What is a “Wanna get away” fare on Southwest Airlines?

Southwest Airlines keeps their airfare classes extremely simple.  They don’t have Y, M, K, X, and other cryptic classes that only people with 10+ years in the travel industry understand.  They have three fares:

  • Business Select – Southwest’s top fare which includes priority boarding, more Rapid Rewards Points, priority screening, and a drink.  It’s also fully refundable and you can change your ticket at any time.  This is as close as it comes to first class on Southwest.
  • Anytime – This is Southwest’s fully refundable fare.  This fare allows you to change your ticket at any time without penalty.  It also allows you to fly standby at no extra charge.
  • Wanna Get Away – This is Southwest’s lowest fare aimed at the casual traveler.   You can get this fare by booking your flights in advance.  However, it comes with fewer Rapid Rewards points and flying standby will cost you extra.  If you want to fly standby, you will have to pay the fare difference between what you paid and the published Anytime fare.  On the plus side, there is no change fee charged on top of your fare.  You can change you flight at any time.  Just keep in mind fares go up as your travel date gets closer.

For the seasoned Southwest traveler, these fares may be common knowledge.  According to my analytics though, this is one of the top search queries directing users to my site.  For more information on Southwest fares, refer to this chart.

40 thoughts on “What is a “Wanna get away” fare on Southwest Airlines?

  1. Still a little confused. Does this mean you have to fly stand by, or are you guaranteed a seat. There are 4 of us (2 kids) need to make sure we all have guaranteed seats.

    • Hi Monica, to be clear with any airline you are never “guaranteed” a seat. The airline can kick you out of a seat for whatever reason they want if needed although that is generally rare. Now as far as getting a seat on Southwest, you should have no problem. After the A group boards (the first 60 people), Southwest has family boarding which gives you plenty of available seats to find for you and your family.

  2. If you buy a “wanna get away” ticket, you can get on that flight and fly right? So why would you be standby? Please help lol, I’m an inexperienced and nervous flier but I’m flying to see my best friend this summer and I don’t want to buy the wrong thing.

    • Yes, you are buying a seat on that flight. Just keep in mind that the airline can technically bump you to another flight for any reason (any airline can) regardless of what fare you purchase. Although that is extremely rare, it can happen.

      • I’m confused by the “standby” talk. Aside from the technicality that an airline can bump you, why would you have to fly standby with any of these tickets?

      • Hi Katie. You only fly standby when you have an existing ticket and you want to fly on an earlier flight that has seats available. Typically, people use this to get home earlier when they get to the airport early.

  3. Are there any disadvantages to flying “Wanna Get Away”? Is it that there are no assigned seats, or do you still, like a regular flight, select a specific seat when you check-in (either online or at the gate)? When the price is that low, you have to wonder what surprises there are.

    • Southwest has open seating so you just choose any open seat once you board the plane. That happens regardless of which fare type you choose. The only disadvantage of Wanna Get Away fare is that the fare is not refundable. Although, you can rebook to another flight without any change fees.

    • If you have a companion pass and your spouse is your named companion, yes. In fact, you can use your companion pass ticket on any flight including those booked with points.

  4. Correction, they DO have classes such as T, Y, R, etc, but these aren’t displayed.

    “Anytime” fare is Y. I don’t know the exact order of the “Wanna Get Away” classes, but the lowest are T and N.

  5. OK, I am new and nervous too. First time i am looking at flight with Southwest and am up in the air about the category selection , especially about “wanna get away”.

    The flight info says…
    Flight # 5609…. flight not until late April
    Departure Time: 2:25 PM-5:25 PM
    Cost for “wanna get away” … $73
    Cost for “anytime” … $494
    Cost for “business select” … $516
    So, other than the number of points earned, why would anyone choose one of the more expensive options? Is there some other benefit/detriment?
    What am I getting or missing out on? Can i still check 2 bags free – for example?
    There must be a catch.
    Will i be bumped or will my husband?
    And what is this talk of a companion pass ticket? How do i choose that option?
    I am fearful of being taken!

    • Hi Brenda,

      What happens is that the lower cost “Wanna Get Away” fares go away as the date gets closer. The reason for this is that business travelers tend to book last minute and will pay the higher price. You aren’t subject to getting bumped and as a leisure traveler you are almost always going to pick the Wanna Get Away fare unless you are booking last minute.

      • Hi Corey,
        Just finished reading your blog post and went through all of the comments & replies here– many thanks for explaining how the “Wanna Get Away” tickets work to all of us (including me!) Really appreciate it! ;)

  6. So if I cancel a wanna get away ticket, I can use the funds on another flight for up to a year. But do I have to travel to the same city? Or can I use those funds to another city, not originally booked? Thanks.

    • You can use those funds for whatever you want. You can even book for another person. When you cancel your flight, be sure and make not of the confirmation # you are cancelling because you will need that number to apply funds to your flight in the future.

  7. I have a wanna get away ticket but need to change the date and come back a couple days sooner than thought. Am I able to do that? I purchased two tickets though together and my brother wants to stay longer as we originally booked the flight. Will they give us a hard time ?

  8. I’m buying a wanna get away ticket and I have read some of the comments so you are guaranteed A seat the question I have is that how is it that that fare is so low and I’m not using it until September will it go up anytime between September??? And at that price Is that a round trip ticket. Phillip

    • The fare will absolutely go up in price as the travel date gets closer. Once the travel date is close, the wanna get away price will go up as well. Eventually, it will be very close to the price of the Anytime fare.

  9. I wanna fly from Boston to Baltimore on the 27th September and i want to book online i am confused about wanna get away does it means i just have to pay $74 to fligh.

  10. Like others, I’m a little confused. If I pay $50 for a wanna-get-away ticket today and 4 weeks from now, the price of this ticket class is $200, do I have to pay the difference – $150? Or is my price locked in at $50?

  11. My daughter is expecting a baby in mid-October and I am planning to fly to Spokane from Baltimore to help her for the first few weeks after the baby is born. Of course, there is no way to know the exact date she will have the baby. I will absolutely be flying to Spokane sometime in October, so the non-refundable aspect of the “wanna get away” ticket is not an issue. It’s figuring out how to calculate when to fly that is troubling me. Is it best to book a flight say a week before she’s due and then change it to later in October if she doesn’t have the baby by then? And what about the return trip….will I be able to change the dates of both departure and return trips on “wanna get away” tickets without an additional charge?

    • You can change your dates at any time. The problem is the price of the flight is going to go up. So if you end up changing to a new flight that is very “last-minute’, you will have to pay for the fair difference which is basically full price for the ticket.

  12. I bought several wanna get away tickets a few were for minors. I didn’t have the option of picking anything but adult. It’s ok right? Also I have a 1year old granddaughter that is going to be with us. She doesn’t need her own ticket does She? Do I need to call the airline to ensure they know she will be traveling with us, or do I just notify them at check-in

    • If the baby is sitting in your lap, I don’t believe you need to do anything with Southwest. Once the baby is two, you’ll be required to buy a seat. The tickets for minors are the same price as an adult. If you buy them without and adult in the same itinerary, it will confirm with you that you have an adult traveling with them.

  13. I have flown before and am extremely unfamiliar with the Wanna get away program. Ive read through the responses and while I understand any airline can bump you, my question is, are you more likely to get bumped with the wanna get away plan or should I just opt for regular tickets? Thank You in Advance.

  14. Hi there! I’m trying to book travel 7 months in advance but there are no “wanna get a way” options for our return flight. Is this because they only open up closer to the date? On our departure flight I was able to get a “wanna get away” deal for $300 per person (4 people) but the return flight only offers the more expensive options. Do you think if I wait a couple weeks those will open up due to how far in advance I’m looking? Those are like $200 more per person… Thanks!!

      • And there are only 2 routes available…do you think it’s worth waiting to see if they add more or should I find an alternate airline? I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my question. Thanks so much. Just trying to not break the bank on airfare for the family.

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