When to Book Flight?

happymom2one

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jul 14, 2010
Tried searching the southwest tab and I couldn't find my answer. Sorry if this has been asked numerous times!

1. when do you think flights will be open for Nov 15?
2. is it better to book the 5 seats the day they open or wait for a deal?

Thanks!
 

siren0119

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 26, 2018
I am not sure when November flights will open up, but I do know that with Southwest if you're traveling during a high volume period (holidays, known school vacation periods), the rates will be at their lowest the day they are released. They'll only add Wanna Get Away fares closer to departure if they are having trouble filling the plane.

I believe we booked our September travel the last few years in February, but I can't remember if flights were released through the end of the year at that time. At any rate, it should be soon!
 

Ben E N

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 14, 2017
Keep an eye on this website:
Based on their current speed, I would anticipate November flights becoming available in March or so.
And I would book as soon as possible. With Southwest, you get your money back as a travel credit if the price ever drops.
 
  • dolewhipdreams

    Counting days until my next Dole Whip
    Joined
    Feb 24, 2017
    Another SW tip (if that's what you choose to fly)- book the departing and return trips separately. That way if a lower fare becomes available, it's easier to alter that leg of the trip if it's booked by itself. Booking RT has no price benefits with SW so it's the same cost either way.
     

    happymom2one

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 14, 2010
    Another SW tip (if that's what you choose to fly)- book the departing and return trips separately. That way if a lower fare becomes available, it's easier to alter that leg of the trip if it's booked by itself. Booking RT has no price benefits with SW so it's the same cost either way.
    Yes. I normally fly Southwest but just don't fly very often. I have never heard doing it separate. Thanks for the information!
     

    RogueX

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 21, 2019
    Another option that sometimes trims a little off the cost is booking one way on one carrier and return on another. Example: fly down on Southwest and return on JetBlue.

    Saving on flights in general is tricky. It really can be a matter of timing. And watch those bare bone fares...the the basic economy ones. People who don't read the print on what they are giving up in exchange are surprised. Forget carryons completely in some cases.
     

    sam_gordon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 26, 2010
    With Southwest, you get your money back as a travel credit if the price ever drops.
    A) It's not automatic, you need to request it.
    B) Each traveler gets their own credit, even if a single person paid for it.
    C) The credit has to be USED within a year from booking, not the original date of travel. (So if you book on March 15 for a flight on October 10, and the price drops in June, you must use the credit by March 15 of the following year).
     
  • Ben E N

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 14, 2017
    A) It's not automatic, you need to request it.
    B) Each traveler gets their own credit, even if a single person paid for it.
    C) The credit has to be USED within a year from booking, not the original date of travel. (So if you book on March 15 for a flight on October 10, and the price drops in June, you must use the credit by March 15 of the following year).
    All true, but point A is very simple. You just put in your old booking number and name and it automatically applies when booking a new flight.
     

    sam_gordon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 26, 2010
    All true, but point A is very simple. You just put in your old booking number and name and it automatically applies when booking a new flight.
    Never said it was difficult. I just didn't want readers to think the credit happens automatically.
     

    Ben E N

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 14, 2017
    Never said it was difficult. I just didn't want readers to think the credit happens automatically.
    I just wanted to point out that no request needs to be made. The credit is automatically applied, you just need to know about it and take advantage of it when booking a new flight within that year's window.
     

    sam_gordon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 26, 2010
    I just wanted to point out that no request needs to be made. The credit is automatically applied, you just need to know about it and take advantage of it when booking a new flight within that year's window.
    Really? When did that start? I thought you had to request it to be put on your account. Then, once it's on your account, of course it would be applied to a new booking.
     
  • Ben E N

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 14, 2017
    Really? When did that start? I thought you had to request it to be put on your account. Then, once it's on your account, of course it would be applied to a new booking.
    No idea. I just know it worked no problem for me just recently. Changed my spring break flight to save $400. When I booked my summer flight, I just had to put in my last name and confirmation number from the spring break flight and it applied the approximately $100 to each person in my family.
    It is important to note that the credit is per person, so if my wife were not joining us for this trip or something, it would not apply her part of it. It's also stress free for me because I am pretty much assured to visit Florida via Southwest at least twice per year. Not everybody is in the same position.
     

    sam_gordon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 26, 2010
    Changed my spring break flight to save $400.
    Here is where our miscommunication is. If I book SDF to MCO for $200, and find out later it's dropped to $150, I need to go and change my flight. Once I do that, I'll have a $50 credit. However, *I* have to make that change. If I don't change the flight, I don't get the credit. THAT'S what I meant by it's not automatic. I need to do something in order to get the credit.
     

    Ben E N

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 14, 2017
    Here is where our miscommunication is. If I book SDF to MCO for $200, and find out later it's dropped to $150, I need to go and change my flight. Once I do that, I'll have a $50 credit. However, *I* have to make that change. If I don't change the flight, I don't get the credit. THAT'S what I meant by it's not automatic. I need to do something in order to get the credit.
    That's true. I thought you meant you had to manually ask for the credit. And yes if for some reason they move you to a different, now cheaper, flight, you can call and ask for the difference as a credit. That has happened to me once.

    Knowing that I use Southwest to fly to Florida so often, I always book as early as possible, especially for winter or spring break. Literally 4 hours of time on opening day for booking can make a difference of $400 or more for my family. If I can ever find a cheaper flight, I change it and pocket the credit. It's worth noting, though, that I have never found a cheaper flight at the same airport. The only way I've gotten it is by changing where I fly out of, and committing to driving to a different airport.
     

    Moliphino

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2016
    A) It's not automatic, you need to request it.
    B) Each traveler gets their own credit, even if a single person paid for it.
    C) The credit has to be USED within a year from booking, not the original date of travel. (So if you book on March 15 for a flight on October 10, and the price drops in June, you must use the credit by March 15 of the following year).
    We typically only fly Southwest once a year, so the credits don't always help us. I usually start checking occasionally around maybe 6 months out and book about 3 months out (whenever the price looks good, but that's usually right around 3 months).
     

    Sandisw

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2008
    A) It's not automatic, you need to request it.
    B) Each traveler gets their own credit, even if a single person paid for it.
    C) The credit has to be USED within a year from booking, not the original date of travel. (So if you book on March 15 for a flight on October 10, and the price drops in June, you must use the credit by March 15 of the following year).
    The use within the year from booking, not travel was something I didn’t understand. I just lost $200 in credit because I booked my original trip so early, had to cancel and change it. My second date was closer to my original booking date and when that fare went down too, and I got the credit, I realized it would Go to waste,

    But, i Have to drive to Rochester from Syracuse, so I don’t take it that often
     

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