Major U.S. Airline Announces New Ticket Type With Added Perks
The airline has yet to announce the price of its new ticket, but it's expected to go on sale in the coming months.
As Southwest Airlines looks to stand out and attract business travelers in a crowded market, it's getting creative with its fare options. The company announced Thursday it will launch a new ticket type, "Wanna Getaway Plus," which sits above its cheapest offering and below two higher price points.
Southwest anticipates customers paying up for slightly more features than its most basic option provides. Those extras include the ability to cancel flights and transfer the credit to someone who belongs to the airline's frequent flier program and same-day flight changes that won't incur additional fees.
Currently, Southwest customers who select the cheapest ticket option receive a flight credit valid for 12 months in the case of cancellation, but only those who pay the higher prices are eligible for a refund. And while those with the cheapest rates aren't charged if they choose to change or cancel a flight, they may have to pay more to switch to another flight on the same day.
The new fare option doesn't come as a huge surprise, as airlines continue to increasingly segment their services, favoring an a la carte pricing model that gets customers to open their wallets for everything from extra leg room to seat selection.
Still, per NerdWallet, Southwest has managed to stay ahead of competitors where the lowest fees are concerned; it doesn't charge for seat selection and offers the lowest baggage fees (it allows passengers to check up to two bags for free). Additionaly, the airline was once a standout for its nonexistent flight-change fees, but other airlines have since adopted more flexible policies as a result of the pandemic.
The airline has yet to announce the price of its new ticket, but it's expected to go on sale in the coming months. Executives have also said the change won't eliminate any benefits from its cheapest fares.
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