What Exactly is a Southwest ‘Wanna Get Away’ Fare

We all Wanna Get Away! That is, after all, the reason we love to travel. And Southwest Airlines understood this when they cleverly named one of their fare classes Wanna Get Away fares. But a clever name is one thing, and understanding how to differentiate Wanna Get Away fares from the other fares Southwest Airlines offers is another.

Southwest Airlines doesn’t offer business class, extra legroom seating or basic economy, but it does have three fare categories: Business Select, Anytime, and Wanna Get Away.

The differences aren’t as great as other airlines, but Wanna Get Away fares do come with some restrictions that you’ll want to be mindful of.

Every passenger on Southwest, even those on Wanna Get Away fares, has a shot to select a seat in the so-called “cattle call” boarding lineup.

Southwest Airlines Has Three Fare Types

Business Select – Southwest’s top fare which includes priority boarding (which means you are the first to select seats onboard), bonus Rapid Rewards Points per dollar, and a complimentary cocktail or beer. These tickets are fully refundable and you can change your ticket at any time.

When you refund these tickets the funds are applied toward future travel on Southwest Airlines for the originally ticketed passenger only. Standby travel between the same city pairs and on the original date of travel is permitted with no change in fare. This is as close as it comes to first class on Southwest.

Anytime – This is Southwest’s fully refundable “Y” fare. This fare allows you to change your ticket at any time without penalty. Standby travel between the same city pairs and on the original date of travel is permitted, and these fares are consistent across multiple dates, so there is typically little to no fare difference on changes.

Wanna Get Away – These are non-refundable fares, and encompass all of the fare buckets that aren’t business select, or full-fare “Y” refundable tickets.

Wanna Get Away is by no means a basic economy fare. Passengers still get to check two bags for free. They still have the same shot as Anytime Fare customers at getting A-group boarding. This fare comes with fewer Rapid Rewards points and flying standby on a different same day flight can cost extra. If you want to fly standby, you will have to pay the difference between what you paid and the published Anytime fare. On the plus side, there is no change fee charged on top of your fare.

You can change your flight at any time. Just keep in mind with Southwest fares go up as your travel date gets closer. Though fares are nonrefundable, you can still cancel without penalty and the fare can be applied toward future travel on Southwest Airlines for the originally ticketed passenger only.

Do All Three Fares Earn the Same Number of Rapid Rewards Points?

No. This is good to keep in mind. The estimated Rapid Rewards points earned are displayed during the booking process and are directly related to the advertised one-way base fare and fare type of the flight selected. A Business Select fare earns 12 points per dollar, while Anytime and Wanna Get Away fares earn 10 and six points per dollar, respectively. A-List and A-List Preferred Members earn a 25% and 100% bonus respectively. You can earn points on revenue tickets. You cannot earn points on nonrevenue travel, including reward and Companion Pass travel.

Those who have a Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards credit card earn an additional two points for every dollar spent on Southwest flights.

Click here to access Rapid Rewards cards and other travel cards.

Upshot

It’s best to let math be your friend when looking at Southwest Airlines fare options. Wanna Get Away fares are the airline’s lowest fares and generally the best deals. Still, the price spread between the Anytime Fare and the Wanna Get Away fare can be worth it. Depending on routes and your travel day, the spread will vary. I’ve seen the price difference be as little as $11 to go from Wanna Get Away to Anytime. In a situation like that, it may make good sense to get a flexible, refundable ticket.

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