Southwest Airlines is set to offer a fourth fare type in 2022, which could give passengers more options concerning how many points they earn per flight, their cancellation policy and how soon they board.
The news was announced during the airline’s investor day presentation held on Wednesday. So far, the airline is light on details about the new fare class, though it did share that it is expected to launch in the second quarter of 2022.
Southwest currently offers three fare types for passengers to choose from. Those are:
- Wanna Get Away: This is the lowest cost Southwest fare class, and it includes many perks that the airline is known for — like two free checked bags and no flight change fees. Refunds on these tickets are issued as travel vouchers that can be applied to future flights.
- Anytime: These fares are more flexible as the cost can be refunded to the original form of payment. Ticket holders also earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points at a higher rate.
- Business Select: This is the closest the airline gets to offering a first class experience (for now). Perks include use of the airport’s priority security lane (where available), early boarding and an even higher points earning rate.
It’s unclear how the new fare product will fit in among the existing three, though Southwest said it will “enhance the overall product offering for customers while also increasing benefits tied to existing ‘Wanna Get Away’, ‘Anytime’ and ‘Business Select’ products,” according to Southwest’s presentation deck.
The airline also added that the new fare type is related to other revenue-growing initiatives on the docket for next year, including an expansion of its computerized reservation systems that will be designed for business travelers.
Southwest cut routes significantly during the pandemic but has plans to add back trips that existed pre-pandemic. The airline also announced on Wednesday that in April 2022, it will resume previously offered service between:
- Dallas and Louisville, Kentucky.
- Dallas and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
- Dallas and Norfolk, Virginia.
- Houston and Milwaukee.
- Kansas City, Missouri, and Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
- Kansas City, Missouri, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
- Kansas City, Missouri, and Pensacola, Florida.
- Nashville, Tennessee, and San Jose, California.
- Nashville, Tennessee, and Seattle.
- Pittsburgh and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
- San Antonio and Los Angeles.
And in February 2022, Southwest will resume daily service between Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Havana. This route complements existing daily service between Tampa, Florida and Havana, which resumed in December 2021.
In April 2022, Southwest will offer new nonstop flights between:
- Austin, Texas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
- San Antonio and Oklahoma City.
- Syracuse, New York, and Tampa, Florida.