A Hyper-Specific Life Hack to Save Money on Airfare

A Southwest airplane landing at the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
Photo: southwestair/Instagram

I really have no allegiance to any airline aside from the one that will take the least of my money, and even then, I often realize I am wrong (Frontier: fuck you!!). BUT, I always try my luck at the seasonal Southwest sale, that magical time of year (that seems to come at least once a month, now that I think about it) when you can book travel across the U.S. for “One-Way As Low AS $59.”

My summer has been packed with lots of travel, mostly for a dear friend’s wedding, and for my latest trip, from Austin to New Orleans, I opted to save on airfare and drive. Months after planning that August trip, however, I decided I wanted to go back to New Orleans in September, this time for a conference, and debated whether I wanted to spend the $300 on flights or drive again.


Southwest kindly made up my mind for me when I saw they had another one of their sales running—$213 later my flights were booked (from the unfortunately small Austin airport!!!).

HOWEVER, months later, aka TODAY, Southwest, via an ad in my Twitter feed, told me they were having their sale AGAIN. So, out of curiosity, I checked to see if the price on tickets for New Orleans trip had changed, and they had! This time, my return flight was almost $40 cheaper, the GALL!!!

I had to be able to get that money back somehow, right? Indeed I was! After a very simple Google search, I learned I could “change” my flight on Southwest for free to the same flight, but pocket the change in cost as a reimbursement to use on a later flight.

Look at those savings!
Screenshot: Southwest

Yes! That’s it, that’s the life hack! You can do it all online with your flight confirmation number and name—just pop that information into this field, check to see if your flight has decreased in price, select your same flight as the one you want to “change” that existing flight to, and profit!!! I saved $38, which will now go toward one-and-a-half fancy-ass crawfish etouffee dinners during my trip.


To be clear, this really only works if you plan on using Southwest in the future, because you’re getting a credit, not a reimbursement, but for all the other bullshit fees other airlines charge for a flight change, Southwest is my Queen.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

About the author

Samantha Grasso

Splinter Staff Writer, Texan