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New reservation system and ticket changes

Active Member

Beginning in late March 2017, I have not been able to change a ticket online for a lower fare.  If I use the "Change Ticket" feature and select the same flights, it gives me an error message and won't let me rebook.  I sent an email to Customer Service, and the email reply told me to use the "Change Ticket" feature and select the same flights and rebook at the lower fare.  In other words, the email suggested that I do exactly what I had been trying to do.  It also said I could call the 800 number if I was having technical issues.  But I didn't want to tie up a phone representative making $30-$50 price reductions, so I left it alone for a week to see if the system might get adjusted.

 

Now it is early April 2017, and I tried again.  I used the "Change Ticket" feature and saw cheaper prices but it still wouldn't let me book the same time slots, so I thought the system must want me to cancel the more expensive ticket, then book a new less expensive one.  Big mistake. Milliseconds later, the price of my new replacement ticket was $103 higher rather than $31 lower - both legs of the trip went up, so I won't be doing that again. 

 

I appreciate that it is a new computer system and maybe they have not worked out the glitches.  I also know that duplicate bookings are discouraged because the airline wants to sell the seat and passengers only have one body per seat (unless they are trying to book a seat for their cello).   But this change seems like this would really ramp up the phone calls to the service center. 

 

Or is this a new policy?  That is to say, Southwest still does not have change fees, but you actually have to change the flight - no more rebooking the same flight to get a better price.

 

Maybe this rebooking is not common, but I use Southwest for my Monday-Friday commute, and I see lots of the same people on my regular flight, so it is not totally UNcommon.  Any thoughts?

15 REPLIES 15
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Re: New reservation system and ticket changes

Active Member

I was somewhat joking about the cello, but today, I saw this article on Yahoo.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/m/44825174-a6b7-3339-b684-475b3dee8e60/ss_musician-booted-off-flight.html

This was unfortunate.  I bet a Southwest flight attendant would have determined a methodology to strap it in and let it fly.

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Re: New reservation system and ticket changes

Active Member

Good news!  I checked the system today, and the software bug has been fixed.  One can now rebook the same flights online at the lower price.  Thanks, Southwest!

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Re: New reservation system and ticket changes

Retired Community Manager

@CareforNOLA,

 

That's great news! Thanks for sharing your update! 

 

Re: New reservation system and ticket changes

Active Member

One exception to the rebooking issue.  I could not get any of the tickets changed for May 2017.  Maybe because that is the month of the system changeover?  But one month is not a problem -- I could always call Customer Service if anything came up that month.  I was just glad that was not the policy forever forward.

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Re: New reservation system and ticket changes

New Arrival

When I just tried to rebook the same flight at a cheaper fare, the system told me that by doing so I would make a refundable fare non-refundable. It seems I'd have to cancel and then rebook, but I hesitate to do so since I have seen the price change instaneously before. 

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Re: New reservation system and ticket changes

Top Contributor

That only applies to a refundable fare (Business Select, Anytime, Senior). If you've booked Wanna Get Away, just change as usual.

 

If you've booked a refundable fare, cancel. Then rebook. Refundable fares seldom change in price.

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Re: New reservation system and ticket changes

Active Member

The problem is back.  The new system will not let me rebook the same flight for a lower price if I paid dollars.  I tested it on several different flights, and it would let me change only the flights that I booked on points.  The system gives me an "oops - this price no longer available." error message.  I can call and get the price reductions booked, but that takes time (even if A List preferred with expedited service).

 

I am posting this in the hopes that the message can get to the programmers that customers want this feature back (as I am sure the SW customer service desk does).   If there is no change fee, I should not have to inconvenience the customer service desk.  Because I fly over 100 flights per year and it is coming out of my own pocket, I want to buy in advance, but also want to take advantage of sales.  It may not cause me to switch airlines but it is inconvenient.  Alternatively, if this was a planned policy change, please let me know, and I will weigh the pros and cons of booking weekly flights as soon as the schedule opens.

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Re: New reservation system and ticket changes

Top Contributor

I don't think this is a problem with rebooking, but more to do with how the new system displays pricing. If you were to actually call I don't think you'd find the cheap fare was really available. With the latest sale I checked prices on 32 flights I had booked, was able to reprice (change flight option) about half and ran into the error you're describing a handful of times. It sucks getting your hopes up about a lower fare only to find it unavailable, but some cheap fares go fast. 

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Re: New reservation system and ticket changes

Top Contributor

Right now the new booking systems still has many, many issues/bugs. On points bookings, I'm seeing the "We are unable to secure the price for the flight you selected" constantly. The difference is always just a few points -- less than a dollar. Which makes no sense at all. I'm even seeing it on cash bookings, but after multiple attempts it will sometimes go through.

 

So. Many. Bugs. 😞