When airlines permanently removed change fees during the pandemic, it took away one of Southwest’s key differentiation points, their fee-free flight changes.
Southwest still provides 2 free checked bags and doesn’t sell basic economy fares, but clearly they felt they had to do more to differentiate themselves as being the more friendly option.
Effective today, Southwest flight credits, which are received when you cancel or downgrade a flight, will no longer expire. That applies to currently active flight credits and any credits issued in the future. Even if your flight credit shows an expiration date, it won’t expire.
Note that Southwest LUV vouchers still do expire.
You can always cancel a Southwest flight and get a flight credit, as long as it’s at least 10 minutes before the flight departure time.
Southwest is also waiving the fee to reinstate credits that expired in the past 6 months.
It’s also worth noting that Southwest tickets under $109 count towards AMEX airline fee reimbursement. With this method you can bank flight credits that never expire!