A Good Reason to Fly Southwest

DESCRIPTIONPhoto: StuSeeger

I earned two free one-way coupons on Southwest Airlines. I tried to redeem them for a round-trip flight in March, but there were no coupon seats on the return flight. So I redeemed one coupon, and have one left over. That’s a clever strategy by Southwest, as I will now use the other coupon as part of a second round trip.

Unlike the older trunk carriers, Southwest prices solely on one-way tickets – there is no gain to buying a round trip. That means that I have an incentive to pay (either with cash or coupon) for two Southwest trips. When I use my mileage to obtain a “free” ticket on the other main carrier out of Austin (American Airlines), it always pays for me to use it for a round trip. Southwest’s pricing and coupon policy ties me more strongly to them. American’s policy does allow use of mileage for a one-way ticket; but given their pricing policy, it only pays if I am planning one-way travel.

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  1. DrS says:

    Southwest does just about everything better when it comes to service and keeping customers coming back.

    I had to cancel a trip a few months ago. I cancelled my one way out on SW about 18 hours before the flight, and got a credit for the amount of the one way flight! So I’ll be sure to schedule another trip to a SW destination, most likely both ways if I can.
    The other part of my trip was with American. I asked to cancel that one, about 18 DAYS before the flight, and I was offered a credit for the amount of the flight minus the cancellation fee of 125 dollars, the cost of the segment I was cancelling. So I got nothing. Good plan. Way to keep the customers coming back!
    Even the phone system was easier to get through for SW than American!

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  2. whakojacko says:

    In my experience, right now most domestic fares on every airline are one-way, so I don’t quite buy that argument.

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  3. Danielle says:

    Ah Southwest, change your flight, change it again, oops need to change it again, no problem, just find the best fare available and use all your original funds towards your new ticket! No charge for baggage, easy to earn and redeem reward flights. What are all the other airlines thinking? SWA – easy peezy lemon squeezy

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  4. CD says:

    On Southwest u don’t even have to cancel the ticket. u don’t board the flight they refund the money to ur SW account. I did that once.

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  5. Tom Kelly says:

    I fly SWA exclusively now.

    No more sweating bullets when I press the BUY button on a reservation that I may have put in a wrong time or date or name. Even on the cheapest tickers you can always reuse the fare!

    When family members foolishly had tickets on another airline to the same destination on the same day and time, I took their two bags with me and saved them $60 in bag fees.

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  6. JD says:

    I had over 800,000 miles on Delta. I was a Diamond, Platinum, Moon-Rock Frequent Flyer. I had free use of Airport Lounges and even had a special 800 number to call exclusive to high mileage flyers.

    But when I called to use my miles to fly the family to Hawaii, there were no seats…8 months in advance! If I elected to use twice the regular miles, I could get seats. Unbelievable! And to use the miles to get a “free” ticket, would’ve cost me $50 per ticket in fees, plus $25 for the first bag and $35 for the second bag. My three “free” tickets cost about $300.

    I now fly Southwest every chance I get!

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  7. Mr.X says:

    Interesting you mention that, because I just got an email from United on Monday announcing the launch of their one-way awards similar to Southwest’s. Seems like you’re not the only one who has noticed Southwest’s longstanding one-way awards system.

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  8. jimmy says:

    You can look up flights just like SW on AA.com showing prices for each leg of the trip and use miles for one way trips as well, and have been for a while.

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