Southwest Direct Access (SDA) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Southwest Direct Access (SDA) requires a separate agreement with Southwest to be in place before configuration can take place.

Note: To request SDA, enter a support case (see Entering a Support Case for instructions). To set up Southwest Direct Access (SDA), see Setting Up Air and Hotel Ancillary Sources.

What is Southwest Direct Access (SDA)?

Southwest content is now fully integrated into the Deem booking flow - allow the user to book, change, and cancel on the Deem platform. You can also view upcoming Southwest Trips under Upcoming Trips and rebook them (Book Again feature).

Low-fare and Schedule Search

Does Southwest Direct Access offer all Southwest fares? 

Yes, travelers will have access to all Southwest fares including SWABIZ discounted fares, standard fares, and web-only fares. 

Does Southwest Direct Access offer SWABIZ discounted fares?

Yes, travelers will have access to all domestic private and published fares available directly through Southwest website including combining discounted SWABIZ fares with standard web-only fares.

Does the service support schedule-based search?

Yes, schedule results will be requested through SDA and presented inline with other airlines.

Does the system still use the Global Distribution System (GDS), such as Sabre, to access fares and schedules?

No, all low fare and schedule search results come through SDA.

Is all fare data stored for customers?

Yes – all fare information is stored.

Purchase and Hold 

Are travelers allowed to hold trips?

Yes, if enabled, hold trip functionality is supported in the same manner as it works today. Southwest calls the hold function "deferred ticketing".

How long are travelers allowed to hold a trip?

Travelers are allowed to hold a trip until midnight the following day Dallas [CST] time, or up to one hour prior to flight time when within 24 hours of flight time. Fares are not guaranteed until ticketed, and the actual fare rules may require purchase sooner than the hold time limit.

What happens when the last date to purchase the fare occurs before the end of the hold time?

The traveler will be advised on the Trip Confirmation and Trip Details pages when the last date to purchase the fare occurs prior to the end of the hold time.

Does the system support creating passive segments in the GDS?

Yes, but this is limited to system-generated passive segments only. PNR edits for passive segments are not supported.

Cancellation

Are travelers allowed to cancel trips online?

Yes, travelers are allowed to cancel SDA-originated trips online. Do not contact a travel agent. However, this does not include GDS-originated trips, which must be canceled through the agency or the airline directly.

Does the system auto-void SDA-originated trips when canceled within the existing 24 hour booking window?

Yes, trips canceled within 24 hours will be eligible for a full refund. Southwest does not support voiding of tickets, but offers a full refund for all tickets in which the original FOP was a credit card (regardless of fare type selected). This means that both refundable and non-refundable fare types will be refunded if canceled within 24 hours of booking.

Is the 24-hour window the same as the ARC 24-hour window of midnight the following day but not including weekends and holidays?

No, the 24-hour window is an explicit 24 hours from the time the ticket is issued, including weekends and holidays. This means that a trip purchased at 4:20 PM Monday will be eligible for a full refund up to 4:20 PM Tuesday.

What happens to an unused ticket that was exchanged for a new trip and subsequently canceled within 24 hours of booking?

The non-refundable exchange value will remain as an unused ticket on the new passenger name record (PNR) in the traveler’s unused ticket database. Any additional charges to a credit card will be refunded at the time of cancellation.

What if the traveler exchanged a refundable ticket for a new ticket and subsequently canceled the trip?

A full refund will be requested for the entire ticket including the original exchange value. The system will always request a refund for any refundable value on an unused or exchanged ticket.

Will the traveler be advised of the nonrefundable and refundable value of their ticket prior to cancellation

Yes, prior to canceling the trip the system will send a request to SDA to obtain the refundable and non-refundable value of the ticket. The traveler will also be advised on the confirmation page after cancellation the value of the ticket that was refunded and/or held as unused ticket. 

Can travelers cancel SDA originated bookings online at Southwest.com or through the SWABIZ portal?

Yes, travelers can cancel their bookings online in Travel, or by going directly to Southwest.com or the SWABIZ portal. Do not contact a travel agent. Travelers are required to contact Southwest directly at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9792) to cancel any multi-passenger itinerary.

Will travelers be able to cancel their return flight leg after having flown their outbound flight?

No, once the trip has commenced the traveler must contact Southwest directly at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1- 800-435-9792) to cancel the return flight.

Unused Tickets

Does the service support the exchanging of unused funds (unused tickets)?

Yes, the system applies any available unused funds toward the purchase of a new booking.

Can the traveler select which tickets will be exchanged?

The system uses the company-defined method to determine which ticket (up to two) will be used as part of the exchange – tickets with the nearest expiration date or greatest value. Traveler will not have the option to select or deselect the use of an unused ticket.

How many unused tickets can be applied during an exchange?

The system supports applying up to three unused tickets toward the purchase of a new booking.

Are refundable tickets held as unused tickets?

The system will always request a refund for a fully refundable or partially refundable ticket at the time of cancelation or change of a trip. The traveler will be provided a breakdown of the portion to be refunded and any remaining balance held as an unused ticket.

Can refundable tickets be uploaded as an offline unused ticket?

Yes, the system allows for a refundable ticket to be uploaded as an unused ticket. The system treats this unused ticket the same as any other unused ticket, and applies it to the purchase of a new trip. The system retains any residual portion in the unused ticket database. The system does not have a method to refund offline unused tickets through SDA. 

Does the system validate Southwest offline unused tickets?

Yes, the system validates each Southwest booking through Southwest during the upload process. The system rejects Southwest unused tickets that do not have any available funds for exchange – this could be due to a ticket already used, a bad record locator, a name mismatch on the ticket, or an expired ticket. Once a Southwest ticket is validated through the service, it is marked in the database as validated and cannot be removed from the unused ticket database until all funds are used.

Is there a minimum residual value that an unused ticket must have to be kept in the unused ticket database or offered up as part of an exchange?

There is no minimum residual value for an unused ticket. The system retains any positive ticket value and applies it to the purchase of a new ticket based on existing logic. Do SDA bookings that are canceled follow the existing display settings for auto-void, auto-refund, exchange refundable to nonrefundable ticket, and exchange nonrefundable to refundable ticket? No, if change/cancel is enabled the system processes SDA bookings based on internal rules for retaining unused tickets, auto-refunding, and exchanges:

  •  The system will always request a refund for refundable tickets where applicable, and retain nonrefundable tickets as unused tickets during a cancellation.
  •  The system will always offer up a ticket for exchange during a change flow regardless of the fare type of the original ticket. This can result in a non-refundable ticket being exchanged for a refundable ticket and a refundable ticket for a nonrefundable ticket. In the event there is any residual value during the exchange, the system will credit refundable funds or retain nonrefundable as an unused ticket.

How long does an SDA ticket remain in the unused ticket database?

SDA unused tickets remain in the unused ticket database until all the funds are used, the ticket expires, or the validation returns a zero exchangeable value. SDA tickets are valid for exchange for one year from the date of issue, with the understanding that all segments of a new ticket must be flown prior to the expiration of the exchange ticket.

Payment Options

What forms of payment does the service support?

The service supports either credit cards or unused funds (unused tickets) as form of payments. Southwest accepts the following credit card types – VI, CA, DS, AX, DC, and TP.

Can travelers use LUV vouchers or gift cards as a form of payment?

Not at this time. LUV vouchers and gift cards support are planned for a later phase of the SDA integration.

Are site cards supported as part of the service?

Yes, site cards are supported as valid forms of payment, as long as it is a one of the following credit card types – VI, CA, DS, AX, DC, and TP. The site card requires a billing address. See Enabling Site Payment Cards for details.

Site Configuration

Are there any policy settings specific to the service?

There are no specific policy settings, and all existing policy settings behave the same. SDA-sourced flight results are treated equally among all other sourced content.

Should we enable the web fare policy?

No, the web fare policy setting applies only to TravelFusion-sourced content and does not apply to SDA sourced content.

Do we need to enable airline web fare booking capabilities in display configuration in order to retrieve SDA sourced content?

No, the enable airline web fare booking capability applies only to TravelFusion-sourced content.

Why is the SWABIZ ID required for ancillary configuration?

Southwest requires that all transacting customers have an existing corporate agreement on file and a dedicated SWABIZ ID.

What else do I need to consider before enabling this service?

Passenger name record (PNR) string edit changes or additions may be needed, which Deem can help you make. Also, some display configuration changes may be needed to enable certain fare types. See Adding or Editing a Display Configuration for instructions on changing display configurations.

Can an agency use their existing SWABIZ ID in behalf of their customers?

No, Southwest will be matching the company name and SWABIZ ID sent over as part of any request. If a SWABIZ ID is used that is not associated with the transacting customer, the airline may reject the booking.

Can service fees be applied to just SDA-sourced bookings?

Yes, the service fee configuration has an option to apply to air web fare bookings which includes Southwest. The configuration requires the administrator to specify the carrier code WN in order to apply the fee to SDA-sourced Southwest flights. See Adding or Changing Agency Settings for instructions, and Ancillary Sources of Travel Search Results for details about Southwest.

Does the air web fare service fee apply to Southwest bookings confirmed and fulfilled in the GDS?

No, the system will only apply the air web fare service fee to Southwest flight option sourced and confirmed through SDA.

How many passengers may I book on one reservation?

Up to eight passengers may be booked on one reservation.

Rapid Rewards

Does the service support passing the travelers rapid reward number to Southwest?

Yes, rapid reward numbers are passed through and Southwest validates at the time the trip is placed on hold and/or purchased.

What happens if the rapid reward number is incorrect?

If the rapid reward number is incorrect or the traveler name does not match what is on the account, the traveler will be alerted on the Trip Confirmation page that the number was not passed through and to contact the airline directly to have it added.

Will travelers receive bonus rewards when offered by Southwest as part a promotion?

Travelers will receive bonus points as part of rapid rewards promotions that do not have a restriction to online only bookings. Travelers will not receive bonus points for promotions that require booking online either through Southwest.com or the SWABIZ portal.

Change Trip

Are travelers allowed to change their destination as part of a change flow involving an SDA originated booking?

Travelers are allowed to change their travel dates/times but not the origin or destination. Change to origin/destination will be included in a subsequent phase of the SDA implementation.

Can travelers change any SDA-originated booking?

Travelers can change all one-way and round trip SDA-originated bookings online in Travel. In order to change multiple-city trips, travelers must contact Southwest directly at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9792).

Can travelers change SDA-originated bookings online at Southwest.com or through the SWABIZ portal?

No, travelers must change their bookings online in Travel, or by calling Southwest directly at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9792). Southwest restricts changes through its website to bookings made through the website.

Can travelers change their return flight leg after having flown their outbound flight?

No, once the trip has commenced, the traveler must contact Southwest directly at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9792) to change the return flight.

Passenger Name Record (PNR) Documentation

Does the system support custom PNR edit strings for entering passive flight segments in the agency GDS?

No, the system supports only system-generated passive segments if the service is enabled and SDA is the booking source.

Does the system document unused tickets in the agency PNR when an unused ticket is offered as part of an exchange or during a change trip flow?

Yes, the system will capture as part of the PNR XML all exchange details including any add collect or residual funds. The site will need to use either the predefined PNR edits to capture this in the GDS PNR or write their own PNR edits based on customer need.

Are other PNR string changes needed?

It is possible other string changes will be needed. If you are not sure, enter a support ticket. To learn about customizing the PNR, see Customizing the Passenger Name Record.

Auto Check-in Feature

To read about the Auto Check-in Feature, see FAQ for Deem Check-in Service Change.

Reporting

Are Southwest Direct Access bookings reported?

Yes. Southwest Direct Access activity is reported from Southwest along with any other SWABIZ activity.