Southwest extends booking calendar into early 2023

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Southwest has today extended its booking calendar into early 2023. If you were looking to book flights around the December holidays, you probably want to do that sooner rather than later given the trends on domestic airfares. I just booked my holiday trips and in the five minutes between looking at dates and discussing times, some of the flights we wanted increased in price.

The Deal

  • Southwest Airlines has extended its booking calendar to January 4, 2023

Quick Thoughts

Note that if you’re booking multiple passengers, you may be able to save some points by splitting up your booking. For example, on one flight I booked, there was 1 seat left at 9,990 points. When I input 4 passengers for my family of 4, Southwest displayed a price of about 11,500 points per passenger (about 46,000 points for my family of 4). However, by booking my seat first and separately, we paid 9,990 points for my seat and 34,500 points for the other 3 passengers. That’s only a savings of 1500 points, but I’ll take a small win here and there.

I should caution though that separating your family onto different PNRs could cause a headache in the event of irregular operations, which is always a threat at peak travel periods (particularly when you mix in winter weather). The other half of the reason why I booked my seat separately is because my wife may earn a companion pass this year, in which case it would be easier to cancel my seat and re-add me as her companion if I were on a separate reservation from the beginning. If that happens, I won’t have saved any points but I’ll save myself a phone call to Southwest to see if they could split the PNR to remove me and re-add me.

Given airfare trends, I think it makes sense to book holiday travel as soon as possible (if you haven’t already). The good news with Southwest is that if the price drops later, you can always rebook and receive either a flight credit (if your new flight costs less) or the difference in points refunded. I’ll keep an eye on the flights I booked over the next few months to see if I can rebook for less.

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Robert

Call and speak to an agent if the pricing changes for the group, they can book the different prices on the same reservation.

Pat

Guess I have to wait to book into lauderdale for February. Jet blue had been like southwest but now they are open till May 2023

Barry

If you wanted to travel with Southwest over Christmas break this year, you had to be on the ball right away this morning. I booked my flights right away this morning when the calendar opened for holiday travel. About an hour later, the only thing left with Wanna Get Away fares were the flights with 5-6am departures or 1-2 am arrivals. For anyone trying to fly to south Florida, Southwest does now fly to MIA and it looks like there’s better availability than flying to FLL.

John

Tried to book a one way flight from Columbus (OH) to Sacramento (CA) at 7 AM PST this morning and there wasn’t a single flight that had WGA or WGA+ for November 27. Cheapest Anytime fare was 55k points. OUCH. Not sure if they just held back WGA fares, or if every single one on every flight combination sold out that fast (doubtful, but possible).

Chuck

I noticed the same thing this morning and I was monitoring as early as 6am ET. I first had access to the new schedule at 8am ET but when I tried immediately booking Thanksgiving flights, almost zero availability for “wanna get away” fares on that Sunday after the holiday (11/27). I believe there were many routes that they didn’t offer any of their “cheaper” fares