The Way Refunds Are Distributed Still Depends On Your Fare Type
Depending on the type of ticket you buy, your refund may have limitations. Southwest’s cheapest fares, Wanna Get Away, will have refunds in the form of a flight credit that must be redeemed within one year from the original purchase date. You have your choice of credits from Anytime and Business Select fares: Choose a future flight credit or have funds returned back to your original form of payment.
What’s even better is that there is no limit to the number of times that you can change your flight without paying a fee.
Airplane Mask Mandate Extended To April 1: What You Need To Know
TSA has again extended the requirements for masks on airplanes and public transit, but US senators are objecting.
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The TSA’s mask requirement applies to airplanes, buses, trains, subways and more.
At the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Protection, the Transportation Security Administration recently decided to extend the requirements for masks on public transportation — including airplanes — until April 18. The federal transportation mask mandate went into effect on Feb. 1, 2021 and has been extended several times in the past year.
The federal mandate requires travelers to wear masks on buses, subways, trains, ferries and other forms of public transit. Supporters of the mask requirement have expressed continued concern for the safety of immunocompromised passengers, people with underlying health conditions, and those who aren’t eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, such as children age 5 and younger.
The current mandate requires all passengers to wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth, with the exception of when they’re eating or drinking. Public transportation increases a person’s risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 since people are in close contact with one another.
You Can Rebook The Same Flight To Save Money
Not only can you cancel or change your flight to save money, but the same is also true for rebooking the same flight. Southwest Airlines has fare sales on a regular basis. If you find the same flight for less, you can rebook your flight to pocket the difference . This is a rarity among airlines.
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Connecting Or Delayed Flights
If you booked an itinerary from a U.S. state or territory to another U.S. state or territory and the itinerary has you taking a connecting flight through a foreign country, CDC does not require that you be tested. An example of this situation is an itinerary booked between the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. mainland via Japan.
However, some U.S. state and local governments and foreign governments may have their own testing requirements for air passengers arriving in their jurisdictions that may differ from U.S. federal requirements. Always check and follow recommendations or requirements related to travel to your destination in addition to U.S. federal requirements.
Yes. Any flight entering the U.S. from a foreign country, even for a connection, will require testing before departure.
If your itinerary has you arriving to the US via one or more connecting flights, your test can be taken within 1 day before the departure of the first flight.
You also have the option of getting tested en route during one of your connections. However, you should consider where in the connecting airport testing is available and if you would be able to access it while in transit. If you choose this strategy and are unable to get a test en route, you will not be able to board your flight to the United States. You should also be aware that if you test positive en route, you will not be allowed to continue your travel and may need to stay at that location until you end isolation.
What About The Air Onboard
- All of our aircraft are equipped with High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters, which remove 99.97% of airborne particlessimilar to technology found in hospitals.
- Our aircraft are designed with an air circulation system that mixes in fresh air from outside the plane with air inside the plane.
- Full exchange of cabin air with fresh, outdoor air and HEPA filtered air every 2-3 minutes.
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How Air Travel In General Has Changed
Of course, its not just the experience of flying with Southwest that has changed since spring 2020 flying in general is a very different experience than it used to be.
For example, touchpoints and employee-customer interactions have been reduced throughout many airports as passengers are encouraged to use digital boarding passes, and check in and tag their own luggage. Plus, masks on any form of public transportation, including in airports and on planes, is federally mandated.
Vaccines, negative tests or quarantines are not only recommended but required in many destinations. Flight cancellations have been on a roller coaster ride as COVID spikes cause employee shortages. And the overall number of passengers is steadily increasing to pre-pandemic levels amid it all. To be sure, the pandemic has likely changed air travel for good.
Were Onboard With The Experts
We continue to evaluate our policies and procedures based on public health guidance, scientific research, and advice from medical and aviation organizations, such as:
- Harvards T.H. Chan School of Public Health
- The International Air Transport Association
- U.S. Department of Defenses U.S. Transportation Command
- Our own medical professionals and infectious disease experts that weve retained to advise us during the pandemic
To read more about recent studies and current COVID-19 research, .
*Measuring 0.3 micrometers or greater in diameter passing through the filter.
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What Are Your Tips For International Travel
Kuritzkes noted that there are mandates for people traveling internationally.
“You can’t go to most countries unless you’re vaccinated or have a negative test and you can’t come back to the U.S. without having a negative test, so there are some burdens that are imposed on the traveling public,” he said.
“I think, in this case, it’s striking the right balance,” Kuritzkes said of international guidelines. “The biggest plus side of having a mandate would be just encouraging that many more people to get vaccinated, but it has its issues.”
Tips For Traveling Internationally Without A Vaccine
Get travel insurance with Cancel For Any Reason coverage since entry requirements are changing constantly. What happens if you book a nonrefundable flight and hotel, and a week before your departure, your destination stops allowing in unvaccinated travelers? If you have travel insurance with CFAR, youll be able to cancel your trip and get your nonrefundable deposits back so long as changes arent made at the last minute. For example, with CFAR coverage from Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection, “you may only be eligible if you purchase CFAR at the time of your base policy purchase, insure your full trip cost, and cancel more than 48 hours prior to departure,” according to the company’s website.
Confirm entry eligibility for your must-have experiences, like restaurants, museums, shopping malls or bars and clubs. Double-check that your hotel will allow you entry as well.
Research COVID-19 testing sites in the area before departure. Will you need to travel far to get your test? Consider travel time when making a test appointment.
Check if there’s an app that your destination country uses that will accept your pre-departure negative COVID-19 test result. This step could make it easier to visit any bars, hotels, shops, restaurants and museums youd like to check out.
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How Can I Fly Safely
The doctors’ safety advice is simple: wear a mask. And wear it as often as possible.
“I advise people who are traveling by air, bus or train to wear a good, well-fitting mask that has good filtration,” Doron said.
“That’s absolutely key,” Hamer added. “People should wear a good mask and wear it for the whole time they’re on a plane, anytime they’re in a crowd, waiting to line up to board the plane, any public transportation that they might take to and from the airline.”
The biggest risk for an in-flight outbreak is during mealtime on longer flights, Hamer noted, because people are generally being served around the same time.
“I think being really careful with any mask removal during flights is going to be really important,” he said.
Covid Test For Domestic Flights With Southwest Airlines
If you are planning to travel with Southwest and youve got no clue whether a negative covid test is required to fly with Southwest or not, then go through the points mentioned below
Now, if you’re clear on the topic of the test report but you havent got your first jab, and you are wondering whether youll be asked to carry and show your vaccination report, and the query you have is Does Southwest require covid vaccine to fly, in that case, a piece of detailed information is stated below for your perusal
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Requirements For Travelling Within Australia
As some states and territories prepare to fully open their borders, there will be some COVID-safe requirements for travel and we want to help you know what to expect.
If you’ve been identified as a confirmed COVID-19 case or close contact, you should follow the health guidance of the jurisdiction you’re in and travelling to before you travel.
Information on travelling to:
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If you’re traveling internationally, whether a COVID-19 test is required largely depends on your destination as rules and regulations vary widely. The CDC strongly recommends that people don’t leave the country until they’re fully vaccinated.
All air passengers coming into the U.S. from another country, including U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated individuals, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result no more than three days before a given trip or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past three months.
The testing requirement doesn’t require to children under 2 years old.
Unvaccinated people are encouraged to undergo a viral test 1-3 days before their trip when traveling inside the country as well as internationally, the CDC said. Along with social distancing and washing their hands often, unvaccinated individuals should get tested using a viral test 3-5 days after returning home, the agency added.
Even those who receive negative test results are advised to stay home and self-quarantine for the full recommended period of seven days.
Major U.S. airlines have also created guidance to help passengers determine whether their trip requires a negative COVID-19 test result and what other precautions, if any, are necessary.
Chicago-based United Airlines offers testing options to customers flying on certain routes and to select destinations, the company said on its website, adding it “continues to explore more ways to make COVID-19 testing more accessible.”
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A Growing Number Of Destinations
Southwest Airlines started out as a regional airline in Texas. Now, it is one of the largest U.S. carriers. Southwest now serves over 100 destinations across the U.S. and 10 additional countries.
If you’re looking to fly within the U.S., Mexico, Central America or the Caribbean, there’s a good chance that Southwest can take you there. This gives you plenty of options in planning your next long-awaited vacation.
» Learn more:Southwest Airlines sweet spots
How You Can Stay Protected If The Mandate Is Lifted
If you’re concerned about COVID-19 while traveling, there are a few measures you can take to help keep yourself protected.
- Wear a face mask while in flight.
- Choose a window seat, if possible — this exposes you to fewer people than an aisle seat.
- Stay up to date on your vaccines.
- Wipe down your seat and tray with a disinfectant cloth.
- Wash or sanitize your hands before eating.
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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
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What Some Of Our Customers Are Saying
Follow us on Twitter at to read more Customer experiences.
Replying to Flew last weekend and will be in two weeks! Felt safe and the @SouthwestAir crew was phenomenal!!
Thank you for a great travel experience on my round trip from MCI > BNA. First time flying in a while but felt perfectly safe and appreciate the level of service that you always provide!
Love Southwest Im an essential worker flying since last March! All good and no problems! Thanks Southwest!!
Will There Be Food And Beverage Service On My Flight
We are serving a selection of non-alcoholic beverages and snacks on flights over 250 miles, when available. Straws are available on request.
As always, youre welcome to bring your own non-alcoholic beverages onboard. However, FAA regulations prohibit passengers from drinking alcohol on the aircraft unless it is served by the air carrier.
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Changing Or Canceling Your Flight
We dont charge fees to change or cancel flights because we understand things change and that shouldnt cost you a fee. If you cancel a nonrefundable ticket in accordance with our No Show policy, it is converted into travel funds that can be used for a future trip. Anytime and Business Select® fares are refundable but can also be used for a future trip if youd prefer that.
Learn more about travel funds on Southwest.com. We hope these policies give our Customers options and priceless flexibility when planning your next getaway.
What Is Contact Tracing
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requires all Passengers boarding an international flight to the U.S. to provide their contact information as listed below within 72 hours before their flight departs. The information may be used by U.S. public health officials to follow up with Passengers who may have been exposed to a contagious disease before or during travel. If there was exposure, public health officials have the information theyneed toenable prompt public health follow-up such as contacting those who may have been exposed and monitoring their health for signs and symptoms.
What information will I need to provide?
- Your name
- Where you’re staying while in the U.S.
- Primary phone number including country code, at which you can be contacted while in the United States
- Secondary phone number including country code
- Email address
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Vaccination Report With Southwest Airlines
The below-mentioned points will help you to understand the situations where youll be asked to showcase your vaccination status while flying with Southwest Airlines
- You wont be asked to showcase your vaccination certificate if you are flying to or from any domestic location.
- In case you are traveling from an international location, then youll have to keep your vaccination certificate handy and attach it at the time of making a booking or a reservation with Southwest Airlines.
- You’ll need to show your vaccination report and your negative report if you are visiting from any containment zone as well.
If you read all the points mentioned above, then it will help you with all the situations where youll need to carry your vaccination certificate in case you are flying with Southwest Airlines to and from both domestic and international locations.
Keep Up To Date With The Latest Government Requirements
While we update this information regularly, requirements may change with short notice. Before you travel, we recommend you check with the revelant Government authority for the latest travel advice on travelling to, from and within their State or Territory.
|State or Territory|
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Why Isn’t Vaccination Proof Required For Domestic Flights
Los Angeles Times
To go into restaurants, visit gyms, go on a cruise or see the new “Spider-Man” movie in theaters, you need to show proof of vaccination in many parts of the country. But you don’t need proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to board a commercial flight within the U.S.
With coronavirus cases rising and airlines canceling thousands of flights due to outbreaks among staff, there is mounting pressure to change that.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s top infectious disease adviser, told MSNBC news Monday that it would be “reasonable to consider” a vaccination requirement for domestic airline passengers. He did not say whether he had made this recommendation to Biden.
“When you make vaccination a requirement, that’s another incentive to get more people vaccinated,” Fauci said. “If you want to do that with domestic flights, I think that’s something that seriously should be considered.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Reps. Don Beyer , Eric Swalwell and Ritchie Torres went a step further last week, asking that the Biden administration require proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result for all domestic air travel.
In November, 36 members of Congress, including Feinstein, signed a letter to Biden asking that he require such proof or a negative test results for all domestic flights as well as updated safety protocols for trains and other modes of travel.