My wife just got a new full-time job last week, which means more money to travel and save up for a down payment on a house. Unfortunately, that also means she doesn’t really have any vacation hours accrued. Prior to her getting the job, we had planned a trip to Minneapolis for my sister’s graduation and a vacation to Walt Disney World. We figured might as well combine the two trips.
At the beginning of January, I received my Southwest 50k sign up bonus for my Chase Southwest Plus Credit Card. I am another 56k away from getting my Southwest Companion Pass. With that being said, a few weeks ago I had over 50k of Rapid Rewards I could use. I went ahead and booked tickets for the following route: SEA > MSP > MCO > SEA (does not include layovers). I booked tickets for both my wife and I at the time because I wasn’t sure if I would get approved for my second Chase Southwest credit card to help me get a little bit closer to the Companion Pass.
Fast forward to late January, my wife started to talk about changing our trip so that she doesn’t have to take as many days off. At this point we had already bought 5 day Disney World tickets and we didn’t want those to go to waste. Within an hour, I had looked up new possible flights that would only take 5 days of PTO compared to the 7 days we had originally planned.
I wish I had taken screenshots of the whole process, but basically you can look up your flight by confirmation number and cancel or change it. The top right corner of your flight should display something like the picture above. In this case, I wanted to cancel the flight completely. I went ahead and cancelled my wife’s flights (since I will be earning the companion pass soon). Since I booked with points, they were immediately refunded to my Rapid Rewards account. I then was able to book the new flights that worked better with our schedule. This whole process took less than 15 minutes and didn’t cost us a penny.
If you’re able to book with points, I highly suggest just booking any possible trip you might take. After all, you’ll get the points back if you decide to cancel or change dates. Plus if the price of the flight does go down, you can “change” your flight and get refunded the difference. I did this for our Christmas flights down to Southern California and saved ~600 points.
Southwest has great value for domestic flights. It may not be as luxurious as flying first class on American Airlines or Delta, but who cares?! Me and my wife personally would much rather have the ability to fly three economy round trip than just one business round trip. To each their own I suppose.