If you’re making Summer 2019 vacation plans to hot destinations or on popular travel dates around the 4th of July holiday, there’s a good opportunity to book now.
Yesterday, Southwest extended its booking schedule through August 5, 2019. Previously, the schedule was open only through early June, so yesterday’s change added another 2 months of availability – most of June, all of July including the 4th of July holiday week, and a few days in August.
Remember that under Southwest’s generous cancelation and change policies, you can cancel tickets before your flight and receive Southwest credit for your previous fare. Also, if your flight drops in price, you can cancel and re-book the same flights, and receive Southwest credit for the difference in price (whether in dollars or Rapid Rewards miles). Thus, it’s a fairly low-risk proposition to go ahead and get your flights booked if you’re thinking of taking a Summer 2019 holiday to a popular destination.
Southwest does not impose any fees for canceling or changing future fights. However, note that travel funds (such as the credit for canceling and re-booking at a lower fare) expire 12 months from the original ticket purchase date.
When you book your Southwest flights, be sure to use a credit card that maximizes your points earning for airfare, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve (referral link), the Amex Personal Platinum (referral link), the Citi Prestige or Premier, or the US Bank Altitude Reserve. Or, you may want to use a Chase Southwest co-branded card if you hold one of those.
The next schedule extension for Southwest isn’t scheduled to occur for a few months, on February 7, 2019. On that date, the schedule will open through 9/2/2019 (with the disclaimer from Southwest that this is subject to change).
You can always check the current availability cutoff and the next scheduled extension by going to “Check Flight Schedules” on the Southwest website. Here’s a direct link to the “Check Flight Schedules” page:
Where are you going for Summer 2019 vacation? Are you ready to book in the new Southwest availability window? Please share with us in the Comments!
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