I have a trip booked for Las Vegas May 28th –
June 2nd. The outbound fare was a little high at 13,698 points (about
$205) and the inbound flight was a bargain at 2500 points (about $42). I get a lot of emails from Southwest and one
advertised one of their many fare sales. I checked my flights and noticed that
the outbound fare went down from 13,698 to 12,610, a difference of 1,088
points. Not a huge difference and on most airlines, not even worth bothering to
do. But with Southwest, a simple call to their 800 number, 8 minutes on the
phone and the change was completed. I should note that this is a companion fare
flight, so my wife is travelling for free. To do this change on line, I would
have to cancel my flight, wait for the system to automatically cancel the
companion fare, rebook my flight and add the companion fare. In this case,
calling the 800 number is quicker and easier. No other airline makes flight
changes so easy, and so inexpensive (free).
Also, from now through March 10th, you can get
one Chase southwest card, complete the minimum spend of $5000 in 3 months, earn
30,000 RR points AND get companion fare through February 28th, 2022.
I call this Companion Fare Light. You’ll have it for 9 to 11.5 months, but you
only need to get one credit card. There are 3 different cards that qualify with
varying annual fees and benefits. No matter which one you choose, it is a great
Southwest has extended companion fare status for those whose
status would have ended on 12/31/20 until June 30, 2021. My current companion
fare ends on 12/31/21 so I am hoping they extend that as well. I don’t know if
they will extend the Companion Fare Light or not.
Even if you sign up for the highest annual fee card ($149)
and complete the spend and never take flight, the card is still worth $200. You can get many different gift cards at 1 to
1. (30,000 point bonus plus 5000 points
for the spend, less $149 for the annual fee). If you get companion fare and use
it, it is the best travel deal going.
Southwest also gives you bonus miles on your anniversary
that offset much of the annual fee cost. So, if you like the card, the true
cost is less than half of the annual fee. If Southwest works with your location
and travel plans, it is a great way to travel cheaply. Yes, finding direct
flights is more of a challenge on Southwest so it is a time vs money tradeoff (
like a lot of things).
One final plus about Southwest is they are very flexible
when they change your itinerary. My flight time in bound flight time ( on a
different trip) moved by a couple hours and I was allowed to change both the
outbound and inbound flight up to 14 days book almost any other flight between
the same cities. If I cancel, the points or money paid for the ticket is
refunded to your account and has to be used within a year. No charge for doing
so. I wish all airlines were this flexible on changes to travel.