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Old 02-13-2020, 06:41 PM
Mdcastle is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,235

How early should I shop Southwest Airlines for "Wanna Get Away" class fares?

I'm normally buy tickets about a month in advance, and now I'm starting to notice that a lot of the desirable flights- nonstops or one stops during reasonable hours are "sold out" of the lowest class of fares. Is this a temporary thing due to their capacity problems with the Max grounding, or is about a month a bad time to buy tickets, as opposed to 6 months or a week or two weeks or whatever. Wondering if the "sold out" fares suddenly become not sold out when they realize shortly before the flight that not enough people are going to pay hundreds more for the exact same seat?
Old 02-13-2020, 07:03 PM
WildaBeast's Avatar
WildaBeast is offline
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Folsom, CA
Posts: 1,372
I don't know how Southwest does it, specifically, but the industry term for what you're describing is called "yield management". The goal is to get people to pay as much as possible for the more in-demand flights, which might be frequented by business travelers who need to be somewhere at a specific time and their company is willing to pay for it, and push the more budget-concious travelers onto the less desirable flights.

So with that in mind, I'm sure the people at Southwest know exactly how popular each flight is, and how much they can charge for them. So I wouldn't hold my breath for more Wanna Get Away fares to open up on the desirable flights.


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