9 Ways To Save Even More Money When Flying Southwest


If you’re like a lot of people, you love flying Southwest. Not only can you check two bags—for free!—but you can also choose your own seat based on their open seating system. But aside from those well-known perks, there are a few more pluses to flying with Southwest that you may not know about.

In the past, we’ve talked about airport tips to make traveling easier and freebies you can get on your flight, as well as the dirtiest things on airplanes (which is another story completely!). Now, however, we uncovered nine Southwest Airlines hacks, because we can all afford to save some money, right?!

1. Keep Changing Your Flight

Often, I book a Southwest flight, let’s say for $149 one-way. But, every day leading up to the flight, I check in to see if the price has dropped. If so, I cancel my existing ticket and book the lower fare. Or, I book the new fare first and then cancel the other ticket and use that credit in the future (which is good for one year). So, point being, don’t settle on the first fare you find. Or do, but keep checking to see if the price has dropped. It’s definitely worth it.

2. Sell Your Drink Coupons

Perhaps you’ve acquired a bunch of Southwest’s drink coupons—and perhaps you don’t even drink alcohol. Yes, you can give them away, but you can also make some money if you sell your drink coupons on eBay, as Wallet Hacks suggests. If you look on eBay, you’ll see that many people do this, one person selling a four-pack for $10.99 while another person sells a four-pack for $15.00. Certainly worth a try, right? Then, you can put that money toward a future flight.


3. Get Free Alcoholic Drinks On Southwest Flights

Speaking of drinks, did you know there are certain days that Southwest gives free drinks to passengers? According to BoardingArea, there are a few days to reap this benefit. One way is flying on a certain day, like New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day. Another way is by having a Business Select ticket, wherein one perk is a free cocktail, wine or beer on the flight.

4. Look For Drink Coupons At Southwest Kiosks

Speaking of free drinks, Southwest passengers sometimes leave their drink coupons behind at check-in kiosks, BoardingArea states. They say this often happens in the morning; however, friends of mine have found them at various times of the day. So, always check! It’s worth that on-board cocktail, right?!

5. Always Check the “Special Offers” Page

This may seem like a given, but don’t forget to check out Southwest’s “Special Offers” page. You never know—and you just may find that cheap flight to the mountains that you’d been looking for, and why not book it now? Remember, you can always cancel and get a flight credit, so it’s in your best interest to check out the “Special Offers,” and then hop on a plane a short time later.

6. Join Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining

A friend of mine pointed out this Southwest Airlines hack to me: Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining. How does it work? Right now when you sign up, you’ll get up to 1,000 bonus points in your first 30 days. You sign up, pay with your linked debit or credit card at participating locations and earn Southwest reward points for every dollar spent (tax and tip are included!). Then, if you review your experience, you get 10 additional bonus points. Plus, you get three points per dollar if you get email notifications and two points per dollar if you say no to email notifications. Really, it’s a win-win for everybody!


7. Buy Southwest Gift Cards At A Discounted Amount

Wallet Hacks suggests this Southwest Airlines hack, too—to buy Southwest Gift Cards at a discounted rate. You can look online for people selling them. Or, you can check out for a discount on Southwest Airlines gift cards. Wallet Hacks also points out that you can buy store gift cards—hello, Target!—and then get a Southwest Gift Card at Target. And because Target gift cards are 6-to-7 percent off, you’ll save even more. Plus, if you use your Target REDcard™ to get a Southwest Gift Card, you’ll save, too—five percent more. So, keep brainstorming for more and more ways to save!

8. Check Out The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Credit Card

If you don’t have the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Credit Card and you are a Southwest devotee, this could be a great option for you. From earning points, such as 50,00 after you spend $2,000 in the first three months, to getting invited to members-only events, the card has a lot of perks, so you may as well cash in, so to speak, and get the card.

9. Read “Southwest: The Magazine” For Coupons And Discounts

Just like local papers give you coupons, so, too, does “Southwest: The Magazine”—yep, the airline’s in-flight magazine. Perhaps you were thinking of dining at a certain steakhouse when you land in Chicago? You just may find a coupon in the magazine. So, aside from the great articles, look for coupons, too.

Southwest Media

The above are our favorite Southwest Airlines hacks, but there are more ways to save money on Southwest, too, of course. Just keep your eyes open and happy flying!

About the Author

Natalia Lusinski

In addition to Don't Waste Your Money, Natalia is an ongoing writer for Bustle (sex, dating, relationships, and money), HelloGiggles (pop culture and news), Simplemost (lifestyle topics), and The Delite (feel-good stories). You can also find her writing in the L.A. Times, the Chicago Tribune's RedEye, xoJane, Elite Daily, Scary Mommy, Elephant Journal, and Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, among other publications. She has a Ph.D. in couch-surfing, having spent four years sleeping on over 200 L.A.-area love seats and sectionals, all in an effort to whittle down her student loan debt. She still loves couch-surfing in other cities, too (hint, hint). More.

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