7 Perks You Get With Southwest Airlines' New Fare Class (and 4 You Don't)

Learn more about Southwest Airlines’ new fare class and its benefits, including transferable flight credit and same-day confirmed changes.
Updated April 11, 2024
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Southwest Airlines 737-800 Max aircraft

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Southwest is famous for its policy of two free checked bags and not charging fees for changes or cancellations. And now it’s raising the bar on customer satisfaction by adding a new fare class — Wanna Get Away Plus — with more impressive benefits, including transferable flight credit.

Let’s see what other perks Wanna Get Away Plus does (and doesn’t) have to offer.

8X Rapid Rewards

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You typically earn Rapid Rewards points on any Southwest fare if you’re a Rapid Rewards member. This could be a helpful way to pay for a flight and then earn points to put toward an award flight in the future. But the amount you can earn varies by fare class from 6X to 12X points.

Wanna Get Away Plus slots in at 8X points on paid flights, between the 6X points on Wanna Get Away and 10X points on Anytime fares. Business Select flights earn 12X points.

Pro tip: You might be able to earn additional rewards by purchasing your fares with one of these Southwest credit cards.

Transferable flight credits

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Likely the most important new benefit for many frequent Southwest flyers, transferable flight credits, lets you transfer a Southwest flight credit to another Rapid Rewards member. This perk is available on Wanna Get Away Plus, Anytime, and Business Select fares.

With this benefit, you have more options to use your credit before it expires. If you can’t use it, simply transfer it to someone else who can.

Same-day confirmed change perk

Aleksej/Adobe Passenger traveler looking at window in airplane

Use Southwest’s same-day change benefit to swap your flight for a same-day option with an identical origin and destination. This means you could switch to an earlier or later flight as long as you’re flying to and from the same airports.

You get a free same-day change with Wanna Get Away Plus, Anytime, and Business Select fares. Wanna Get Away fares also provide a same-day change, but you typically have to pay any applicable fare difference.

Same-day standby list

pressmaster/Adobe multiracial people standing in queue to check in in airport hall

If you can’t make a same-day change to your flight because there aren’t any open seats available, use the same-day standby benefit. This perk puts you on a standby list to grab a seat on a different flight if one becomes available.

You’re able to use this benefit for free if you have a Wanna Get Away Plus, Anytime, or Business Select fare. Wanna Get Away fares also offer this perk, but you typically have to pay any applicable fare difference.

Two free checked bags

Tyler Olson/Adobe woman scanning tag on luggage at airport check-in

One of the huge benefits of flying Southwest Airlines is receiving two free checked bags. This perk is available for all Southwest flight routes and all Southwest fares, including the new Wanna Get Away Plus option.

The airline industry as a whole has moved toward charging passengers to check any bags at all, including on many international flights. This is causing more travelers to look for ways to reduce the financial stress of travel. However, Southwest is sticking to its principles and continues to offer this amazing benefit.

No cancellation or change fees

bearinmind/Adobe Asian man looking at the computer at home

It’s no surprise that travel can be expensive. So, it’s frustrating to be nickel-and-dimed by airlines for any small change to your plans, even if they’re out of your control.

Fortunately, Southwest doesn’t charge any fees for changes or cancellations. This is true for any Southwest fare, including the basic Wanna Get Away option and the new Wanna Get Away Plus fare.

Credit if your flight is cancelled

REDPIXEL/Adobe booking flight travel traveler search reservation holiday page

You typically receive a Southwest flight credit if a flight is canceled (by you or Southwest) or one of your fares is downgraded. You have 12 months to use the credit if you purchased your fare with a credit card.

This benefit is included with all Southwest fares, which offers reassurance that you can cancel a flight if your plans change. A flight credit isn’t quite as nice as receiving the money back directly, but it could be helpful for planning another Southwest flight later on.

No refundable ticket

sosiukin/Adobe one hundred dollar bills

A refund from Southwest means 100% of your ticket value is refunded to your original form of payment. This is typically much more useful than receiving a flight credit because you might want to use the refunded money as an easy way to boost your bank account.

Wanna Get Away and the new Wanna Get Away Plus fares don’t include refundable tickets. You can receive flight credits with these fares, but you would need to upgrade to an Anytime or Business Select fare if you want the option for a full refund.

No access to priority and express lanes

Dmitry/Adobe Posted sign in an airport read General boarding here

Southwest offers priority and express lanes in select locations to help speed up the process of checking in and getting through security lines. Where available, priority lanes are found at Southwest check-in counters while express lanes are found at security checkpoints.

This benefit isn’t included on Wanna Get Away or Wanna Get Away Plus fares. It’s been included on Business Select fares for some time, but it’s also been added as a new benefit on Anytime fares.

No automatic check-in

pressmaster/Adobe woman giving documents while passing check in in airport

If you’re familiar with Southwest, you know you typically have to check in for your flight 24 hours before departure. This is to help ensure you board the plane quicker and choose a seat since seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

It can be a stressful process, especially if you have an early flight. You would have to get up early the day before your departure to make sure you get checked in.

The benefit of automatic check-in removes the stress of checking in yourself and is typically earlier than the standard check-in of 24 hours before. However, this benefit is only included with Anytime and Business Select fares.

No free premium drink

Chalabala/Adobe Two drinking glasses of sparkling wine against airplane window

Southwest flights traveling 175 miles or less typically only serve water. But if you’re traveling 176 miles or more, you could get a premium alcoholic drink if you’re 21 or older.

This often comes with an additional charge for anyone on a Wanna Get Away, Wanna Get Away Plus, or Anytime fare. But a premium drink is included on Business Select fares.

Bottom line

Markus Mainka/Adobe Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 airplanes Phoenix Airport in Arizona

Southwest has a new fare called Wanna Get Away Plus that slots between the Wanna Get Away and Anytime fares. It comes with many of the same classic Southwest benefits such as two free checked bags, but you also get new perks that include transferable flight credit and same-day confirmed changes.

These benefits could prove valuable and help you save money depending on your travel preferences and each unique situation. For more help with saving money on travel expenses, check out our list of best travel credit cards.

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Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI® Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®, is a Senior Credit Cards Writer at FinanceBuzz. For over a decade, he's leveraged credit card points and miles to travel the world. His expertise extends to other areas of personal finance — including loans, insurance, investing, and real estate — and you can find his insights on The Washington Post, Debt.com, Yahoo! Finance, and Fox Business.

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