Southwest questions

Im a very inexperienced flyer. In fact, my whole group is. I only fly every 2 or 3 years and only to WDW. Never used SW. I’m booking tickets for 9 of us. I have points for 7 or 8 and will pay oop for the remainder. What advice can you give me?

Should I call and book or use the app?
All on one reservation or split it up?
3 will not need EB as they will use family boarding, I’m going to get EB for remainder of group.
What’s the cancellation policy? I have 1 in the group who will only know a few weeks before if he can go.

A little background

I’m booking it 1 way for 9 of us. Either from Bos/PVD to Mco/Tam or the other way around. I’m using points from another airline (Jetblue) to book the other 1 way.
Group is made up of DW, DD14, and Me,
Also DD28, DH, Dgd3, and third group is Sis, Bil, and Mil,

Any advice is appreciated

I always book online. I would book the one who may need to cancel using points as those get credited back to your account if that is cancelled (oh and don’t pay for early boarding for that person). Cancelling is easy, if you paid with points you get those points back. If you pay with cash then you get a credit to use within 1 year of the date you booked but ONLY for that person. Still the most lenient in the whole industry. Early bird is not refundable.

I would split it up into 3 groups maybe I don’t think it matters. Cash person will be on a different confirmation.

My #1 tip for booking for this many people. Make sure you have everyone’s birthday and FULL legal name. (ie if someone goes by Bob D. Smith do NOT use that name or you will have problems … it would have to be Robert David Smith).

What is your travel date? Best time to book SW is immediately when the fares are released for that time frame. A tip I learned this year is you can book on the app before they are online on release date. This cost me $300 this year as I watched the fares rise while not able to book on PC. I finally tried the app and booked a solid hour before you were able to book on PC. I saw the same thing last year but never thought app would work before the website.

When we travel, I book for our family of 6 online. For best fares on SW, I try finding a fare for 1 person, see lowest fare, then bump number to 2, see lowest fare, then bump number to 3, etc. Then I book the number of seats available at the lowest price. That way I get the most tickets for the best price. If you put in a request for 6 tickets, SW will give you the best price they have available for all 6 seats. Hope that makes sense. I have not used points for booking and I suspect that all seats on a flight are one price in points though, so this tip probably won’t help directly unless you have to pay for more than 1 of your party in $$.

Great tip, thanks a bunch. That makes perfect sense. He was the one I was going to pay cash for.

This was going to be another one of my questions. So should I go with the name that’s listed on their drivers license or other form of ID that they will be using for TSA? So if on the license it says “Robert D. Smith” should I go with that or use the “David”??

Mid October. I believe those dates should be opening up on Thursday if I understand that correctly.

You are correct. They open around 6 to 7:30 am eastern. The prices increase quickly in an hour in my experience.

That makes perfect sense now. I was wondering why when i priced out a single seat vs. Party of 7 on a mock date I would get different prices.

I guess my concern is how will it work if I book for a party of 3, then another party of 3, then when I go book the others and there’s no seats available? Probably a longshot but it’s been concerning me. Also, I can’t book all of us at once on the app anyway. It o my let’s me choose 7 as the max.

I have never had a bad experience with Southwest. However, recently I needed to book two one way tickets to my sister’s graduation. I booked mine with points, went to book DH and the price had risen. A few days later, I needed to book two one way tickets. I knew better this time and called. They booked one with my points, went to book DH, and the price had risen. She told me there wasn’t anything she could do about it.

I would call and see if they can guarantee you 9 tickets at x price. Then book over the phone, so you can hold them to it.

You are going to have to book at least the cash and the points in two different groups. You can’t mix them while booking.

It can happen that prices change during booking different groups but not usually by that much. If you are booking that early they won’t sell out.

Prices change all the time. You may want to check periodically. You can always rebook on Southwest for the lower fare and get points/credit back. I ruled out a spring trip when I first looked at airfare but when I looked again it was one of the lowest prices I have paid.

You can go by the name they will use for ID.

Good luck!

Continue to check prices after you book. The trips with points you can change and have any extra points refunded to your account. We always use the cheapest fare (wanna get away) and if I rebook those out of pocket the price difference goes into my account to use within a year. It’s still the best rebooking and cancellation policy out there as far as I’m concerned. Last trip I had almost $100 and 1000 points refunded when the prices dropped and I rebooked.

The higher priced ticket categories may have better refund options, but I’ve never really looked into it.

Thank you everyone for your replies. I feel much more confident going into this.
Now I just have to figure out which airline and points to use on which leg of the trip, and which airports to fly in and out of.

You need to use the form that matches the legal ID they will use at the airport. So the ticket should match the ID they plan to use. Always fun figuring out who has an ID with full middle name and who has one with just middle initial etc.

Yes - use what is on their ID for the airport. Advice here has been good. Certainly book any of the ones that may cancel with points. I personally called when I had to do a “SPLIT” booking. It was just a bit easier - and I am an online junkie.

Also if you THINK you will use the early bird - book it NOW. They don’t really tell you this - but your early bird placement is based on when you purchased early bird. If you do have any kids - they will let several of you board together and they are pretty liberal with their Family Policy. Also as it is a fairly short flight - even if you all aren’t together - it really isn’t a big deal

I don’t have any tips about booking the flights, but I will say it is critical to check in for your flight the second online check in opens - 24 hours before the flight. There are no assigned seats on Southwest so it can be tough to get seated together. The earlier you check in, the better spot you get in line to board. The earlier you board the better chance you have to be together!

An old thread but still useful


Yeah I was up early but didn’t find anything I would consider a deal. I’m going to keep an eye out for pricing. Once it gets into a range I’m comfortable with I’ll purchase then look to rebook at lower prices if it goes there.