Southwest Fares Now Appear on Google Flights

Southwest Airlines fares now appear with prices on Google Flights.

This marks a significant shift for the carrier, which has historically not allowed its fares to appear on third-party flight aggregators, such as Google Flights and other online travel agencies. That made it difficult to compare Southwest fares against other airlines, as travelers would have to separately search Southwest’s own website to find flights and see prices.

Now, Southwest fares display just like the other airlines in the search results. Here’s how it looks today:

When you select the Southwest flight, the next screen displays the possible fare classes you can book. While the price in the search results shows the lowest available Southwest fare, Wanna Get Away, the next screen shows the other (typically more expensive) fare classes as well, including Wanna Get Away Plus, Anytime and Business Select.

How travelers can maximize Google Flights to save on Southwest fares

Now, travelers can use Google Flights to better track price drops — and possibly get money back.

Southwest has long had the best change and cancellation policies among any U.S. airline, even in its lowest fare class. There are no change or cancellation fees and flights can be changed or canceled up to 10 minutes before scheduled departure time (though you will typically pay the difference if you change to a more expensive flight).

For the two highest fare classes, Business Select and Anytime, travelers get the money from a canceled flight back to the original payment method. With Wanna Get Away or Wanna Get Away Plus fares, travelers get a flight credit for canceled flights (and a fare credit for changes to a cheaper flight).

This unique, flexible policy has made it easy for travelers to cancel and rebook the exact same flight if Southwest fares drop.

The challenge up until now? Travelers generally had to continuously monitor fare drops on their own — manually checking Southwest’s website to see if fares went lower.

The addition of Southwest to Google Flights makes this much simpler with its track price tool. Upon selecting a flight on Google flight and toggling the ‘Track prices’ button, Google will send users an email when that fare drops.

Here’s how you can use that to your benefit:

If you already booked a Southwest flight: Set up price tracking as discussed above. That way — if fares drop — you can cancel and rebook the same flight. Even if you booked a Wanna Get Away or Wanna Get Away Plus fare, you’ll receive flight credits when you cancel.

If you’re considering a flight : Domestic flights are typically cheapest when booked one to three months in advance, but the best way to get the cheapest price is to book with a price you feel comfortable with and set a price alert in case the price drops further

With Google’s price alert feature, you might feel more at ease booking a flight now just to have something locked in. If fares do in fact go lower, you’ll get pinged when they do. And if they do, you can cancel and rebook.

What Southwest fare news means for travelers

Google Flights is an easy-to-use tool for finding flights across most airlines. Southwest — which is the third largest U.S. airline by market share, according to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation between March 2023 through February 2024 — now joins the mix, which will make it easier for customers to compare prices and possibly save on flights when prices drop.

(Top photo courtesy of Southwest Airlines)

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