12 Southwest Hacks For Cheap and Cheerful Flights

In the world of air travel, Southwest Airlines is the best option for vacationing on a budget. Offering low ticket fares, free choice seating, and friendly air crews, the Texas-based airline has found its way into the hearts of frequent flyers nationwide. While the airline’s prices are already low, there are still additional ways to save money while traveling Southwest . . . and we’ve done all the digging for you. When it comes to air travel hacks, look no further.

  1. Buy online: The airline offers its lowest fares online, through the company website.
  2. Click to save: Southwest’s Click ‘N Save program allows you to customize your home airports, then receive notifications whenever a new deal is available based on those preferences. This will help you determine the absolute best time to book your flights.
  3. Get rewarded: The Rapid Rewards program allows you to accumulate points with every flight, hotel stay, and travel experience; the points can then be exchanged for more flights or other prizes.
  4. Compare airports: If you’re able to fly out of multiple airports (SFO or OAK, LAX or BUR, etc.) when traveling, don’t forget to price-check each applicable location.
  5. Collect while you eat: The Rapid Rewards Dining program allows you to earn points by eating at your favorite restaurants, so it could benefit you if you’re a big fan of dining out.
  6. Check for special offers: On the Southwest webpage, there is a page labeled“Special Offers.” Within this area, you can find cheap flights and discounted airfare.
  7. Use your right to refunds: Southwest policy helps prevent early bookers from being punished, thanks to its flight credit allowances. If you book a trip only for the ticket prices to drop a few weeks later, you can rebook your reservation and receive a refund in the form of flight credit.
  8. Save extra with plastic: Some credit cards offer incentives to travelers, so be sure to check with your bank before booking your trip. The Chase Rapid Rewards card will also ensure you free drink tickets on occasion!
  9. Drink on the holidays: According to one Quora user, there is a list of holidays on your seat-back card that notes when alcoholic drinks are free to flyers. Father’s Day, Southwest’s birthday, and other holidays are included!
  10. Know your airport: At some airports, Southwest flights will de-board from the front and back. Research ahead of time, because you might want to sit closer to the tail of the aircraft!
  11. Do in-flight reading: Southwest’s publication, Southwest: The Magazine, often includes coupons for restaurants and local parking garages.
  12. Check your baggage: One of the few airlines that still allows free baggage checking, Southwest grants two checked luggage items per customer. Try to limit yourself to two checked bags and two carry-ons, though, because additional baggage costs $75 per item.
Image Source: Flickr user billywilt
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