One of my favorite things about Southwest is their no change fee policy. This means that if the price of a flight ever drops, you can “change” your flight and get refunded the difference. If you book it with points, you’ll get the difference in points refunded. Whereas if you booked with cash, you’ll get a travel voucher that is tied to the passenger’s name that you can use on a later flight. I pretty much always book with points for the added flexibility. This means you should check the cost of your upcoming flights to see if they drop in price especially during Southwest sales.
Now for the annoying part. In order to “change” your flight, you can’t have a companion added to it. This means you have to cancel your companion’s reservation. This then leaves them with SW travel funds that are tied to their name and confirmation number. After you cancel their reservation, it usually takes about 5-10 mins for the system to recognize it. You can then go about the process to “change” your flight.
My wife has two middle names because when we got married she moved her maiden name to be a second middle name. For some reason this screws up Southwest’s system and gives an error that the name doesn’t match even though it does. It appears to be due to the fact that her full name doesn’t fit on the companion pass, but the travel funds are attached to her full name. It’s weird and I don’t really get it. I’ve tried calling Southwest and fixing it, but can’t seem to fix it.
I thought my only option for using these travel funds was to spend 8-12 minutes on the phone with a Southwest agent. Then I found out from a friend that you can actually direct message Southwest on Twitter and they can book your companion ticket right there. It’s much quicker than calling and saves me the hassle of trying to tell them the confirmation number over the phone. All you have to do is send them your confirmation number as well as the travel funds that you want to use to pay for the taxes and fees.
The Southwest twitter reps are friendly and attentive. They typically get back to me within 10-15 mins and let me know that they’ve reserved a seat for my companion. Then I receive a confirmation email about 20 minutes after that. The whole process is significantly easier than calling in. I have found Twitter to be an invaluable tool in reaching out to a company’s customer service team. A+ for the Southwest twitter team for always helping me out!