Southwest change fare thingie is back

it just so happens I got my “annual fee” charge this month and it’s $149. And my card is the cheapest one you can have that gets you 4 Upgrades per year (is that calendar year or “membership year”?)

An upgraded boarding costs $40 one way (this is different from Early Bird, just to be clear), so I come out ahead if I use all 4. On top of that, you get a bonus of 7000 points per year, I think? Which equals roughly $112. Overall, if you fly a lot, I think it’s pretty worth it.

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See I told you I don’t follow it closely.

It is less than $150 a year. Definitely.

But it just might be $149.

Which it is (and which is definitely less than $150).


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Ok, thanks. They must have had a fee increase recently then I guess.

:laughing: Since you are still following… (I have a call into SWA on this, but in the meantime…) I have never used points to pay for flights. For some reason, (and I think SWA advised me to do it this way), I have a separate RR # for each of my family (4 in total). Each one of us currently has 11K - 12K points, not a lot individually, but in total, a nice amount. Can I combine our points to pay for flights, or will they lose value if I transfer? (I seem to recall asking SWA this once, and I would lose value if I tried to transfer). I am wondering about the 65K Bonus? Can only I use that, or can I use it for everyone? What about the 4 free upgraded boardings? Can I use all 4 for my family for one trip, or can only I use them? Very confused on these rules. Waiting for a call back from SWA. Individually, I’m not sure that either my husband or I travel enough for this card to be worth it, but collectively, definitely yes!

You can only use points if the person booking the reservation has them. It’s annoying. I paid to transfer my daughter’s points to me because she is 6 and why the hell would she ever book her own airline ticket. The person paying should earn the points, period.

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Hey, I just got off of the phone with SWA. Rep told me that I don’t have to transfer points out of my account to pay for one of my kids’ flights. I can just use my points. Is that your understanding? I guess what you are saying is that if you want to use her points for someone other than her, you would have to transfer the points?

ETA: Can you define “booking the reservation”? Both of my kids are over 18. If they call to book a reservation out of their own RR account, but use my credit card, would that work?

ETA2: Duh, I guess since they are using points, they wouldn’t need a credit card. :laughing:

That is correct. Just book their flights from your account with your points. Also if your kids have their own points (earned from travel on flights that were paid for in cash, not points), you can book their flights from their accounts as well (get them a rapid rewards number and set up the account). For minors, book the adult tickets first and when you go to book the minor’s tickets, you will need to enter your confirmation number as well to link the kids to you. You can book them all at once as well, if you have enough points to cover everyone. This is 100 percent the easiest thing to do, as then everyone is on 1 confirmation number. When you check in at exactly 24 hours, 1 confirmation beats multiples.

No need to pay to transfer, just book from whichever account has the points. You can book a flight for anyone, not just the person who owns the points.


Still need a credit card, as you have to pay the mandatory $5.60 per flight even when booking with points.

Yes. Or just book online, it is so easy and then you can change flights as needed when the points per flight go down (to get some points back). If you book my phone, you will always have to call for every little thing. Online is the way to go.

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Thanks for the clarification! I do always book on line, but I never used points before. Also, kids and husband all have their own RR #'s, and have been accumulating points through the years. Kids are no longer minors, so it looks like it should be easy? Do you use the SW credit card?

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Yes, I have a SW card and have played their bonus game for years. My primary card now is the Chase Sapphire Reserve, whixh has all sorts of perks as well. All the points I earn there I transfer to SW. We fly a lot and rarely pay for it.


I never had the courage to try using points, but with all of these “change fare thingies” popping up, I would like to be able to book flights and cancel them later if I need to without accumulating travel funds, which expire.

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It really is a great thing. You can cancel up to 10 minutes before the flight with no penalty. It is hard for me to fly other airlines now.


Yes the person booking the reservation has to use their own points for everyone on the same reservation. If my 6yo booked her own flight she could use her own points. I book her flights so I have to use my points. She also has a bunch accumulated so I transferred some to me to make up for being short a bit. It costs money to transfer too.

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I’m approved! Thanks everyone! :heart:

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I’ve used my kids points to book flights for them or me. You can book whoever you want on points. It doesn’t have to be the person who owns the points.

How do you use their points to book for you? Log into their RR account?

Yes, just be logged into the account with the points you want to use. You can book a flight for anyone. And I like to book one-way flights so that helps if the account doesn’t have many points.

I have the credit card with the 149 fee. I don’t even count the upgraded boarding. For me, the 75 dollar travel credit and the extra points that come with this tier card make it worth the extra annual fee.

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Check your flights for the “red bar”. I had crappy (but the cheapest I could book) flights for 10/9 and 10/16. Gained two full days and now have nonstop flights. Before I wasn’t getting to MCO until 11PM. Now I get there 10:30AM. Before had to leave MCO at 7AM with two stops and now have nonstop not leaving MCO until 7:40PM. I am so excited!

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Is the Southwest change fare thingie still a thing? I’ve lost track of the thread. :slight_smile: