Southwest Extends Their Schedule Through March, 2016 & Why You Should Book in Advance

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southwest schedule extension march 2016

Southwest Schedule Extension through Next March

Southwest has announced that as of tomorrow June 30, 2015 they will be extending their schedule out through March 8, 2016.¬†With Southwest points now being “flexible”, these extensions are a good reminder that it most likely pays to book early.

Up until recently, Southwest’s points were worth a fixed value. The amount of points required was tied directly to the cost of the ticket. Unfortunately that isn’t the case anymore. As flights and routes get full, the cost in points increases dramatically.

southwest schedule extension march 2016

You can see that practice at work in my post from this morning. For flights during a normal week, points were worth 1.7 to 1.8 cents each in some cases. When flying during peak times, the value of points dropped significantly. This is going to continue to be the case, especially if you want to travel at the last minute or during peak times.

As Kenny at Miles 4 More points out, a ticket price may increase 5% as flights fill up, but the points cost may increase upwards of 10-12%. For this reason, why not try to plan out some trips? Since Southwest bookings are fully cancelable, it makes sense to lock something in now. For that reason, I use these schedule releases as a reminder to search and book.

Conclusion

Generally the schedule is loaded into the system pretty early in the morning, so you should be able to book around the time you wake up tomorrow. Right now the schedule is open through January 4, 2016 so we are only gaining a couple of months. With that said, use these extensions to book some flights, check the prices on your current flights and daydream about all of the amazing places you will go.


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4 COMMENTS

  1. Shawn … I have reservations in Aruba over President’s holiday, 2016. I’ll need to book out of BWI. Before I call Southwest, maybe you can answer a question? I have the companion pass through the end of 2015. Can I book now and still use the companion pass for next year after it expires? I do have a plan to get the companion pass again in January, 2016 using the Marriott flight & hotel package. What do you think I need to do? I’d like to get the flights now. In January there might not be flights available and if there are, they’ll cost large amounts of points.

      • I called SW and they told me what you told me. They suggested I book 2 R/T w/ points now and come January when I get the companion pass again, give them a call. They will cancel one of the R/T tickets and make every effort to immediately turn around and book my companion in the same slot.

        • Since Aruba during President’s week is such an immensely popular destination, be prepared for the possibility that, by the time you get your Companion Pass in January, your flight might be sold out, meaning you would not get your points for the second ticket back. I would definitely book my flights immediately using points and hope for the best.

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