On May 17, 2022, Southwest Airlines announced the introduction of a new fare class: Wanna Get Away Plus™. This is in addition to its current fare class offerings, which include Wanna Get Away®, Anytime and Business Select®. Wanna Get Away Plus is currently available for booking.
What is Wanna Get Away Plus?
Wanna Get Away Plus fares will include all the benefits currently offered for all Southwest flights, including two free checked bags, no change fees; and free TV, movies and messaging. However, what makes the Wanna Get Away Plus fares so unique is that they include a transferable flight credit, which allows Southwest fliers to transfer an unused flight credit to another traveler for future use. This can be extremely useful, as travelers can use their unused flight credit to book tickets for a child, spouse, friend, or anyone who has a Rapid Rewards account. Consumers who purchase regular Wanna Get Away fares won't have access to this valuable perk.
This fare class also offers same-day confirmed change and same-day standby privileges, which allow you to make same-day changes to your flight without consequence. With basic fares, you're required to pay the difference in fares if you change your flight. Finally, these Wanna Get Away Plus fares will earn 8X Rapid Rewards® points, compared with the 6X points earned with regular Wanna Get Away fares.
Vice president of marketing, loyalty and products for Southwest Airlines, Jonathan Clarkson, stated that "With Wanna Get Away Plus, we’re thrilled to offer a new low-fare product that enhances Southwest’s fare lineup and provides more options for our customers, while maintaining all of the benefits our customers know and love about our existing fares, and even adding some new ones."
Other changes to Southwest fare classes
Other current fare classes are also getting a boost. Anytime and Business Select fares will now enjoy a transferable flight credit and Anytime fares will also get EarlyBird automatic check-in and Priority and Express Lane benefits. A-List and A-List Preferred customers will also get same-day confirmed change and same-day standby. Finally, if you bought a Business Select or Anytime fare on or after May 17, 2022, you will also receive these new perks.
What does this mean for Southwest flyers?
The addition of this new fare class adds more flexibility to Southwest's fare options, improving its value for travelers who frequently fly with Southwest. We typically value Southwest points at 1.4 cents each, with shorter and cheaper flights offering more value than longer, more expensive flights. This redemption value is higher than what several competing airlines offer, which already makes Southwest a generally good choice for travelers. Now, with the addition of more perks and benefits to its new and existing fare classes, Southwest is a stronger competitor than ever.
Is the Wanna Get Away Plus fare class worth it?
Wanna Get Away Plus fares tend to be around $30 more expensive than Wanna Get Away fares and around $50 less expensive than Anytime fares. If earning 8X Rapid Rewards points, a transferable travel credit and a more flexible change policy are useful to you, $30 is a modest price for these benefits.
Should you try to book Wanna Get Away Plus tickets using points?
Consumers will typically get about the same $0.014 redemption value using their points to book both Wanna Get Away and Wanna Get Away Plus fares. As such, you're likely better off booking Wanna Get Away Plus fares which offer additional perks for the same redemption rate.