What am I missing about SWA opening new dates?

My mind is rolling with curiosity and confusion…

There is a lot of excitement over in Lines about Southwest Airlines opening up new dates today. Apparently, prices are the cheapest on opening days. I never knew this and really find it hard to believe.

Anyhow, then people go on to talk about how Wanna Get Away prices are not available necessarily on opening days and others talk about getting points/money credited later on when prices drop. So, why do people need to buy their WDW airfare on opening day then? What deal am I missing out on?

I can attest for my market the opening day are not the best prices.
When they posted the rates for my dates I couldn’t afford them and walked away. Wondered if that was the end of my planning and just watched the rates. About two weeks later they were low enough I could jump. Then a few weeks later I found better times for a few dollars more than what I had purchased so I moved my flights and paid the difference (it was now to another airport, but both are options). THEN I found even better times for a few dollars LESS for my original airport.

Even today I checked and I could get MUCH better prices if I was willing to fly very early or very late. (I’m not bc of the ages of my kids/mom.) My trip is in 12 days.

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Me too! You can usually find better deals about 60 - 90 days out when they are trying to fill the planes.


As long as I know my dates in advance, I always book right when they open. I’d say about 90% of the time, the price has only gone up. I have had just a few where I modify and rebook at the lower rate. Given that I have the option to either A - get my points back if the price is lower or B - if I booked via credit card I get a credit I can use at a later date - I prefer to book when they open. Right now, the flight I booked this morning at $134 is now up to $184. This is the Monday after school vacation week in this area.

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But I’m also not willing to fly at any old time. With kids, I want either the 10am or 1pm flight, non-stop, so they will be rested in time to go back to school the next day.

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On the way down I’ll fly any old time.
For return it need to be late enough I can return rental car without being up at 4AM.

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so if i book “wanna get away” and then they lower the price for same flight (and I catch it) do i call SWA and they will adjust it?

same airports, etc.

You can call or you can just modify it yourself on the app or on the website. They often send emails if you’re on the email list of when they have sales so it prompts to look.

I have just cancelled and rebooked it online.

Airlines know when the school breaks are. So the flight prices are reflected.

Yes, that is why I was so thrilled with the price. JetBlue was $275 for the same day

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People on the Forum are not as passionate about this subject as people on Lines. Linears are so happy with their scores this morning.

During school holidays, flights are expensive. And the earlier you buy those flights, it is probably cheaper. Maybe that’s why Linears buy their tickets on release days but many talk about the tickets being cheaper later. So, why bother with opening day?

You don’t want to see my flight bills when I fly my kids roundtrip for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Spring Break. Some families don’t fly their kids home for Thanksgiving and/or Spring Break because they are short breaks. But we are willing to sacrifice to bring them home. We want them to know that they are worth the costs to bring home. In the future, we want them to remember what we did for them and come home for the holidays. I can’t buy flight tickets until the kids have registered for the next quarter of classes. For Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s around early May. For Spring Break, it’s around early November. That is way after SWA releases flights and many flights are sold out or quite expensive. DD had to fly home for Thanksgiving in 2018 on Thanksgiving morning and will do the same this year because the flights were sold out for when she would be done with classes.

I love SW for the ability to change flights for free and to check in 2 bags for free. We fly SW often between Northern and Southern California. But for farther trips, SW hasn’t always been the cheapest. Nor is it necessarily the most convenient. And we don’t find SWA planes to be as clean or comfortable as other airlines. In June, I bought DS’s ticket to MCO for December 14th because SW said there were only 2 flights left. It was $336 from MCO to SNA with a layover. We booked SWA because it gave us the flexibility to rebook once he got a finals schedule in the fall. In September, we decided that it was iffy to layover in Denver in the middle of December. We rebooked with United, with a layover in Houston. That flight was $234. Even with a $25 bag fee, it is still cheaper than SWA his original SWA flight. He will use the credit when he flies home for Spring Break. Any leftover money will be used to fly him home for his cousin’s graduation.

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modify it on the app

If you can get away with a single bag, sometimes other lines are cheaper!

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From the West Coast to the East Coast, we try to fly the first direct flight out. We get to the East Coast mid afternoon and have time to get to our destination and settle into our hotel. When we have flown later, we would have an airport hotel pick us up between 10 PM and midnight. Then, we would get the car the next morning. It’s hard to be coordinated in a new place in the dark, especially before reliable GPS! We flew to DC red eye once, the kids hated it. They said not to do it again. Wait until you leave the country, children!

From the East Coast to home on the West Coast, I can do a mid to late afternoon flight. We get into SFO between 4 PM and 8 PM and can still catch a train home if nobody is willing to come to San Francisco to pick us up. That way, we still have half a day to finish stuff on the East Coast.

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We have learned that if we need a rental car at our destination and need to fit most everything into the trunk because we are stopping off somewhere before checking into our hotel, we need to minimize our luggage! People break into cars when they see luggage.

Going to the airport from home is not a problem. We throw everything into our minivan or DSIL’s minivan. But for 4 people, we would never rent a minivan at our destination. It is too pricey. We usually rent an Intermediate. We have learned to pack light and tight!

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I found this blog and it said this:

If You Paid for the Flight: You will receive a Travel Fund credit for the difference in the fare price. You have one year from the date you initially booked the flight to use the credit (important, not from the date you rebooked). Travel Fund credits are nontransferable and can only be used for the same passenger.

I take that as, yes i get refund in terms on travel credits, but money is still tied up in SWA. I never get the physical money back. Right?

Yes, you never get physical money back.

Remember to keep the original confirmation number handy. SWA won’t tell you there is credit when you book a flight.

For us, we may fly twice a year and not always on SWA. There have been times we couldn’t use our credit.

Yes correct. It’s never a problem for us but may be for some!

I was one of those that booked today. In our area, prices tend to go up for non stop flights, not down. Our last trip I was able to change to a better flight time for the same price as the flight I originally booked, maybe a month after the release.

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