Southwest Airlines makes pricing move its passengers need to know

There are many reasons Southwest Airlines is popular with its loyal customer base, and it’s not just because of the carrier’s generous carry-on policy.

When flying Southwest  (LUV) , passengers can board its airplanes with one carry-on bag and one personal item — such as purses, backpacks and laptop cases — for no charge.

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The airline also has an open seating policy that allows travelers to board in groups and choose their own seats.

Another perk Southwest offers is its Companion Pass, which can be earned by amassing qualifying points. This policy allows for passengers to bring a companion along to fly for for free (excluding taxes and fees) for up to two years.

In March 2023, the airline gave its customers a promo code that offered certain cardholders 20% off last-minute flight redemptions.

Available to holders of various Rapid Rewards credit cards, the offer appears to be extended for nearly another year.

Here’s how to find your promo code

The discount is available for Southwest customers who have one of the following credit cards:

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit CardSouthwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit CardSouthwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit CardSouthwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit CardSouthwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

“Log in to your Southwest Rapid Rewards account and head to the payment section, where you should find your personalized promo code for a one-time discount of 20% off a one-way or round-trip flight booked using Rapid Rewards points within 14 days of departure,” wrote Matt Moffitt for The Points Guy. “These codes are valid through Jan. 11, 2025, and if you have more than one Southwest card, you should have a separate promo code for each one.”

“We checked with TPG (The Points Guy) staff members who have one of these cards, and all confirmed that they have promo codes in their accounts,” he added.

There are a few important things to note. First, the promo code can only be used once, so it makes sense to save it for a more expensive fare where the percentage discount will save more money.

Second, the discount can only be used when the departure date of a flight is within 14 days of booking.

“It appears you can use one promo code to book up to eight people on the same itinerary — to save the most points, bring up to seven people with you,” Moffitt wrote. “You must redeem points for your ticket — this discount does not apply to cash fares.”

Also, because the promo code is personalized, only the cardholder can use it. It is valid for one-way or round-trip flights, using Wanna Get Away, Wanna Get Away Plus, Anytime and Business Select fares.

An aerial view of a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 is seen. The carrier is offering a little-known discount that can be used for significant savings.


Examples of savings using the Southwest discount

As mentioned above, the savings is worth more when it is applied to more expensive flights.

“I have the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business card and did a sample booking to fly from Austin to Honolulu next week,” Moffitt wrote. “The ticket would have cost 16,759 Rapid Rewards points, but with my discount, I could save over 3,300 points.”

The Points Guy values Southwest’s Rapid Rewards points at 1.3 cents each, so the 3,300 points equal $42.90 worth of savings in this example.

That can be contrasted with a more expensive purchase with the discount for significantly increased savings.

“To max it out, I could bring seven people along with me on a round-trip itinerary to Hawaii, dropping the total price from 338,544 points … to just 270,824 points, saving me more than 67,000 points,” Moffitt wrote.

Use of that approach would bring the amount of savings to $871.

“While it is unrealistic to expect seven of my friends to drop everything and fly to Hawaii with me in a week’s time (though maybe not, if you knew my friends), you might want to just keep this promo code in mind in case an emergency arises and you don’t have a choice but to book a last-minute trip,” Moffitt wrote.

“Or, think about a spontaneous getaway you can enjoy with loved ones,” he added. “Just be sure to use your discount code before its expiration on Jan. 11, 2025.”

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Union Capital Financial Group Ltd, registered in the British Virgin Islands, does not provide investment services inside the United States. The company only provides consulting, advisory and educational services.