Southwest Airlines® is aware that government mandates have resulted in restrictions on air travel due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Unfortunately, many of the restrictions will result in flight cancellations, potential quarantines upon arrival, and/or temperature checks upon landing, and we sincerely regret any inconvenience created by the travel disruptions.
Once Southwest® becomes aware of any government’s travel restriction that results in a flight cancellation or self-quarantine, our Team will notify you as soon as possible with your options. Rest assured, we will offer maximum flexibility and accommodate Customers to the best of our ability. As always, the Southwest Team appreciates your patience and trust in us during this unprecedented time.
Beginning September 8, 2020, any travel funds created from a nonrefundable, Wanna Get Away® ticket can be used for up to one year from the original purchase date.
For those concerned that they may not be able to travel before the expiration date of their travel fund, we have added a new benefit for our valued Rapid Rewards® Members. Through December 15, 2020, those Members who have qualified travel funds that are set to expire on September 7, 2022 can convert those funds into Rapid Rewards points at the same rate you would be able to purchase a ticket with points today.
To qualify, your travel fund a) must expire on September 7, 2022, b) name must match the name on your Rapid Rewards account, and c) must have originated from a ticket purchased on Southwest.com®, booked by a Southwest Airlines Customer Representative, or approved by your employer. You must request to convert your travel fund by December 15, 2020. Conversion is non-reversible. When travel funds are converted to Rapid Rewards points, these points will not count toward earning tier status nor earning Companion Pass®. Rapid Rewards points cannot be used to pay taxes or fees.
Since Rapid Rewards points never expire, you can use your new points whenever you want. Check if you have qualified travel funds soon — you can only convert your qualified travel funds through December 15, 2020.
It’s important to note, while these unused travel funds will be available until September 7, 2022, once the funds are used to make a purchase, the expiration date of the travel funds will then follow our normal ticketing rules and will expire 12 months from the original purchase date.
Finally, the well-being of our Customers and Employees, and all of those in the communities we serve, remains our top priority. We will approach this new challenge with our Southwest Hearts and determination to provide Customers with the utmost care and assistance.
We will continue to post any details or updates on additional travel restrictions as we learn about them on this page.
Once again, we appreciate your support, and we look forward to welcoming you back onboard soon.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we understand Customers might be uncertain about their travel plans in the months ahead. While we might not be connecting with you in person right now, today and every day as the airline with Heart, we can share our love and support. In that spirit, we are extending the benefits earned by our current tier status Members and Companion Pass holders.
In addition to this extension, we’re giving tier qualifying points and Companion Pass qualifying points to all Rapid Rewards® Members to say thank you for bearing with us during this difficult and uncharted time.
We’re staying Southwest® Heart Strong for you and will be here with a warm welcome, when you’re ready to travel again.
These moves represent additional ways to either work toward or to use these benefits once you’re ready to begin traveling again. These adjustments will happen automatically and will be reflected in your Southwest Rapid Rewards My Account page.
Learn more about these Rapid Rewards® updates and FAQ at Southwest.com/RRCoronavirusUpdates.
Our desire to continue providing Southwest Hospitality is as strong as ever, and our entire Team truly appreciates your understanding in the decisions made around food and drink service to limit close interactions. We’re serving water and snacks on flights more than 250 miles in distance, when available. Straws are available upon request.
As always, you’re welcome to bring your own non-alcoholic beverages onboard. However, FAA regulations prohibit passengers from drinking alcohol on the aircraft unless it is served by the air carrier.
Southwest Airlines aircraft are maintained in accordance with an established program aimed at providing a clean and inviting cabin environment. In addition to tidying each aircraft between flights, we spend more than six hours cleaning each aircraft every night. As of March 4, 2020, we have enhanced our overnight cleaning procedures.
Typically, we use an EPA approved, hospital-grade disinfectant in the lavatories and an interior cleaner in the cabin. Now, we are expanding the use of the hospital-grade disinfectant throughout the aircraft, and it will be used in the cabin, on elements in the flight deck, and in the lavatory. These procedures meet or exceed recommendations from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
All of our aircraft are equipped with HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters, which filter out airborne particles as the air onboard is recirculated with outside air. These same HEPA filters are used in many hospitals to enhance air quality within this environment.
Our aircraft are also designed with an air circulation system that mixes in fresh air from outside the plane. The HEPA filter and the air circulation system work together to provide optimum air quality while onboard a Southwest plane which, in most cases, exceeds the quality of air that can be found outdoors, as well as a typical office building or similar public venue. On average, a complete exchange of cabin air and outside air is accomplished every three minutes.
Learn how we’re supporting your comfort and well-being from check-in to deplaning.
Southwest is unique in the airline industry because we do not charge fees to change or cancel flights. Nonrefundable tickets (Wanna Get Away fares) not flown on the travel date, but canceled in accordance with Southwest’s No Show policy, can be applied to future travel. Refundable tickets (Anytime and Business Select® fares) not flown on the travel date can also be applied to future travel.
We recommend the CDC’s website as a resource for ways that Customers can best protect themselves from becoming ill. Additionally, Customers are encouraged to wash their hands frequently and use hand sanitizer and/or anti-bacterial wipes when traveling.
As we make any changes to our operations or procedures, we will update this page with the most current information. A link to this page will remain on our homepage at Southwest.com.
To our valued Customers,
There is no higher priority to our entire Southwest Family than the Safety of our Customers and Employees. We are in close communication with medical professionals, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), government agencies, and internal Teams to stay on top of this evolving situation. According to the most recent information from the CDC, for most people, the immediate risk of being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low.
We want you to feel confident when traveling with Southwest Airlines. As a result, we have enhanced some of our cleaning procedures in the interest of our Customers’ and Employees’ health and safety.
Aircraft Cleaning: We spend between 6-7 hours cleaning each aircraft every night, and, as of March 4, 2020, we have enhanced our overnight cleaning procedures. Typically, we use an EPA approved, hospital-grade disinfectant in the lavatories and an interior cleaner in the cabin. Now, we are expanding the use of the hospital-grade disinfectant throughout the aircraft, and it will be used in the cabin, on elements in the flight deck, and in the lavatory. This goes beyond the standard CDC guidelines.
Also, we equip each of our aircraft with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter, which filters out recirculated air onboard each plane to remove airborne particles. HEPA filters are also used in hospitals to provide patients with clean air.
To learn more about our enhanced aircraft cleaning procedures, visit our blog for a detailed overview, along with a video and photos of the process.
In addition, I want to take a moment to remind Customers of our flexible policies. These policies have always been in place at Southwest Airlines and provide our Customers peace of mind every day. We never charge Customers a fee to change or cancel (though fare differences might apply) their flights. If your plans change or if you decide to postpone your travel, the funds used to pay for your flight can be applied to future travel as long as you cancel your reservation at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled departure. The funds are valid for future travel up to one year from the original purchase date and must be used by the individual named on the ticket. Hopefully, these policies provide comfort to all of our Customers that they can book travel on Southwest as normal, and, if the circumstances change in the future, they can alter their plans without the penalty of a fee.
Rest assured, we are monitoring this developing situation closely, staying in regular contact with federal agencies, health organizations, and other experts. We’ve developed a host of resources to keep you informed and updated along the way, including our Travel Advisory on Southwest.com and our Company blog, and we’ll continue to post updates as this situation evolves.
Thank you for your patience and trust in Southwest Airlines. We are prepared to navigate through these challenging circumstances with your safety and confidence in Southwest Airlines at the forefront of everything we do.
We look forward to seeing you onboard soon,
SVP & Chief Marketing Officer
Nonrefundable tickets (Wanna Get Away fares) not flown on the travel date, but canceled in accordance with Southwest’s No Show Policy, can be applied to future travel up to one year from the original purchase date aside from the below exceptions.
All travel funds must be used by the individual named on the ticket.
For recently cancelled tickets and newly created travel funds, it may take up to five business days for the expiration date to change to September 7, 2022. Typically, the expiration date is updated at midnight after the fund creation.
It’s important to note, while these unused travel funds will be available until September 7, 2022, once the funds are used to make a purchase, the expiration date of the travel funds will then follow our normal ticketing rules and will expire 12 months from the date of purchase.
Refundable tickets not flown on the travel date can also be applied to future travel. More information on Southwest refunds can be found on Southwest.com. We hope these policies continue to give our Customers options and flexibility when planning travel.
It will take several weeks to implement the expiration extension of unused funds. Once the extension is complete, more information will be provided on how Customers can access and apply their travel funds.
Southwest does not charge fees to change or cancel flights, although applicable fare differences may apply.
Yes, current Rapid Rewards tier status Members who earned A-List or A-List Preferred status through December 31, 2020 without any type of promotion will have their status extended through December 31, 2021. For Members enrolled in a promotion granting promotional A-List status or challenging a Member to extend promotional A-List status such as Status Match, Tier Challenge, Tier Experience, or a Corporate Status Challenge and who met the flight requirements by the promotion end date, we are extending your current promotional status through December 31, 2021. However, for Members enrolled in any of the above promotions and who to date have not met the flight requirements, we are extending the deadline to meet the promotion’s flight requirements to October 30, 2020.
Current Rapid Rewards Companion Pass holders who earned Companion Pass through December 31, 2020 without any type of promotion will have their benefits extended through June 30, 2021.
Visit the Rapid Rewards® updates page for more on the benefit extensions.
All Rapid Rewards Members who opened a Rapid Rewards account by April 1, 2020 are eligible and automatically received a 15,000 tier qualifying point (TQPs) boost, a 25,000 Companion Pass qualifying point (CPQPs) boost, and flight segments into their accounts.
Visit the Rapid Rewards® updates page for more on the boosts.
We spend more than six hours cleaning each aircraft every night, and, as of March 4, 2020, we have enhanced our cleaning procedures. Typically, we use an EPA approved, hospital-grade disinfectant in the lavatories and an interior cleaner in the cabin. We have expanded the use of the hospital-grade disinfectant throughout the aircraft, and now are using it in the cabin, on elements in the flight deck, and in the lavatory.
Additionally, we equip all our aircraft with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter, which filters out recirculated air onboard each plane to remove airborne particles (HEPA filters are also used in hospitals to provide patients with clean air).
We are serving water and snacks on flights over 250 miles, when available. Straws are available on request. For all other flights, snack and beverage service is suspended until further notice to limit close interactions.