How to Change or Cancel Your Southwest Flight After Check-In

Changing or canceling a flight can be a stressful experience, especially after you’ve already checked in. However, Southwest Airlines offers flexibility in such situations. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to change or cancel your Southwest flight check-in. Whether it’s a change in plans or an emergency, knowing your options and the process can save you time and money.

Understanding Southwest Airlines’ Policy

Before you dive into changing or canceling your flight, it’s essential to understand Southwest Airlines’ policy. Unlike many other airlines, Southwest has a unique and customer-friendly approach. They don’t charge change fees, and they offer flexibility, even after you’ve checked in. Southwest’s main focus is to make flying as hassle-free as possible for its customers.

Changing Your Flight After Check-In

Changing your Southwest flight after check-in may seem daunting, but it’s entirely possible. Southwest allows passengers to change their flights without any change fees, provided that the fare difference is paid, if applicable. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Visit the Southwest Website or App: The easiest way to make changes is by visiting Southwest’s official website or using their mobile app. Log in to your account.
  2. Navigate to “Manage Reservations”: Once logged in, go to the “Manage Reservations” section. Here, you’ll see a list of your booked flights.
  3. Select the Flight to Change: Choose the flight you wish to change. You’ll be prompted to select a new flight.
  4. Choose a New Flight: Browse through available flights and select the one that suits your new schedule. Make sure to check the fare difference, if any.
  5. Confirm Changes: Review your selections and confirm the changes. If there’s a fare difference, you’ll need to pay it during this process.
  6. Receive Confirmation: After completing the steps, you’ll receive a confirmation email with the details of your new flight.

Canceling Your Flight After Check-In

If you need to cancel your Southwest flight after check-in, you can do so with minimal hassle. Southwest has a flexible cancellation policy. Here’s how to cancel your flight:

  1. Visit the Southwest Website or App: Just like changing a flight, start by visiting Southwest’s official website or using their mobile app. Log in to your account.
  2. Go to “Manage Reservations”: In the “Manage Reservations” section, you’ll see a list of your booked flights.
  3. Select the Flight to Cancel: Choose the flight you want to cancel. Southwest will guide you through the cancellation process.
  4. Cancellation Options: You’ll be presented with options for cancellation. Southwest typically offers a refund in the form of travel funds, which can be used for future bookings.
  5. Confirm Cancellation: Review the cancellation details and confirm. Your canceled flight will be processed, and you’ll receive a confirmation email.

Important Considerations

Before making changes or canceling your Southwest flight after check-in, keep these important considerations in mind:

  1. Check Fare Rules: Pay attention to fare rules and restrictions. Some fares may not be eligible for changes or refunds.
  2. Travel Funds: If you cancel your flight, you’ll receive travel funds that must be used within a specific timeframe. Be aware of these limitations.
  3. Fare Differences: When changing your flight, be prepared to pay any fare difference if your new flight is more expensive than the original one.
  4. Time Limits: Southwest allows changes up to 10 minutes before the flight’s scheduled departure time. For same-day changes, be at the airport at least 30 minutes before your new flight’s departure.
  5. International Flights: Changing or canceling international flights may have different rules and restrictions. Check with Southwest for specific guidelines.

Contacting Southwest Customer Service

If you encounter any difficulties while changing or canceling your flight online, or if you have specific questions, don’t hesitate to contact Southwest Airlines customer service. They are known for their friendly and helpful support staff. You can reach them through:

  1. Phone: Southwest’s customer service phone number is readily available on their website and can assist you with flight changes and cancellations.
  2. Social Media: Southwest Airlines is active on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, where they can assist you with your inquiries.
  3. Airport Assistance: If you’re at the airport and need immediate help, visit the Southwest Airlines ticket counter or gate agent for assistance.

Tips for a Smooth Experience

Here are some tips to ensure a smooth experience when changing or canceling your Southwest flight after check-in:

  1. Plan Ahead: If you foresee potential changes in your travel plans, try to make changes as early as possible to secure the best flight options.
  2. Use the Southwest App: The mobile app is a handy tool for managing your reservations on the go, especially if you’re in a hurry.
  3. Check Your Email: Keep an eye on your email for confirmation and updates regarding your flight changes or cancellations.
  4. Be Patient: Customer service lines can get busy, especially during peak travel times. Have patience when contacting Southwest support.
  5. Know Your Rights: Familiarize yourself with Southwest’s policies and your rights as a passenger to make informed decisions.


Southwest Airlines flexibility and customer-centric approach make changing or canceling your flight after check-in a relatively stress-free process. By understanding their policy and following the steps outlined in this guide, you can efficiently manage your travel plans, even in unexpected situations. Remember to stay informed about fare rules, time limits, and any fare differences, and don’t hesitate to reach out to Southwest’s excellent customer service if you need assistance. With these tools at your disposal, you can navigate flight changes and cancellations with confidence.