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Southwest Airlines is known for its commitment to low fares, a unique culture, and world-class customer service. One of the tools they use to help customers find the best flight deals is the Southwest Low Fare Calendar.
This online tool allows travelers to search for flights based on their desired travel dates and see a calendar of the lowest fares available for those dates. With the Southwest Low Fare Calendar, customers can plan their travel in advance and find great deals on flights to a variety of destinations.
You won’t find prices for Southwest when you search google flights or on any of the online travel agencies (OTA) like Priceline, Expedia, or Orbitz. If you plan to fly Southwest and want to get the best deal, this is a travel hack you are going to need to know intimately!
In this article, we will explore how the calendar works, its benefits, and some tips for using it to find the best deals on Southwest flights.
What is the Southwest Low Fare Calendar
The Southwest Low Fare Calendar is a feature on the Southwest website that allows you to search for flights on specific dates and view the lowest fares available for those dates. The calendar shows the lowest available fares for each day, making it easy to find the cheapest flights.
How does it work?
Using the Southwest Low Fare Calendar is easy. Here is a step-by-step example of how to use the low-fare calendar when booking a flight from Chicago to Miami during April.
1. Go to the Southwest Airlines Website and click on the Low-Fare Calendar tab
2. Select your departure and arrival airports and the dates you want to travel.
The calendar will now display the lowest fare available for each day (Wanna Get Away Fares). You can now get a full view of the cheapest days to fly over a monthly time period.
3. Choose the depart and return date that meets your schedule and budget
In this example, we are choosing a Southwest flight that will depart on April 8 and return on April 15 for a one-week trip to Miami.
4. Review your flight options and choose your flights
Southwest offers four different airfare classes. As you can see from this example the price to depart on April 8 can vary from $89 one way all the way up to $704 depending on the fare class and departure time.
You will also notice a mix of non-stop and connecting flights. A non-stop Southwest flight is always better than a connecting flight in terms of both duration and risk of delay or missed flight, so make sure the fare difference is worthwhile if you are going to pick a connecting flight over a direct flight.
You can filter your search by fare type, such as Wanna Get Away, Anytime, or Business Select. Additionally, you can sort your results by price, departure time, arrival time, flight duration, or the number of stops.
Note: The biggest difference between the Anytime Fares and Wanna Getta Way Fares is that the Anytime Fare is fully refundable and the Wanna Getta Way Fare (both types) will give you a flight credit if you have to cancel.
In this example, our budget is tight so we are going to take the cheapest flight and roll the dice on the early morning connecting flight with an $89 Wanna Get Away fare.
Keeping with the theme of getting the cheapest flight, we will choose the 6:40 AM non-stop flight for our return.
5. Review the full fare including taxes and fees
6. Enter your personal and payment information to book to flight!
In this example, we just booked a round-trip flight from Chicago to Miami, in the peak spring break season for only $168. That is an amazing deal!
Pros and Cons of the Low Fare Calendar
The Southwest Airlines Low-Fare Calendar has several benefits for travelers. Here are a few of the most significant benefits:
- Find the Cheapest Flights: The primary benefit is that it helps you find the cheapest flights available with Southwest Airlines. You can easily compare prices for different dates, making it easier to plan your trip around the lowest fares.
- Flexible Travel Dates: The calendar allows you to search for flights on specific dates, but it also allows you to view the lowest fares for an entire month. This feature is great for travelers with flexibility who can adjust their plans to take advantage of lower fares.
- Customizable Search: It allows you to customize your search by fare type, sorting options, and more. This makes it easier to find the flights that best fit your needs and budget.
While the Southwest Airlines Low Fare Calendar is useful for finding cheap flights, it has a few limitations. Here are some of the most significant limitations:
- Limited to Southwest Airlines: It only works for flights on Southwest Airlines. If you want to fly on another airline, you must use a different search tool.
- Limited Search Range: Southwest only shows fares for a limited time frame, typically up to six months in advance. If you are planning a trip further in the future, you may need to wait to use the calendar.
Rebooking When Fares Drop
One of the most significant advantages of the Southwest Low Fare Calendar is that it can help you save money even after you have booked your flight. If fares drop after you have purchased your ticket, you can rebook your flight at the lower fare and receive a refund for the difference.
Here are the steps to use the calendar to rebook a flight:
- Visit Southwest.com and click on the “Low Fare Calendar” tab.
- Select the type of trip you want to take – one-way, round trip, or multi-city.
- Choose your departure and arrival airports, and select the dates you want to travel.
- Click the “Search” button to view the lowest available fares for your selected dates.
- If the price has dropped since you booked your trip, click on the new, lower fare on the Low-Fare Calendar.
- Follow the prompts to rebook your flight at the new, lower fare.
- If there are no lower fares available, check back periodically as prices can change frequently.
Note that if you have already booked a flight with Southwest Airlines, you can make changes to your reservation up to 10 minutes before your scheduled departure time without incurring any fees. If the new fare is lower than the fare you originally paid, you can request a refund for the difference in fare.
How to Hack the Low Fare Calendar:
Here are some travel hacks to help you make the most of it:
- Be flexible with your travel dates: The low-fare calendar allows you to search for the cheapest flights across a range of dates. By being flexible with your travel dates, you can save a significant amount on your airfare.
- Book early: The earlier you book, the better your chances of finding a low fare. Southwest allows you to book six to seven months in advance.
- Consider alternative airports: If flying to a major city, consider flying to a nearby airport instead. This can often result in significant savings on your airfare.
- Sign up for the Southwest Rapid Rewards program: By signing up for Southwest Airlines’ frequent flyer program, you can earn points on your flights that can be redeemed for future travel.
- Use Southwest’s “Wanna Get Away” fares: Southwest offers four types of fares – Wanna Get Away, Wanna Get Away Plus, Anytime, and Business Select. “Wanna Get Away” fares are the cheapest and can be found using the low-fare calendar.
- Check back frequently: Southwest airfare prices are updated regularly, so it’s a good idea to check back frequently to see if any new deals have been added.
By following these travel hacks, you can make the most of Southwest’s low-fare calendar and save on your next flight.
Get a Southwest Companion Pass
The Southwest Companion Pass allows a designated companion to fly with the pass holder for free on any Southwest Airlines flight, including both paid and award flights, for the remainder of the calendar year in which the pass is earned, as well as the entire following calendar year. Southwest is the only airline that has a program like this!
To earn the Southwest Companion Pass, you must either fly 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 135,000 qualifying points with Southwest Airlines in a calendar year. Once the Companion Pass is earned, the pass holder can designate one person as their companion, who can then fly with them for free (excluding taxes and fees) on any Southwest flight they book.
The Companion Pass can be a valuable benefit for frequent Southwest travelers, as it essentially doubles the value of their flights by allowing a companion to fly for free. If you use the low-fare calendar to get the best airfare and combine it with a companion pass, the savings for two people will be huge!
How to Find Sweet Spots with the Southwest Airlines
By using the Southwest Low Fare Calendar, you can easily identify the sweet spots when flying Southwest Airlines and save money on your next trip.
6 more ways to save when flying Southwest
In addition to the low-fare calendar hack, here are some other ways to save on Southwest flights:
- Sign up for the Southwest email list – Receive special Southwest deals, sales, and promotions when you sign up for Southwest’s free email newsletter.
- Get a Southwest Airlines Credit Card – This is the easiest way to rack up miles and earn a Southwest Companion Pass.
- Look for Southwest Black Friday Deals – Southwest has consistently held a Black Friday sale that lasts for either 24 hours or several days after Thanksgiving.
- Buy Southwest Gift Cards at a discount – You can often buy a $500 Southwest gift card at Costco or Sam’s for $450. That’s an easy 10% savings!
- Check for Southwest Sales – go to the Southwest Special Offers page to see if there are any current sales or promotions to take advantage of.
- Book a Southwest Vacation Package – when you combine airfare with hotel or car rentals you can often save an additional $250 or more.
FAQs: Southwest Low Fare Calendar Hack
Yes. You will earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points when you book with the low-fare calendar.
All Southwest flights are viewable on the low-fare calendar. You will not find flights from any other airline.
Southwest does not show availability as far out as other airlines that typically show airfare 1 year in advance. Southwest, will typically provide airfare for the coming 6-7 months.
No. The low-fare calendar is not available on the southwest airlines app, only on the website.
In addition to a personal item and carry-on bag, Southwest also allows you to bring two checked bags at no charge, on all fare class types.
I would say the companion pass is the best hack by itself, but if you combine the two, that’s your best opportunity for outsized savings.
Southwest will let you check in online or via the app starting 24 hours before your departure.
Tim is a business road warrior and avid leisure traveler who has flown over two million miles in the air and spent well over a thousand nights in hotels. He enjoys sharing tips, tricks, and hacks to help readers get the most out of their travel experience and learn how to “travel like a pro”!