s a difference in airfare costs, you could pay more for the new flight.

How Do I Cancel A Southwest Flight Reservation?

Cancel a reservation with Southwest by going to this link. Simply give your confirmation number and name. You won’t need to log in or register to cancel your booking.

What Happens If It’s Too Late To Get A Southwest Refund?

If you have Anytime or Business Select tickets, but it’s well past the 24-hour window to cancel, Southwest will revert your funds into credit for a later flight.

Do Southwest Flight Credits Expire?

Southwest flight credits never expire. If you’re given flight credit for a canceled flight, you can use that credit to pay for your next flight, whether next year, 5 years from now, or any time.

Does Southwest Automatically Refund Me If They Cancel My Flight?

Southwest doesn’t refund you automatically or contact you about a refund if they cancel a flight you were scheduled for. You will need to call them or send them a message online to request a refund.