Southwest Launches “Wanna Get Away Plus” Fares

Southwest Launches “Wanna Get Away Plus” Fares

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Southwest Airlines has launched a new fare type, and it might actually be good news for consumers (which sure doesn’t follow the industry trend). While we first learned about this in late March, tickets with this new fare class are now on sale, so we have a sense of pricing.

Details of Southwest’s new Wanna Get Away Plus fares

Southwest has launched Wanna Get Away Plus, which joins Southwest’s three existing fare types — Wanna Get Away, Anytime, and Business Select. This fare is available for all Southwest Airlines flights as of Tuesday, May 17, 2022, so you should now see this on southwest.com.

As it’s marketed, Wanna Get Away plus fares are a “modest buy-up from Wanna Get Away” fares, and are priced below Anytime fares. While all Southwest fares include two free checked bags and no change fees, Wanna Get Away Plus offers the following incremental perks:

  • Transferable flight credits, letting you make a one-time transfer of eligible unused flight credits to a new traveler for future use
  • More Rapid Rewards points, as you earn 8x points per dollar spent (Wanna Get Away fares earn 6x points, while Anytime fares earn 10x points)
  • Same-day confirmed flight changes and same-day flight standby

To crunch the numbers on the value proposition here:

  • I value Southwest Rapid Rewards points at 1.2 cents each, so to me the 2x incremental points per dollar spent are equivalent to a 2.4% return
  • Interestingly I’d say the ability to transfer flight credits appeals more to an occasional Southwest flyer than a frequent Southwest flyer, since the latter could easily reuse the flight credit
  • So I’d say the value of this for a frequent Southwest flyer comes down to how much you value standby or same-day confirmed flight changes; maybe this is important in markets with frequent service, but in other markets I see this being less valuable

We’ve seen airlines greatly rework their fare bands in recent years, though in almost all cases it has been in order to introduce basic economy, or other discount fares, to better compete against ultra low cost carriers. Southwest, meanwhile, has continued to avoid offering basic economy, and has been competing on product, service, and network.

For certain types of consumers, there was quite a gap between Wanna Get Away and Anytime fares, so it’s nice to see Southwest bridging that a bit, all while adding new benefits. What’s pricing like? Pulling up a fare between Tampa and Fort Lauderdale, I see that the Wanna Get Away Plus fare is $30 more than the Wanna Get Away fare, and $50 less than the Anytime fare.

Southwest Airlines has introduced a new fare type

Southwest adds perks to other fare types as well

Southwest hasn’t just introduced Wanna Get Away Plus fares, but has also added some new perks to existing premium fare bands. Here’s what has changed:

  • Anytime fares also allow credits to be transfered to other Rapid Rewards members, offer access to priority and express lanes, and offer automatic EarlyBird check-in
  • Business Select fares also allow credits to be transfered to other Rapid Rewards members

On the surface the fact that three of four Southwest fares will allow vouchers to be transfered to others is a pretty awesome feature, and differentiates Southwest from competitors. However:

  • Two of those fares also allow refunds rather than ticket credits, so it seems like you’d be better off just getting a refund
  • Frequent flyers who seek out Southwest probably would have no issues using the voucher again, and wouldn’t transfer it to someone else

Below you can find a chart comparing the various fare bands offered by Southwest.

Southwest Airlines fare classes

Bottom line

Southwest Airlines has launched a fourth fare class as of May 2022. The new fare is called Wanna Get Away Plus, and is between Wanna Get Away and Anytime fares. Compared to Wanna Get Away fares, this offers more points, transferable flight credits, and same-day confirmed changes and standby, all of which are useful perks.

The pricing is roughly in line with what I was expecting, and the Wanna Get Away Plus fares are a bit closer to Wanna Get Away than Anytime. I definitely think this is more of a niche offering. While the premium isn’t unreasonable, I’d say this all comes down to whether you value standby or same-day confirmed flight changes.

To Southwest flyers, what do you make of Wanna Get Away Plus fares?

Conversations (13)
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  1. Berta Guest

    Yea and all of the flights are outrageous.

  2. Andrew W. Guest

    $750 one way BWI to LAS 2 months out is not a discount price. You can have Southwest, wanna get away or not.

  3. chris Guest

    Even their "wanna get away" prices are now too expensive. WN has completely forgot its roots.

    1. DCAWABN Guest

      Completely agree. Even pre-Covid, WN was hardly cheaper - if at all - than the US3 for any route where there was even the slightest overlap. Several times they were considerably more expensive. On the rare occasions where they were cheaper, it was by a few dollars - certainly nothing that would sway me to choose no seat assignments and then their silly water-only Covid drink policy. I'm not quite sure what market segment they're...

      Completely agree. Even pre-Covid, WN was hardly cheaper - if at all - than the US3 for any route where there was even the slightest overlap. Several times they were considerably more expensive. On the rare occasions where they were cheaper, it was by a few dollars - certainly nothing that would sway me to choose no seat assignments and then their silly water-only Covid drink policy. I'm not quite sure what market segment they're hoping to capture anymore. Niche, point-to-point routes serving secondary cities flown by people who must check a bag and don't want to pay? People who don't fly frequently enough to know that the WN fares of the 80s/90s no longer exist? Anyone with firing neurons who can do a modicum of investigating can see there's minimal value proposition of flying WN anymore outside a few specific circumstances.

    2. drizzy2001 New Member

      Totally agree with both of you. I rarely find that Southwest is significantly cheaper than AA, UA, or DL, and is often even more expensive, all for no seat assignments, no upgrades, and often terrible itineraries. No idea what their target market is nowadays as leisure travelers have flocked to Allegiant and Frontier, but I guess we'll find out...

  4. Steve Guest

    @Ben Schlappig

    Have you flown Southwest Airlines lately

    1. Eskimo Guest

      @Steve

      Do you want to share your Southwest Airlines experience lately?

  5. Brodie Member

    After a 30 minute trip turned into a 4 hour trip on Southwest between Oahu and Maui over New Years holiday, I want to get away from Southwest. The pilot refused to fly with a broken windshield wiper. No rain in the forecast and he grounded the plane for a broken windshield wiper. All commercial airplanes should have bleed air ducts to keep the windshield clear.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Bleed air duct. Nice idea. But please stop trying to add another system to an already over complicated system.

      Now instead of pilot refuse to fly with a broken windshield wiper, they have another excuse of not flying, blocked bleed air ducts.

      Ironically, what you just suggested have now increase the probability that a system would fail and result in more delays.

  6. East2West Member

    If the fare is up to $20 more maybe, but that is pushing it even given the relative value to have an upgraded purchase.

  7. portmanteau New Member

    It's always nice to have more options. Kudos to Southwest for not removing or changing anything else.

  8. Eskimo Guest

    Why would anyone with Anytime or Business Select want to transfer their credit to someone else over getting a refund?

    And depend on how they price WGA+, this could potentially cannibalize Anytime fares as all the key flexibility is now offered with WGA+.

    My biggest concern is what will they take away from WGA in the future.

    1. Khatl Gold

      Agreed
      But that, with the same day changes on WGA+, will be great
      All comes down to what a small increment is to the fare difference, as the difference between WGA and Anytime is often significant. I assume they're going to want to keep it close to WGA to get folks to trade up for $25-$50,

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The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

DCAWABN Guest

Completely agree. Even pre-Covid, WN was hardly cheaper - if at all - than the US3 for any route where there was even the slightest overlap. Several times they were considerably more expensive. On the rare occasions where they <i>were</i> cheaper, it was by a few dollars - certainly nothing that would sway me to choose no seat assignments and then their silly water-only Covid drink policy. I'm not quite sure what market segment they're hoping to capture anymore. Niche, point-to-point routes serving secondary cities flown by people who must check a bag and don't want to pay? People who don't fly frequently enough to know that the WN fares of the 80s/90s no longer exist? Anyone with firing neurons who can do a modicum of investigating can see there's minimal value proposition of flying WN anymore outside a few specific circumstances.

1
chris Guest

Even their "wanna get away" prices are now too expensive. WN has completely forgot its roots.

1
Berta Guest

Yea and all of the flights are outrageous.

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