All I can say is thank you Southwest Airlines. Earlier this year my grandma who was one of the most influential, and important people in my life became very ill. Southwest Airlines Military discount made it possible for me to be on a plane in a day notice and saved me over $1600 ONE WAY.
Flying from El Paso to Michigan is EXPENSIVE. Long gone are our short, inexpensive flights from Kansas City ( and St. Louis) to Michigan. We have yet to fly home for under $1200 before discovering Southwest had a discount.
It appears to be flat rate from my experiences, and according to what I’ve read this is a set fare and not a discount. If you want to book reservations utilizing their military discount call 1-800-I-FLY-SWA. I always heard about this “discount” but like some Military discounts didn’t think it existed. Here is what I found out:
Southwest Airlines Military Discount
- For us, it worked out to be $194 after taxes one way. Which the flights at the time were $800-$1200 for a one-way ticket from El Paso to Detroit – so this was a miracle for us.
- I only found out by calling. It wouldn’t let me book my under two-year-old seat online, and I knew I couldn’t balance bags, and a 30 lb 3t wearing elbow throwing little tyke for a 14 hour day of travel. Sorry if you are against phone calls- It is the only way to grab this fantastic fare.
- It isn’t always available.
When we had to fly back after returning home for a funeral, again last minute, we were only able to book the flight from El Paso to Detroit as a military fare it was not available to book on our return flight.
I love southwests customer service. They were there to help me save money in these few months of travel back and forth. When I asked about the auto check-in while booking flights with this discount the 2nd time for the funeral, She said: “Oh honey don’t buy that, you are a family you automatically get to board before group C, and people will move to let your family sit together.” The first time someone had not tried to sell me on that little auto-check-in, and that is amazing since in my 30+ flights with Southwest over the years- I have utilized it frequently!
Traveling with my husband we did not buy a seat for our little guy and are going to try and keep it that way until he is too old. He almost 3 feet tall and heavy… we may eat our words on one of these trips.
Downside to the Military Fare Airline Discount by Southwest Airlines
I can’t honestly say there is a downside, I mean this Enlisted Military family cannot thank Southwest enough for this discount over the past few months.
- I am not sure what makes them offer the rate, but booking almost two weeks out we couldn’t get it on the return flight when some next day routes I could. It may be used to fill flights so only last minute availability?
- It is less than “Wanna Get Away” fares.
Which means fewer miles or points if you are collecting those, as well as no refunds/switching. It is the only ticket with rigid rules, and for a good reason- it’s a killer discount.
Now my price for a one way may not seem like an amazing discount to you, but add in free bags and free snacks and good travel times with great layovers – and unbeatable customer service?
The other guys we would end up paying for carry-ons & checked luggage snacks etc… and pay MORE to not sit in the back of the plan!
I have purchased “wanna get away” tickets for upcoming flights due to their flexibility, and priced closer to this discount during an SW sale they had. It ended up being about $250 more than the Military Discount but worth it. With all travel make sure you do the math, compare across sites- but giving a call never hurts either.
We are so thankful to any company that helps us, an enlisted airman family, get home more affordably.
So grateful to any company that extends a Military Discount, as every little bit helps, and it is always nice to hear ” Thank you for your Service.”
This was my experience of using the discount and what I found online. You can call 1-800-I-FLY-SWA, or Tweet them at @SouthwestAir and I know they would be glad to help you with the most current information.