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Flight sold out before companion pass

cameronlaufer
New Arrival

I booked a flight for July CLE-SEA awhile ago, but I cant change my companion for this flight till June. Lo and behold one leg sold out, I was pretty surprised this far in advance. Lesson learned. 
Should I rebook myself on a different flight (more points) and then book my companion a ticket and swap it out once they are designated, or is there a chance a ticket may open up on my current reservation that i can snag for my companion then swap out? Any experience with sold out flights showing availability at some point? Thanks

8 REPLIES 8

Re: Flight sold out before companion pass

dfwskier
Rising Star

Fights go from sold out to not sold out then back to sold out all the time. It depends on whether or not passengers cancel. It's normally very fluid. This time it may also be the ariline blocking seats from being sold until it finds out whether or not it can fly the Max8s by then. If not they may have to substitute smaller planes with fewer seats,

 

If you have the points, I'd advise that you book the second flight and then watch. (note that might not work if the second flight is the same day as the first - computers catch double booking, but not if it is on different days).

 

If the first flight opens up, then cancel the second and the points go back to your account. If not, cancel the first flight and then use the second. 

Re: Flight sold out before companion pass

DancingDavidE
Top Contributer
Solution

@cameronlaufer wrote:

I booked a flight for July CLE-SEA awhile ago, but I cant change my companion for this flight till June. Lo and behold one leg sold out, I was pretty surprised this far in advance. Lesson learned. 
Should I rebook myself on a different flight (more points) and then book my companion a ticket and swap it out once they are designated, or is there a chance a ticket may open up on my current reservation that i can snag for my companion then swap out? Any experience with sold out flights showing availability at some point? Thanks


There is often a lot of action on sold out flights in the day or two leading up to the flight. This may be an uncomfortable amount of waiting for you though.

 

In hindsight, the recommended action will be to book yourself, then book the desired companion using points. Then when CP is active for them, call to have the points flight canceled and new CP added as a simultaneous step. (As opposed to booking a different companion now, and trying to change the designated companion which will introduce other challenges.)

 

If you can wait to see how it turns out, and risk buying an expensive ticket later - hold on and keep trying to add the companion with a points booking or else as companion if the next available seat comes up after you've re-designated the companion.

 

Otherwise if it is desirable to minimize risk and have a solidified itinerary, change your flight now and book the desired companion on points. When you buy your own, try buying two tickets at first to make sure there is availability - don't change and end up buying the last ticket!

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Flight sold out before companion pass

DancingDavidE
Top Contributer

I though of some additional companion pass pro-tip suggestion:

 

Book one-way trips which give you flexibility to add companion to each leg separately depending on availability and sometimes when companion may meet you for part of a trip.

 

This wouldn't solve your one leg of a connection being sold out, but in general it may be helpful.

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Flight sold out before companion pass

SWDigits
Active Member
@DancingDavidE or others, is there ever a benefit to booking a round-trip flight versus two one-way flights other than the booking convenience? The pricing is the same either way, part of the beauty of flying with Southwest. I'm askingt to double check to make sure I'm not missing something. My default is to book one-way flights, in large part, because it makes it easier to make changes, if needed.

Southwest customer | Home airport DCA
Highlighted

Re: Flight sold out before companion pass

dfwskier
Rising Star

SWDigits, I'm nt aware of any advantage in going RT os opposed to OWc- other than one booking screen..

 

Downside you've seen here

 

1) More complicated to change

2) Risk of losing $ if you no show the outbound and the airline cancels your return

3) I'm sure there are others

 

I never book RT, unless I make a mistake.

Re: Flight sold out before companion pass

DancingDavidE
Top Contributer

The main deterrent is during irregular operations where a change to the earlier flight that could affect the timing of the later flight will be automatically accounted for, but with separate one-way flights the guarantee isn’t written but we do expect Southwest to take care of you after explaining the situation.

 

Another one I thought of was the potential for extra scrutiny on international legs if the security search didn’t see you coming back.

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Flight sold out before companion pass

Jwalsh3rd
Active Member

I have never had this exact issue, but I have found that often on sold out flights, a seat opens soon after the 24 hour checking time has passed.  That is cutting it tight, but I have been rewarded in the past by good timing and continued searches to catch the flight I wanted.  

Re: Flight sold out before companion pass

DancingDavidE
Top Contributer

@Jwalsh3rd wrote:

I have never had this exact issue, but I have found that often on sold out flights, a seat opens soon after the 24 hour checking time has passed.  That is cutting it tight, but I have been rewarded in the past by good timing and continued searches to catch the flight I wanted.  


Been there, done that (very uncomfortably!)

 

Especially now in the modern age where Southwest will not intentionally oversell a flight, I would expect most of the time one or two seats will open up. There may also be more than one or two people trying for those, so keep checking regularly once you are within the 48 hour window.

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.