Southwest Airlines makes big pricing change passengers will love

Travelers often look to save money on airfare using a variety of methods.

Currently, Southwest Airlines  (LUV)  has an offer that can significantly affect the amount of money passengers will pay for travel during the next year.

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As frequent flyers know, one way to reduce the cost of airline tickets is to compare departing and returning fares within a few days of desired travel dates.

Checking routes that have longer travel times and burdensome layovers can also save money.

Another strategy is to make good use of credit card points to cut the price of tickets. This is where a travel expert says the Southwest Airlines offer is one of the more attractive deals available for travel inside the U.S.

Passengers who are not currently holders of a Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card, or who have not received a new cardmember bonus within the past two years, can apply for one and get a very good welcome offer that significantly affects pricing.

Southwest Airlines aircraft are seen on a tarmac. The airline currently has a potentially lucrative welcome offer for applicants to one of its credit cards.

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Travelers can get two important benefits

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus card, which has a $69 annual fee, has two benefits available for travelers who apply by March 11.

After spending $4,000 within the first three months, new cardholders will receive 30,000 bonus Rapid Rewards points. They will also get a Southwest Companion Pass that is valid through Feb. 28, 2025.

“Many people love flying with Southwest Airlines because of the two free checked bags, lack of change and cancelation fees, and no expiration on vouchers,” wrote Ben Schlappig on One Mile At a Time.  “Furthermore, having a Southwest Airlines credit card can help you earn a Companion Pass, one of the best deals in domestic travel.”

“I value Rapid Rewards points at 1.2 cents each. So to me, the points alone are worth $360,” he continued. “The area where you can really get outsized value is with Companion Pass, as that allows someone to travel with you regardless of whether you’re paying cash or redeeming points, all while just paying the taxes and fees for them.”

Schlappig described the value of the Companion Pass in further detail:

With Southwest Companion Pass you can have someone travel with you for the entire year (whether you are paying cash or redeeming points), and just pay taxes and fees for them. This is such an incredible deal and basically doubles the value you can get from flying Southwest.

Southwest Companion Pass requires earning 135,000 Rapid Rewards points in a calendar year, though you get a boost of 10,000 points toward that just for having a co-branded Southwest card.

Only certain types of points accrual qualify, including Southwest credit card spending and Southwest credit card welcome bonuses. Thanks to the current offer, you can receive Companion Pass all the way through February 28, 2025, with no requirement to actually earn a certain number of qualifying points.

Southwest Airlines adds new seasonal routes

This offer comes as Southwest airlines is adding two new routes this week, both in Tennessee.

The airline will begin non-stop flights, one from Memphis to Las Vegas and the other from Nashville to Richmond, Va.

These routes will be seasonal and will operate with less than daily service, according to The Points Guy

Both of these flights will begin in early October.

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