Southwest Airlines just announced a new feature that is sure to please travelers. When Southwest debuted its new Wanna Get Away Plus fare last year, part of the appeal — over the basic Wanna Get Away fare — was the increased flexibility, including same-day standby at no additional cost. Now, the airline has decided to make that perk available to all customers.
How Southwest Airlines Same-Day Standby Works
Southwest Airlines has detailed how this new perk will work for passengers. Anyone with a ticket will be able to keep the flight they booked while listing themselves as a standby on another flight that same day at least 30 minutes ahead of the scheduled flight.
Passengers access the feature via the Southwest app or mobile website. On the app, tap “View/Manage” and then “same-day standby.” Next, select the flight you want for standby and the airline will either text or email you if you’re able to make the change.
Passengers are also able to ask a Southwest agent at the gate or ticket counter of their departure airport for help. For passengers who like to check their bags at curbside check-in, this is not the place to ask.
A few important things to note: When booking your original ticket, selecting how you want to be contacted about flight changes becomes even more important now, if this is a feature you think you’ll use. Passengers should also understand there’s no guarantee a seat will be available if you are on the standby list. Also, unaccompanied minors and group bookings are not eligible for same-day standby.
Southwest Airlines has provided a YouTube video for passengers to show how the process works.
When To Contact Customer Service About Same-Day Standby
Southwest Airlines has released the following tips about when it may be necessary to contact a customer service agent when wanting to take advantage of the same-day standby perk:
- You are attempting to add yourself to the same-day standby list less than 30 minutes prior to your desired flight’s scheduled departure
- Your desired itinerary change may result in a collection or refund of taxes and fees
- You are traveling on an international itinerary
- Your desired itinerary change will result in a different connection city than your confirmed itinerary
- You are attempting to add yourself to the same-day standby list in your connection city
The information above can also be found on the airline’s website.
Wanna Get Away Vs. Wanna Get Away Plus Fares
If you’re wondering what the difference is now between the Wanna Get Away and Wanna Get Away Plus fares, there are two key differences.
Passengers who book a Wanna Get Away Plus fare are able to access the Same-Day Confirmed Change feature, which is different from the Same-Day Standby feature. The Same-Day Confirmed Change feature means if a flight has seats available and your departure and arrival airports remain the same, you can change your ticket at no additional cost. Wanna Get Away passengers have access to this as well, but a fare difference may apply.
The other difference is the number of Rapid Rewards points members receive. Wanna Get Away fares earn six times the cost of a flight and Wanna Get Away Plus fares earn eight times the cost of a flight. For example, if a flight costs $100, the difference is 600 Rapid Rewards points versus 800.
Free In-Flight Internet With Business Select Fares
The airline also announced it is going to include free internet with its Business Select fares with the ability to connect up to three devices. This isn’t a huge perk, in my opinion, unless you regularly purchase the Business Select fare. Southwest charges $8 per device to access the in-flight Wi-Fi. Business Select usually costs much more compared to Wanna Get Away and Wanna Get Away Plus fares. Also, Wi-Fi seems to be pretty hit-and-miss when flying no matter the airline or how much they charge for it.
One thing to note: There isn’t a charge for passengers wanting to access Southwest’s in-flight entertainment portal on a device. This includes flight tracker, texting, TV, and movies. This perk remains free — the same as before.
Finally, as Southwest Airlines likes to remind customers, two checked bags and snacks are always free for every passenger. Now, so is same-day standby.