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CHECK COMPETITORS' RATES BEFORE BOOKING ON SW

New Arrival

Be sure to check ALL carriers before booking with Southwest.  In researching airfare from Orlando to Chicago, I am astounded by the fact that other carriers, United, Frontier, American, are offering flights for $51 while Southwest is listed as $216 for the same time and day.  Even paying $7 for my seat and$30 for a checked bag still saves me $128.  Not sure what Southwest is thinking these days, but I know my Southwest Visa might be put in the drawer if this continues because it's also not worth the 14,461 points they want for that flight either.

Just because your bags are free doesn't mean you should be asking 4x plus higher than other carriers.  Southwest needs to wake up or at least explain why you're all of a sudden unreasonably priced.

8 REPLIES 8

Re: CHECK COMPETITORS' RATES BEFORE BOOKING ON SW

Top Contributor

I just did a search and found flights on SW for $106 the $51 ticket your talking about is a Basic Economy ticket it doesn't include a seat assignment so odds are you will get a middle seat you also you get no carry on. I did a search to compare on united for October 17th and it would cost $80 to get a seat assignment and carry on so $130 vs $106 also 2 free checked bags on Southwest 0 free on united if you don't care about a carry on or middle seat then sure united would be better it's all about what you care about as a customer. Another note Southwest goes to MDW united goes to ORD so depending on where you are going post flight it may be cheaper to fly to one airport vs the other because of gas or rental car cost so keep that in mind as well when making your flight choices. 

 

what about the $217 day on Southwest you may ask it's all about supply and demand so the more people that buy tickets on a given flight the higher the prices go because airlines know you will buy at a higher rate if you really want a particular flight and 1 empty seat is better than 50 in the airlines eyes so when an airline has seats to fill they will make some seats cheaper to get people to book that flight. 

 

another note with Southwest if you book a flight at $200 and next week it goes down to $100 you can rebook at the $100 ticket for free and get a credit for a future flight with the other airlines you can't get the cheaper ticket 

 

Hope this helps

Blake 

Re: CHECK COMPETITORS' RATES BEFORE BOOKING ON SW

Top Contributor

as Blake said, be sure to compare all facets of your flight -- seat fees, change fees, leg room, etc before you make a flight decision.

 

That beng said, sometimes Southwest is cheaper than the competition, and somtimes it is not. If the difference is big enough, pick the other guy.

 

Comparison shopping is always smart.

 

 

Re: CHECK COMPETITORS' RATES BEFORE BOOKING ON SW

Top Contributor

I never used to, but now I always compare. 

 

If you're able to snag a low fare on Southwest, great. But the number of available low fares in any particular bucket seems to be very limited these days. Often I find myself unable to justify the premium necessary to be loyal. 

 

Example: I can fly one of my routes on Frontier with "the works," their bundled package that includes a stretch seat, checked bag, carry-on, free changes and full refundability, for literally $200 less than WGA on Southwest. 

 

I also currently have flights booked on Delta and United that came in more than $100 less in both cases, even after you add in bag and seat upgrade fees. 

 

In December, for the holidays I'll be flying business class on Delta for about the same cost as WGA on Southwest. It's crazy.

 

I have no status on any carrier right now, and truth be told I'd prefer to consolidate all my travel on Southwest. But often my clients pay for my travel, and it's simply impossible for me to justify paying significantly more to fly Southwest. 

 

It never used to be like this. But the sad truth is that Southwest is no longer a low-fare leader.

 

Always compare.

Re: CHECK COMPETITORS' RATES BEFORE BOOKING ON SW

Top Contributor

well chgoflyer, I agree with what you said. The significantly higher WGA fares started becoming much more prevalent about 2 months ago. Now for the first time in a while, it makes sense to book hidden city travel. My next flight is a hidden city flight.

 

I noticed that Sotuhwest "skipped" the second of the two normal "real" fare sales this year. Normally one in June covers August to December, and one a bit later covers that period plus about te first 6-8weeks of the next year. The one in June sorta happened, but the later one never did. I say sorta becuse the sales are normally mileage based (trips under 500 miles cost x, 500 - 749 cost y, etc) This year the sale did not do that.

 

 

I have to wonder how long it will take the travelling public catch on. Load factors moving forward should be interesting to watch.

Re: CHECK COMPETITORS' RATES BEFORE BOOKING ON SW

Top Contributor

Southwest is basically reinventing itself. It's really no longer a no-frills, low fare carrier -- that role has been taken over by carriers like Spirit and Frontier, etc. Now the focus is on offering the best "overall travel value." Which is fine -- I do very much appreciate the level of service I receive on Southwest. But for many, Southwest's low fares were the entry point to air travel for them, and they never bothered to check and compare. Until now. And that comparison often isn't favorable to Southwest.

 

Pricing-wise, the scale has changed. Previously, on any particular route the floor might have been $49 and the ceiling $229 (for WGA). Now, the floor may be $69 but the ceiling is $469. Meaning that a few people can still grab a low fare, but for most the average fare has increased. Significantly.

 

We're also seeing Southwest's load/revenue management system being more aggressive with initial pricing, and then adjusting down later to match demand over time. Now there are more WGA's "sold out" earlier, or much smaller buckets available at the lower fares. With the ability to refare I'm not sure this really makes much sense -- but perhaps they grab enough people early on who do not ultimately refare to make up for any potential passengers they lose to other carriers by being generally uncompetitive.

 

Adding in the repeated devaluation of RR points and less real sales (as you mentioned) and you get overall a more expensive experience. I do appreciate that Southwest has been slower to join the other's in unbundling services and tightening up seating. But a carrier that used to be a much cheaper option with service that was head-and-shoulders above everyone else is now the one that costs a premium for service that's just a bit better than what other's offer their non-status flyers.

Re: CHECK COMPETITORS' RATES BEFORE BOOKING ON SW

Active Member

My life is uncertain.  Not being smacked with a $200 change fee because of my workload causing a schedule change is part of what keeps me coming back.  

 

I will never forget the first time I flew the plane of a low cost competitor who shall remain nameless.  I had a trip set in stone so I knew it would not change so I took a chance.  They had people put their carryons inside a bin before boarding to measure.  It was a life lesson to some 20 year-old girl crying her eyes out at the gate because they charged her an extra $100 at the gate when her bag was 1 inch too big and she didn’t know all the rules.  Doubling the price of the entire ticket for 1 inch while at the gate because whatcha gonna do at that point?  I felt so sad for her. Yet, those were the rules.  And the lesson learned is that the fine print of any deal (airline or otherwise) must be read or the deal may not be a deal.

 

I am thankful to know the rules of SWA so I keep coming back.  And admittedly, no change fees does not mean that the ticket won’t cost more.  It just means I don’t have to pay $200 for something that a computer does in one millisecond on top of the fare increase.  

 

To me, fair is fare only. It is not like the airline changed their departure time or had to add a route because I couldn’t leave when I had planned after booking the ticket 8 months earlier. A change fee feels like I am buying literally nothing.  

Re: CHECK COMPETITORS' RATES BEFORE BOOKING ON SW

Top Contributor

@chgoflyer wrote:

Southwest is basically reinventing itself. It's really no longer a no-frills, low fare carrier -- that role has been taken over by carriers like Spirit and Frontier, etc. Now the focus is on offering the best "overall travel value."


Interesting . That strategy seems to be working. I regularly follow another airline related blog. There's a discussion about Jet blue planning to add a deep discount  fare(Spirit like service) to it's portfolio. There's discussion about whether or not Southwest will need to do so to remain competitive ( since it seems everyone else is adding the "low" level of service option).

 

Another blog follower chimed in an basically confirmed what chgoflyer said:

 

"  I just did a cross country rt this week and chose WN with a connection over AA nonstop. And I'm a lifetime AA gold. 
I had really exemplary WN crews on all 4 flights. Really service-oriented FAs. I get points that actually can be redeemed. I had a long connection and walked over to a random WN gate and asked the agent for a standby on an earlier flight and within 10 seconds I got an earlier flight boarding pass with a smile. I like to reward service instead of nickel-and-diming."

 

"

Re: CHECK COMPETITORS' RATES BEFORE BOOKING ON SW

Top Contributor

@dfwskier wrote:

well chgoflyer, I agree with what you said. The significantly higher WGA fares started becoming much more prevalent about 2 months ago. Now for the first time in a while, it makes sense to book hidden city travel. My next flight is a hidden city flight.

 

 


I hadn't really seen this before, but I did actually see one today where I noticed direct at $132 but $100 for through passengers on to the next destination where previously it seemed to heavily depend on the mileage.

 

I don't think I'll do a hidden city over $30 though. Actually I was looking to make a @bec102896 itinerary to get an extra leg for the same price which was the only reason I saw the option to go to that city after my destination where I was hoping to add it in as an extra leg prior to my destination.

 

 

 

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.