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All things GDS policies

Looking for information about our GDS policies?


Exception policies and waiver codes

Exception policy: Travel may be rebooked in the original class of service and travel must take place within 14 days of their original travel date between the original city pairs in accordance with our accommodation procedures.

For a full list of waiver codes, please click here.



GDS waiver codes

Looking for assistance to refund or exchange a GDS ticket that has been impacted by a schedule changes or irregular operations (IROPs)? The waiver code chart below was developed to help agencies determine the appropriate waiver code format for each scenario.

Common waiver code formats

Southwest® GDS ticketing policy can be found here.

Schedule changes –
Even exchange

Correct waiver:
WAIVESC1234010122
Four-digit FLT number*
Two-digit month
Two-digit day
Two-digit year

Incorrect waiver:
NO WAIVER
SCHDCHX
WNSCHCHANGE

When to use this waiver:
Southwest Airlines® changes the operating schedule
of a flight outside of 72 hours prior to departure.

Schedule changes – Refunds

Correct waiver:
SC1234010122
Four-digit FLT number*
Two-digit month
Two-digit day
Two-digit year

Incorrect waiver:
NO WAIVER
SCHCHND REFND
REFUNDOK

When to use this waiver:
Passenger requests to cancel and refund their reservation
after a schedule change outside of 72 hours prior to departure.

Published travel event rebooking and refund

Correct waiver:
EVENT01312022
Two-digit month
Two-digit day
Two-digit year

Incorrect waiver:
NO WAIVER
REFND AUTH
IROP REFND OK

When to use this waiver:
Situations that affect multiple flights may result in
Southwest Airlines generating an event code. See current waiver codes here.

IROPs – Even exchange or refund

Correct waiver:
IROP1234010122
Four-digit FLT number*
Two-digit month
Two-digit day
Two-digit year

Incorrect waiver:
NO WAIVER
IROPEVENEXCH
FLIGHTCANCL

When to use this waiver:
Irregular operations (IROPs) include but are not limited to: a delay or cancellation of a scheduled flight within 72 hours of departure or an aircraft equipment change impacting the accommodation of all Customers presented at check-in and no event waiver has been issued.

*If flight number is fewer than four digits, lead with zero(es).

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Branded fares

We have four fare families (Business Select®, Anytime, Wanna Get Away Plus and Wanna Get Away®) and we use industry standard fare pricing structures, including dual RBD and Branded Fares, to present that content to you. These industry standard capabilities allow fare classes to be shared across fare products which will provide greater flexibility to offer you more of the low fares you’ve come to know and love!

    Fare benefits

      Historically, we’ve had one price for Business Select® and Anytime in each market, however, now all of our fare products have multiple price points and we no longer have dedicated fare classes. Our fares will continue to be filed via ATPCO but to always find the right fare, we recommend shopping by fare family (BUS, ANY, PLU, WGA, etc.) instead of by fare classes (Y, K, L, etc.).



    A few key points to remember:
    All fare products can be booked in various fare classes. 
    You should not rely solely on the fare class to determine the fare
    product.
    Branded Fares should be used to find the lowest fare for any fare
    family.

View our branded fares overview to see the different fare formats you can use. 

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Even more to love
about Southwest

  • Upgraded boardings
    Secure an A1-A15 boarding position and be one of the first on the plane by upgrading on your day of travel.1
    Learn more about our boarding process ›

  • Rapid Rewards®
    Our free loyalty program where travelers earn points by flying Southwest and can use their points how and when they want.2
    Learn more ›

  • Business Select
    Get a guaranteed A1-A15 boarding, Priority Lane and Express Lane access3, earn extra Rapid Rewards points, and more!
    Learn more ›

  • 1Available at the departure gate or ticket counter on day of travel only and requires an additional fee. Prices based on Customer's itinerary. Subject to availability.
    2All Rapid Rewards® rules and regulations apply and can be found here.
    3Priority Lanes and Express Lanes, where available, are designed to speed our Business Select and Anytime Customers, as well as A-List, and A-List Preferred Members, through check-in and security lines. Priority Lanes are at Southwest check-in counters, and Express Lanes are at security checkpoints.

Southwest plane

Distribution channel features and functionalities

SWABIZ®

Travelers and travel managers access Southwest-only inventory through SWABIZ, our free corporate travel booking tool.

SPS

Southwest Partner Services (SPS) is our API/Direct Connect technology that integrates into your company’s existing corporate booking tools.

GDS

To lessen friction and better meet your needs, we’ve added even more robust content and capabilities to all three major GDS channels.

Southwest Business Distribution Channel Features & Functionality

This chart compares all of the three major GDSs side-by-side and which Southwest Airlines features and functionality are available in each channel.
Feature SWABIZ® SPS1 (Southwest® owned API) Travelport GDS (Apollo, Worldspan, Galileo) Amadeus GDS   Sabre GDS  

Integrated display
(side-by-side display comparison with other airlines)
no yes yes yes yes

Promotional fares (often referred to as full content/web only)
yes yes no no no
Last seat availability (complete available seat inventory) yes yes yes yes yes

Seat availability indicator (shown if a seat is available, not how many)
yes yes yes yes yes

Deferred ticketing (ability to hold reservation without immediate purchase)
no yes yes yes yes

ARC settlement (electronic ticket fulfillment with ARC settlement)
no no yes yes yes
Change / modify2 (ability to modify a reservation post-ticketing within the distribution channel) yes yes yes yes yes
Cancel2 (ability to cancel a reservation within the distribution channel) yes yes yes yes yes
Reusable / refundable ticket management3 (refund or reuse ticket funds via distribution channel) yes yes yes yes yes

EarlyBird Check-In®4 EarlyBird Check-In® requires an additional fee.(add EarlyBird either during or after ticketing)
yes yes yes yes no

1SPS experience may vary based on based on enabled capability for booking tool or TMC. Fees may apply and vary by partner.
2Ticket Agents will not have the ability to refund or exchange tickets that have been reissued by Southwest Airlines. All further exchanges and cancellations will need to be done by Southwest Airlines agents or through Southwest Airlines direct channels.
3SWABIZ® and SPS issue reusable funds in the form of a flight credit that can be used for future purchases via these sales channels. ARC settlement (e.g. Travelport, Amadeus) issues reusable funds to a miscellaneous charge order (MCO) document that can be used for future purchases through that GDS. Basic Booking settlement issues reusable funds to an flight credit that can be used for future purchases through Southwest® directly (flight credits are not a valid form of payment in any GDS).
4EarlyBird Check-In® requires an additional fee.

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Meetings and Groups

Book together and you could save more with great benefits and extra flexibility for your meeting or large group. Learn more ›

Questions?

Contact our TMC Relations Team at TMCRelations@wnco.com or check out the FAQs below.

    Frequently asked questions:

  • GDS
    • General content

      Q: Where can I find Southwest’s ARC ticketing policies?

      A: Southwest’s ARC ticketing policies, as well as the associated Travel Agent Addendum, can be found here: https://www.southwest.com/html/swabiz/gds-policy.html


      Q: Will all GDS systems benefit from Southwest full participation?

      A: While capabilities will differ between GDS providers, Southwest will make the same content available to Amadeus, Travelport and Sabre GDS’s. You will also now have the benefit of full ticket settlement via ARC.


      Q: Who do I contact if I do not have access to Southwest content in the GDS or have questions?

      If you have any questions about Southwest content please email TMCRelations@wnco.com for more information. Please note that content will only be made available to approved US-based agencies that are ARC accredited.


      Q: Will customers outside of US point of sale be given Southwest full GDS access?

      A: Southwest bookings can only be ticketed by ARC accredited agencies in the US, with USD currency only. Outside of the US you may access Southwest Airlines content via Southwest.com.


      Q: Can an OTA or a Meta Search agency get access to Southwest?

      A: OTAs and Meta Search agencies are not being approved by SWA to get content through Travelport GDS nor any other GDS provider. Southwest does not allow any travel agency to openly distribute our content via any online platform directly to consumers.


      Q: Will there be fares and/or content available via Southwest directly but not in the GDS?

      A: Yes, Southwest will have some “direct fares” that are only available through one of our direct sales channels.


      Q: Will EarlyBird® purchases be available in the GDS?

      A: EarlyBird® is now available for purchase in Amadeus and Travelport GDS’s. Reservations booked in all other GDS’s can purchase EarlyBird® on Southwest.com. The travel agency will retain ownership of their GDS issued ticket even if EarlyBird® is purchased directly with Southwest.


      Q: Will Southwest send emails for ARC transactions?

      A: Southwest will no longer send confirmation emails for GDS issued tickets. You will continue to see emails sent for any transaction that is exchanged, or issued, by Southwest Airlines direct.


      Q: What is the process for changing a company’s discount filing or tracking agreement with Southwest?

      A: Any change to the way a corporate travel agreement is set up first requires the company reaching out to their Southwest Account Manager. Southwest must make changes to ATPCO fare filings for any applicable discounts, and our Account Manager must update our CRM system to ensure our reporting is not interrupted. More specific information will be shared once the company has engaged their Southwest Account Manager.


      Q: Will Mexico destinations be available in the GDS?

      A: Yes, as of July 22, 2022, U.S. ARC –accredited point-of-sale travel agencies can book and ticket Mexico itineraries in all GDS’s (Apollo, Worldspan, Galileo, Sabre, and Amadeus).

    • Rapid Rewards Number

      Q: Can I add a travelers Rapid Rewards frequent flyer number to my GDS reservation?

      A: Yes Rapid Reward numbers can be added to your GDS PNR using one of the following formats, please note 20000111222 is an example number only.


        • Sabre FFWN2000111222
        • Apollo MP*WN2000111222
        • Worldspan 3SSRFQTVWNHK/WN20000111222
        • Amadeus FFNWN-20000111222
    • New booking process questions

      Q: Will we still be able to hold bookings before ticketing?

      A: Yes, and part of the change to full participation is that a ticketing deadline will be generated for each booking. The reservation will be held until 11:59PM local time, NEXT DAY (not next business day). Fare rules supersede the ticketing time limit. **Please note that any churned reservations will result in a debit memo**


      Q: Will agents be able to add a Rapid Rewards loyalty number in their GDS bookings?

      A: Yes. Loyalty numbers in GDS bookings will be handled as with any other carrier. Clients with a Rapid Rewards status such as A-List, A-List Preferred will be recognized and applied in GDS bookings, through the status level in the FQTV line. Please note that GDS reservations will decline an invalid Rapid Rewards number when entered in a reservation. However, name verification is not executed for GDS reservations. If the name is incorrect the Rapid Rewards number will not be attached to the reservation, even though it was entered in the GDS.


      Q: How do we book groups with Southwest? Can we claim a PNR?

      A: Any Southwest group booking is to be handled by Southwest directly. Southwest will not allow claim PNR in the GDS for booked groups. All group bookings are confirmed and ticketed by Southwest direct.


      Q: Can I access/view in the GDS a booking created on Southwest website?

      A: No. All bookings completed within a Southwest channel will remain with Southwest and cannot be accessed in the GDS’s


      Q: Can I access/view on Southwest’s website a booking created in the GDS?

      A: Yes. Any booking done in the GDS can be accessed on the Southwest website or by a Southwest agent.


      Q: Can my GDS booking be serviced by Southwest directly?

      A: Yes. However, once a GDS booking has been reissued by Southwest, it will then reside with Southwest and will no longer be available in the GDS for future servicing.


      Q: Can we have multiple airlines/multiple tickets in a Southwest PNR?

      A: Yes. Southwest segments can reside with other airlines in one PNR. Southwest does not allow for interline ticketing, which means that a Southwest ticket can only be issued for Southwest flights. No other carriers can be issued with the Southwest ticket as we do not currently have any interline agreements with other airlines.


      Q: Will Southwest flights be available 365 days from the booking date via the GDS?

      A: Southwest’s complete flight schedule will be visible in the GDS as they become available. Southwest normally publishes schedules 6-8 months out.


      Q: Can I book multiple one-way tickets in the same PNR?

      A: Currently Southwest does not allow multiple one-way reservations in one PNR. If a traveler wants to add a leg to an existing reservation you can exchange the current ticket, or book the added space in a new PNR.


      Q: Will we be able to apply all forms of payment to issue Southwest tickets?

      A: Southwest will enable all forms of payment in the GDS, including cash and check. However, Southwest’s currencies (gift cards, LUV vouchers, Rapid Rewards ® points, residual ticket funds) will not be accepted in the GDS.


      Q: Will customers be able to have their bags transferred to other airlines if flights are booked in the same reservation?

      A: No, Southwest does not have interline ticketing agreements with other airlines. Customers will need to pick up their bags at the Southwest baggage claim in the connecting city. They will be required to recheck their bags with the other airline.

      Q: Will we be able to issue circle trip tickets in the GDS?

      A: Yes you can issue circle trip tickets. Please note that you cannot issue separate tickets that are point to point within the circle trip.


      Q: Will customers be able to have their bags transferred to other airlines if flights are booked in the same reservation?

      A: No, Southwest does not have interline ticketing agreements with other airlines. Customers will need to pick up their bags at the Southwest baggage claim in the connecting city. They will be required to recheck their bags with the other airline.

    • Exchanges, refunds, MCOs and certificates/vouchers

      Q: What will be the process to exchange/refund/void a Southwest booking?

      A: All Southwest bookings created after cutover to ARC settlement can be voided, exchanged, or refunded through the GDS. Any bookings created prior to the ARC settlement migration will need to continue being exchanged or refunded with Southwest direct.


      Q: Will agents be able to retain a residual value and issue an MCO for Southwest exchanged bookings?

      A: All ARC settled reservations can be exchanged in the GDS, and an MCO issued for any residual value.


      Q: Do I always need to issue a residual MCO?

      A: Southwest Airlines never charges any fees for ticket changes. All residual MCO’s are expected to be issued by the travel agency in the name of the traveler. Any MCO not issued for $100.00 or more will result in a debit memo.


      Q: Can I use a Southwest MCO for another traveler?

      A: Southwest Airlines does not allow MCO’s to be used by another traveler. The contract of carriage states that the name on the MCO ticket must be the user of the new ticket issued. Any MCO used to purchase a ticket in another traveler’s name will result in a debit memo.


      Q: Can I exchange with a Southwest agent a booking done in my GDS?

      A: Yes, Southwest agents can modify any reservation to fly on Southwest. However, once a Southwest agent has exchanged the ticket, any further service request will need to be done by a Southwest agent.

    • Fare Classes

      Q: Where can I find information on Southwest Airlines Branded Fares?

      A: Southwest Airlines now uses branded fares. Please follow this link to access our Branded Fares information.

    • Unaccompanied Minors/Young Travelers

      Q: Does Southwest Airlines allow unaccompanied minor/ young traveler bookings through the GDS?

      A: Please use the following information when booking via the GDS’s.


      Not available through GDS

      Ticketing travel for Unaccompanied Minors (ages 5-11 traveling alone) in the GDS is not permitted. Call 800-435-9792 or visit: https://www.southwest.com/faq/unaccompanied-minors. Please note, issuing tickets for an Unaccompanied Minor will result in a Debit Memo.


      Tickets Young Travelers

      Young Travelers (ages 12-17 traveling alone) can be booked through the GDS for US Domestic travel, however, you must call Southwest Airlines at 800-435-9792 to complete necessary travel documents. For more information on Young Traveler please visit: https://www.southwest.com/faq/young-travelers.


      Travelers ages 2 – 17 that are traveling with a parent or guardian 18 years of age or older on a separate PNR must add the OSI WN (SWA Locator) of the parent PNR.

    • Revenue Tracking

      Q: Does Southwest Airlines provide a way to track corporate customer revenue that do not have a discount in place?

      A: You may now add tour codes for revenue tracking to either the IT field of a ticket, or the OSI field of your PNR. Below are the formats for each.


      • Manual Format (TMC Agent manually entering tour code) - In this scenario the travel agency would manually enter the SWABIZ CID number in the tour code field for all tickets to track revenue (please note 99112233 is an example 99 number)

        • Sabre:     W#UN*99112233

        • Apollo:       T:$BIT99112233

        • Worldspan:  5-IT99112233

        • Amadeus:     FT*99112233

        • Galileo:      TC99112233

      • OSI Format - In this scenario the travel agency would add the tour code to the OSI field of their PNR for tracking revenue.

        • Sabre:      3OSI WN 99112233

        • Apollo:     3OSI WN 99112233

        • Amadeus:   OS WN 99112233

        • Worldspan:   3OSI WN 99112233

        • Galileo:    SI.WN*99112233
    • IROP SSR Codes for Customer Contact

      Q: Does Southwest Airlines contact customers when flight interruptions occur?

      A: Travel agencies can use the following SSR formats to provide Southwest Airlines their customers contact details. Without this information Southwest may not be able to contact our mutual customers when flight interruptions occur.


      You will need to input SSR message fields in accordance with the GDS you utilize.


      CTCE Customer Email Addresses:

      Format GDS Example
      CTCE/(Email Address)-PNR Name Number CTCE/JAMES.JONES//YAHOO.COM-1.1
      CTCE/Segment number)/(Email Address)-(PNR Name Number) CTCE2/JAMES.JONES//YAHOO.COM-3.1
      CTCE/(A for all)/(Email Address)-(PNR Name number) CTCEA/JAMES.JONES//YAHOO.COM-1.5

      CTCM Customer Mobile Phone Number:

      Format GDS Example
      CTCM/(Phone Number)-(PNR Name Number) CTCM/1234567890-1.1
      CTCM/(Segment)/(Phone Number)-(PNR Name Number) CTCM1/1234567890-1.1
      CTCMA(A for all)/(Phone Number)-(PNR Name Number) CCTCMA/1234567890-1.1

      CTCR Customers Refused To Provide Contact Details:

      Format GDS Example
      CTCR(Free Text)-1.1 CTCR/REFUSED TO PROVIDE CTC INFO-1.1
      CTCR/(All Segments)/(Free Text)-1.1 CTCR/REFUSED-1.1
      CTCR(Segment)/(Free Text)-(PNR Name Number) CTCR1/REFUSED TO GIVE CTC INFO-1.1

      Please contact your GDS helpdesk with specific questions regarding formats.


    • Travel Agency Testing

      Guidelines for TMC Transaction Testing with Live Bookings

      • • Email SWTravel@wnco.com with intent to test notification
        • • Start date
        • • Point of contact
        • • Number of transactions
      • • Maximum of 10 test bookings
      • • PNR’s must be booked 90 days out to avoid blocking inventory close to flight date
      • • PNR’s must be cancelled within 24hrs to avoid refundability or ADM concerns
    • Travel Agency access
      ARC Settlement

      Travelport/Amadeus

      • If you are new to booking Southwest in the GDS, please reach out to TMCRelations@wnco.com
      • If you have historically booked Southwest in the GDS and are simply looking to continue booking Southwest via Sabre, Apollo, Worldspan, Galileo, or Amadeus, please review the ticketing policy and Travel Agent Addendum available here: https://www.southwest.com/html/swabiz/gds-policy.html
  • SWABIZ
  • Other Southwest Products
  • Southwest Airlines GDS Ticketing Policy
  • Southwest Contract of Carriage
  • Customer Service
  • Get in touch:

    • For questions related to your SWABIZ account, please call 1-888-479-2249 (Monday through Friday, 5:00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m. CT).
      • We’re updating your service experience.
      • PrimaryPartner Service: Our benchmark Southwest® Hospitality experience available to all our business Customers.
      • PreferredPartner Service: Our dedicated service experience for managed partnerships with expedited call access for travel managers.
      • PremierPartner Service: Our best-in-class experience for managed partnerships with a priority service line for travel managers, plus a dedicated line for travelers.
      • Connect with an account manager to learn more about these services and how we can best serve your travel needs.
    • To cancel or change a reservation or request a copy of a past receipt, please call 1-800-435-9792.
    • To request a refund, make a complaint or commendation, or for inquiries on your Rapid Rewards account, call 1-855-234-4654.
    • Meetings or SWABIZ questions: swabiz@wnco.com
    • General inquiries: SouthwestBusiness@wnco.com
    Contact our Sales Team