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Southwest Airlines Cancels Its Senior Discount

Southwest Airlines Cancels Its Senior Discount
Taylor Rains

Heads up seniors, it looks like Southwest has decided to cancel its senior discount program.

The senior fares were a benefit to flyers 65 years of age or older. Seniors could purchase “Anytime Travel” flights, which are fully refundable, at a slight discount.

However, Southwest announced that those fares would no longer be available and explained that they were not utilized by a large portion of their customers. They posed on their website, “As of December 11, 2019, Senior fares are no longer available for purchase. Our customers mean everything to us. We’re committed to providing friendly, reliable service and low fares with heart. You’ll still get all that with our other fare features.”

To put the price difference into perspective, a typical “Anytime Travel” cross-country roundtrip ticket costs almost $1200, while a senior could pay as low as $700 for the same flight.

Although this may be a disappointment to Southwest’s seniors, there are still other options for cheap tickets. The airline’s infamous “Wanna Get Away” fare is still the cheapest option, even without the senior discount, and their semi-annual flash sale will still be up for grabs. Southwest frequently promotes its semi-annual sale with $49 one-way tickets. Generally, these fares do not come with refunds but can be canceled for airline credit.

If these options aren’t enough, keep your eye out for Southwest’s flash sales they periodically promote on their website and social media pages. Remember, these sales go quick, so have your travel plans ready in advance.

View Comments (13)

13 Comments

  1. DCAFly

    October 15, 2019 at 9:37 am

    “However, Southwest announced that those fares would no longer be available and explained that they were not utilized by a large portion of their customers.”

    Why does everyone have to “utilize” things? Doesn’t anyone just “use” things anymore?

  2. TonyBurr

    October 15, 2019 at 12:37 pm

    Not having them is just another way to make money, now gainst the seniors.

  3. ijkh

    October 15, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    I turn 65 in two months. Oh well thank goodness I have status on Alaska.

  4. Danwriter

    October 16, 2019 at 5:18 am

    “Seniors could purchase “Anytime Travel” flights, which are fully refundable, at a slight discount”

    A very slight discount, off of the highest fare basis. It was rarely worth the effort.

  5. Superjeff

    October 16, 2019 at 5:25 am

    As somebody who has “utilized” these fares, I have found that (a)they are frequently not available, (b) are relatively high compared to the alternative, and (c) do not represent much of a bargain. No wonder they are not “utilized” by a large portion.

  6. CEB

    October 16, 2019 at 5:46 am

    Talk about a crock of you know what. Absurdly misleading and IMHO dishonest comparison by Taylor, comparing typical (actually the highest transcontinental fare available on Southwest) to the senior discount on the lowest transcontinental fare available on Southwest is deceitful. Bloggers with so little integrity should be banned.

  7. drphun

    October 16, 2019 at 6:54 am

    Southwest already provides other benefits that are far better for seniors. On my last Southwest flight to Florida, 7 seniors needed wheelchairs to get on the plane, but only one needed a wheelchair to get off the plane after experiencing the Southwest miracle cure.

  8. snidely

    October 16, 2019 at 8:40 am

    “Wanna Get Away” fares were/are usually cheaper. I’m over 65.
    WN became “famous” for their low fares. Their fares haven’t been low for a few years. It costs me more to fly OAK-SAN than it does to take UA or JetBlue cross country SFO-FLL.
    Hopefully Alaska Air will increase their Calif. intra-state flights and force WN to lower rates from SFO or OAK to various So. Cal airports like SNA, SAN,
    I’m old enuf to remember $11 fares from LAX-SFO on PSA.

  9. BC Shelby

    October 16, 2019 at 10:34 am

    …so if they are not being utilised” as heavily, what would it hurt to keep them?, Those “Get Away” fares may be cheaper, but are non refundable and as a senior myself, sometimes you need to make a change of itinerary or cancel. We all don’t have fat six digit retirement portfolios to throw away money on what could become a useless ticket or hefty rebooking fees.

  10. CaliforniaSteve

    October 16, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    DCAFly: Sounds like something George Carlin would say.

  11. cur

    cur

    October 18, 2019 at 8:56 am

    $500 off a $1200 flight? so 41 per cent discount? that’s a “slight discount”? i don’t know why i bother reading the stories on this site, with its typos, bizarre conclusions despite the earlier facts presented, just all around awful writing. at least the writers are volunteers?

  12. Taylor Rains

    October 18, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    Hi cur, to address the concerns over the discount – the discounts vary. Slight discounts typically refer to short haul flights (Atlanta to Orlando, Las Vegas to Los Angeles, etc). When I did the calculation, I used Southwest’s website for the fare and both ways gave a fare difference of about $250, so about $500 (total price was about $1200). I truly apologize for the confusion and appreciate the feedback. Hopefully seniors can “utilize” these sometimes more heavily discounted fares before December 1 🙂

  13. Taylor Rains

    October 18, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    December 11***

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