General refund and cancellation details
If you decide not to travel, our normal cancellation policy applies:
- Business Select®/Anytime tickets are refundable. You can choose to either a) receive a method-of-payment refund or b) hold the value of the ticket as a flight credit that you can use to buy a future flight.
- Wanna Get Away® and Wanna Get Away Plus™ tickets are non-refundable. The value of the ticket will be converted to a flight credit or Transferable Flight CreditTM (depending on the fare) that you can use to buy a future flight.
Important: If you don’t cancel your reservation at least 10 minutes before the flight’s original scheduled departure time, the value of Business Select or Anytime tickets will automatically be converted to a Transferable Flight Credit. Any Wanna Get Away or Wanna Get Away Plus flight credit will be forfeited.
Learn more about flight changes and cancellations.
Method-of-payment refunds will generally be made in the same form as the original payment:
- Credit card: Refunds will be processed to the same account no later than seven business days from the date we receive the request.
- Cash: Refunds will be issued by check no later than 20 business days from the date of the request for domestic travel. Refer to the International Travel page for refund policy information when local currency is used for an international flight.
- Points: Points will go back to the Rapid Rewards® account used to book the flight. Any taxes/fees not paid for using points can either be refunded as a method-of-payment refund or a flight credit to be used toward a future flight.
- Southwest® gift card or Southwest LUV Vouchers®: If the reservation is canceled within 24 hours of booking, please contact us. If the reservation is canceled after 24 hours, the Southwest gift card or Southwest LUV Voucher will be refunded as a flight credit.
- Flight credit: Southwest flight credit from a previous reservation that is applied toward a Business Select or Anytime fare will be refunded as Transferable Flight Credit.
If you don’t cancel your reservation at least 10 minutes before the flight’s original scheduled departure time, your reservation will be canceled, and the value of Business Select or Anytime tickets will be refunded in the form of a Transferable Flight Credit. Any Wanna Get Away or Wanna Get Away Plus funds will be forfeited.
Starting July 1, 2023 (12:00 a.m. CT), for Wanna Get Away or Wanna Get Away Plus award travel reservations: if you do not cancel your reservation at least 10 minutes before the flight’s original scheduled departure time, any points used for booking will be forfeited, along with any taxes and fees associated with your award travel reservation.
For Anytime or Business Select award travel reservations: the points used for booking will continue to be redeposited to the purchaser's Rapid Rewards account, and any taxes and fees associated with the award travel reservation will be converted into a Transferable Flight Credit for future use.
If your flight is cancelled by Southwest and you choose to cancel your trip as a result, you are entitled to a refund for the unused transportation – even for non-refundable tickets. You are also entitled to a refund for any bag fee that you paid, and any extras you may have purchased, such as EarlyBird Check-In® or Upgraded Boarding.
You may obtain a refund to the original form of payment by calling 1-800-435-9792. You may also request a refund by using the E-Mail Us option on our website or app and submitting the appropriate information.
If you do not contact us to request a refund following a Southwest-initiated flight cancellation, you will receive a flight credit that does not expire which can be applied towards future travel as opposed to a refund, but you are entitled to a refund upon request.
Other cancellation and refund considerations and expense reimbursements
Yes, if you cancel a flight booked with Rapid Rewards points, the points will go back to the Rapid Rewards account used to book the flight. You can choose whether the taxes and fees will be refunded as a method-of-payment refund or a flight credit to be used toward a future flight.
No, EarlyBird Check-In is non-refundable. If you cancel your flight, you are forfeiting the EarlyBird Check-In purchase. If Southwest cancels your flight, EarlyBird Check-In will be refunded. If you don't receive a refund, please call us at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA®.
If you were impacted by a flight cancellation or significant delay between December 24, 2022 and January 2, 2023, you may submit receipts Email Us on Southwest.com®. Using the Email Us link takes you to a support page where you may enter the required information on the Expense Reimbursement Request form then follow the ‘Next’ prompt. Please attach copies of your expenses for review. We will honor reasonable requests for reimbursement for meals, hotel accommodations, and alternate transportation (for example: rental cars and tickets on other airlines).
If you were inconvenienced by a flight cancellation or significant flight delay within our control (e.g. mechanical problems, aircraft swap) that resulted in an overnight stay away from home, we will consider reasonable requests for reimbursement of meals, hotel stays, and ground transportation to/from the hotel. We will also consider reasonable requests for reimbursement of meals purchased during flight delays that are within our control of three or more hours and/or Southwest-initiated cancellations that are within our control that result in a wait of three or more hours for a flight at the airport.
You may submit receipts Email Us on Southwest.com. Using the Email Us link takes you to a support page where you may enter the required information on the Expense Reimbursement Request form then follow the ‘Next’ prompt. Please attach copies of your expenses for review.
Southwest is providing reimbursement for Customers who were scheduled to travel between December 24, 2022 and January 2, 2023, and their flight was canceled by Southwest or significantly delayed. For those Customers who submitted receipts, we are reimbursing reasonable expenses incurred as a result of the disruptions including meals, hotel accommodations, and alternate transportation.
Approved reimbursement payments will be sent either by check or Hyperwallet, a PayPal service contracted by Southwest to make the distribution of approved Customer payments easy, efficient, and convenient. Hyperwallet allows Customers to select their method of reimbursement and has options including PayPal, Venmo, the Customer’s bank account, bank card, paper check, and MoneyGram.
How it works:
- When your reimbursement is processed, you will receive an email from Southwest advising you of the reimbursement amount approved and explaining that we have partnered with Hyperwallet to process the payment.
- The email from Southwest will also include your Customer ID, which you will need to access your payment.
- Then, within a few days, you will receive an email from Hyperwallet with instructions and a link to access your payment.
- Please ensure you check your junk and spam folders if you have not received communication from Hyperwallet within a few days.
Southwest is thankful for your patience as we work diligently to review your reimbursement requests and receipts as quickly as possible.
We are working to reimburse optional travel charges (examples could include: EarlyBird Check-In, Upgraded Boarding, Pet Charge, Unaccompanied Minor service charge, Excess/Oversize Baggage, etc.) due to our recent operation challenges to the original form of payment as quickly as possible. Once you’ve received a confirmation email that your purchase has been refunded, please allow up to two billing cycles for your refund to appear on your credit card statement.
You can send proof of your exemption status to us by email. Please be sure to include the following information:
- Passenger name
- Confirmation number
- Ticket number
- Documentation of exemption status (copy of front and back)