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Southwest Airlines Announces New Fare Details, Plus New Perks To Current Fares

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Southwest Airlines teased that a new fare structure was coming in late 2021. The low-cost airline has now released details, adding a fourth level of fares to its flights.

The changes will be coming in the late second quarter, about the time summer travel kicks into full gear.

The three previous levels — Business Select, Anytime, and Wanna Get Away — will remain in place. Wanna Get Away Plus joins them as the newest option and an improvement over the lowest level, Wanna Get Away, without the status of the top tiers.

The airline has yet to say how much more the new level will cost compared to the cheaper Wanna Get Away fares that most customers use. The new level will give passengers more frequent-flyer points, the ability to fly standby at no additional cost, and other perks.

“The airline industry from our perspective is a repeat customer business,” said Andrew Watterson, Southwest’s chief commercial officer. “A quality experience brings customers back for their next flight.”

Watterson emphasized that while other airlines tend to remove perks from their product, then add them back on at an extra cost, Southwest has a completely different attitude.

“We are not taking anything away,” he said.

The new fare level will include the same benefits all passengers get on Southwest flights, including two free checked bags and no change fees.

In addition, Wanna Get Away Plus offers transferable flight credits, more flexibility with same-day confirmed change and same-day standby, and Rapid Rewards points at eight times the cost of the fare.

Watterson said the desire of the company is to have four distinct levels and let the customer decide which best fits their needs.

He noted Southwest officials will monitor the program once it’s launched. Success will be measured by both customer satisfaction and financial rewards for the company.

Here is a breakdown of the features of each level:

Business Select

This is the top level and includes every feature available to travelers.

  • 12 times the fare for Rapid Rewards points
  • Transferable flight credits to other Rapid Rewards members
  • Same-day confirmed change
  • Same-day standby list
  • Refundable tickets
  • Automatic check-in 36 hours before your flight, giving you priority boarding
  • Premium drinks on flights of at least 176 miles

Anytime

This is the second level of fares.

  • 10 times the fare for Rapid Rewards points
  • Transferable flight credits to other Rapid Rewards members
  • Same-day confirmed change
  • Same-day standby list
  • Refundable tickets
  • Automatic check-in 36 hours before your flight, giving you priority boarding after Business Select passengers

Wanna Get Away Plus

This is the newest level starting in late Spring.

  • Eight times the fare for Rapid Rewards points
  • Transferable flight credits to other Rapid Rewards members
  • Same-day confirmed change
  • Same-day standby list

Wanna Get Away

This is the economy level.

  • Six times the fare for Rapid Rewards points
  • Same-day confirmed change and same-day standby list, although fare differences may apply

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