Southwest Wanna Get Away vs. Anytime: Fares Compared

Boeing 737 Southwest Airlines

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Southwest Airlines has earned a reputation as one of the most customer-friendly airlines in the United States. It’s known for its no-frills, high-quality service, and offers a range of fare options that can accommodate different needs and budgets. These fares are Business Select, Anytime, Wanna Get Away Plus, and Wanna Get Away.

In today’s article, we’re diving deep into two of the most popular fares: Wanna Get Away and Anytime. We’ll explore what each fare offers, how they differ, and how you can decide which is the perfect fit for your travel needs.

Southwest Ticket Fares at a Glance

First things first, let’s briefly outline the four types of fares Southwest offers so you know what we’re talking about:

  1. Business Select: This is the crème de la crème of Southwest fares, featuring the highest price but packed with perks like priority boarding, complimentary premium drinks, and more.
  2. Anytime: Less pricey than Business Select but still high. Anytime fares are fully refundable and include conveniences like EarlyBird check-in and priority lanes.
  3. Wanna Get Away Plus: This fare type is a budget-friendly option but non-refundable. However, canceled flights are issued as a transferable flight credit that can be transferred to any other Rapid Rewards® Member.
  4. Wanna Get Away: This is the most affordable option, and like Wanna Get Away Plus, it’s non-refundable. Canceled flights are issued as non-transferable flight credits. The fare offers fewer perks than the other fare types but is excellent for travelers looking to save money.

Here’s a table to sum it all up:

Fare TypePriceRefundabilityPerks
Business SelectHighestFully refundablePriority boarding A1-A15, complimentary premium drink, free inflight internet, 12 Rapid Rewards® points per dollar
AnytimeHighFully refundableEarlyBird check-in, priority and express lanes, 10 Rapid Rewards® points per dollar
Wanna Get Away PlusLowNon-refundable (transferable flight credit)Free same-day confirmed change, 8 Rapid Rewards® points per dollar
Wanna Get AwayLowestNon-refundable (flight credit)No fees to cancel or change, free same-day standby, 6 Rapid Rewards® points per dollar
southwest fare comparison table
Image credit: Southwest

Main Differences Between Southwest Wanna Get Away and Anytime

Now that you’ve got a snapshot of the different fares let’s explore the nitty-gritty of the two fares we’re focusing on: Wanna Get Away and Anytime. Here are the key differences:


Wanna Get Away fares are your go-to if you’re budget-conscious. They offer the lowest prices, but there’s a catch: they’re limited in availability. These fares are often sold out for popular routes or times, so it pays to book early.

On the other hand, Anytime fares cost more but are usually available even if you’re booking closer to the travel date. So, if you’ve got a last-minute trip or need more flexibility, Anytime might be your better choice.


Money-back guarantee? Not with Wanna Get Away fares. These are non-refundable. However, if you cancel at least 10 minutes before your flight, you can get a flight credit that you have to use within 12 months. It’s a use-it-or-lose-it deal, so make sure to plan accordingly.

Anytime fares are way more forgiving. You can cancel anytime (see what they did there?) and get a full refund to your original form of payment. This is especially useful if your travel plans are uncertain.


When it comes to perks, Wanna Get Away fares are pretty bare-bones. There are no fees to cancel or change your flight, you get free same-day standby and earn 6 Rapid Rewards® points per dollar spent.

Anytime fares offer more in the way of benefits. You get EarlyBird check-in, which automatically secures your boarding position 36 hours before your flight. Plus, you get access to priority and express lanes at select airports, making it easier and faster to get through security. And, you earn 10 Rapid Rewards® points per dollar spent.

So, the rundown is simple: Wanna Get Away fares are great for budget travelers who don’t need extra frills. Anytime fares are ideal for those looking for more flexibility and a few more perks in their travel experience.

What are Anytime Fares on Southwest?

When it comes to flying with options, Southwest’s Anytime fares give you the flexibility you often crave in air travel. These fares are fully refundable, meaning if you change your mind or your plans get thrown into disarray, you can get all your money back—no strings attached.

Here’s how Anytime fares work:

  • Booking: You can book an Anytime fare up to 10 minutes before the flight takes off, as long as there’s a seat available. Talk about last-minute convenience!
  • Change or Cancel: One of the sweetest parts of Anytime fares is that you can change or cancel your flight at any moment without a penalty. You get a full refund to your original payment method, so it’s a worry-free choice if you’re unsure about your plans.
  • EarlyBird Check-in: Forget the rush to check in. With Anytime fares, you’re automatically checked in 36 hours before your flight. That means you’re pretty much guaranteed a better seat.
  • Priority and Express Lanes: Don’t you hate standing in long lines at the airport? With Anytime fares, you can access priority and express lanes at select airports, making your journey through security and boarding a breeze.
  • Rapid Rewards Points: You get 10 Rapid Rewards® points for every dollar you spend on the ticket. These points can then be used for future flights or other goodies.

What are Wanna Get Away Fares on Southwest?

Now, let’s talk about the option that gives your wallet a break: Wanna Get Away fares. These are Southwest’s budget options, and they do come with limitations but also some solid advantages.

Here’s how Wanna Get Away fares break down:

  • Booking: These fares are cheaper but limited in availability. It’s kind of like a first-come, first-serve situation. When they’re gone, they’re gone.
  • Change or Cancel: If you need to change or cancel your flight, you can do so without any extra fees. However, you’ll receive a flight credit that expires in 12 months, not a cash refund. And remember, you have to cancel at least 10 minutes before the flight.
  • Non-Transferable Credits: If you cancel your Wanna Get Away fare, the flight credit is only good for you unless you opt for the Wanna Get Away Plus fare, which allows transfers.
  • Perks: In terms of extra perks, there’s not much. You’ll earn 6 Rapid Rewards® points per dollar, but aside from that, the major benefit is the low cost.
  • Check-In: You must check in online or at the airport 24 hours before departure to get your boarding position, unlike the automatic EarlyBird check-in available with Anytime fares.
southwest bos to den fare picker
Image credit: Southwest

What is Wanna Get Away Plus?

Wanna Get Away Plus fares were introduced in 2022 as a middle ground between Wanna Get Away and Anytime fares. They offer a bit more flexibility than basic Wanna Get Away fares.

Here’s what sets them apart:

  • Transferable Credits: Unlike the basic Wanna Get Away fares, you can transfer your flight credit to another person as long as both of you are Rapid Rewards members.
  • Same-Day Change: You can change your flight for free to another one on the same day, provided a seat is available.
  • More Points: You earn 8 Rapid Rewards points per dollar spent, a slight bump from the 6 points you’d earn with the basic Wanna Get Away fares.

Wanna Get Away Plus fares are a bit more expensive but come with added benefits that can make your travel experience smoother.

What is Business Select?

For those who are all about the premium experience, there’s Business Select. This is the top-of-the-line fare type Southwest offers, and it brings a whole host of perks to make your travel as comfortable as possible.

Here’s what you get:

  • Priority Boarding: You’ll be among the first to board, guaranteeing a good seat selection and ample overhead bin space.
  • Complimentary Drink: Get a free drink coupon for your flight if it’s longer than 176 miles. Whether you want an alcoholic beverage to relax or a soft drink, it’s on the house.
  • Inflight Internet: You also get free internet access during your flight, so you can keep up with work or just binge your favorite shows.

While Business Select fares cost significantly more, if comfort and convenience are high on your list, it might be worth it.

To sum it up, your choice between Wanna Get Away, Wanna Get Away Plus, Anytime, and Business Select fares really depends on what you value more—cost savings or flexibility and perks. Make your choice based on your travel needs, and you’ll be ready for a smooth journey.

How Does Southwest Seating and Boarding Work?

Let’s talk about the Southwest seating and boarding process, which is unique compared to other airlines. Southwest doesn’t assign seats. Yep, you heard that right. Instead, you get a boarding position, which determines the order in which you choose your seat on the plane.

Here’s how it goes:

  • Boarding Groups and Positions: Southwest uses three groups to organize boarding—A, B, and C. Each group has 60 numbers. So, when you check in, you get assigned to one of these groups and a number within that group. For instance, A25 means you’re in the ‘A’ group and 25th in line to board.
  • Order of Boarding: Business Select passengers are up front and get positions from A1 to A15, making them the first to board. Next are the Anytime passengers due to their EarlyBird check-in. Wanna Get Away passengers typically board last, but you can bump up your position through add-ons or strategic check-ins.
  • Seat Selection: Once it’s your turn to board, you get to pick any available seat. Obviously, the earlier your position, the more choices you’ll have.

How to Choose Between Wanna Get Away and Anytime Fares

Okay, so you’ve got two solid options, but which one should you go for? Here are some key factors to remember:

  • Price: Wanna Get Away fares are often significantly cheaper. This is your best bet if you’re on a tight budget and are sure about your travel plans. The savings can range from a small amount, like $10 to hundreds of dollars, depending on the route and booking time.
  • Refundability: Anytime fares allow you to cancel or change your flight without incurring any charges, plus you get a full refund. Anytime fares provide peace of mind if your plans are fluid or you’re booking a business trip where changes are the norm.
  • Perks: Wanna Get Away fares are pretty basic on the perks but do offer the essentials, like point earning and no change fees. On the other hand, Anytime fares offer a host of extras like EarlyBird check-in, priority lanes, and more points per dollar. If these sound like enticing conveniences, you might want to opt for Anytime.

Bottom Line

So, there you have it. Southwest offers four distinct fare types: Business Select, Anytime, Wanna Get Away, and Wanna Get Away Plus. They each cater to different needs, preferences, and budgets.

  • Wanna Get Away: Cheapest but less flexible. Perfect if you’re sure about your travel dates and want to save some cash.
  • Anytime: Pricier but packed with perks and totally refundable. It’s ideal if you want maximum flexibility and some added luxuries.

In short, if your priority is value and you’ve got fixed plans, Wanna Get Away is likely your best choice. On the other hand, if you’re seeking flexibility and a few extra comforts, Anytime fares are worth the additional cost.

Our recommendation? If you’re all about saving money and you’re confident about your travel plans, go for Wanna Get Away. If you prefer the safety net of being able to cancel or change flights and enjoy some extra perks, Anytime is the way to go. 

Related: Delta Basic Economy vs. Main Cabin: What Are the Differences?

Frequently Asked Questions

What benefits do Southwest Wanna Get Away and Anytime fares offer?

Wanna Get Away fares offer the benefit of the lowest pricing, making it an attractive choice for budget-conscious travelers. These fares also come with no change or cancellation fees and allow you to earn 6 Rapid Rewards points per dollar on your ticket. On the other hand, Anytime fares, while more expensive, provide a slew of extra advantages. These fares are fully refundable and grant you access to perks like EarlyBird check-in, priority and express lanes at select airports, and the ability to earn 10 Rapid Rewards points per dollar on your flight.

How do cancellations and refunds work for Wanna Get Away and Anytime fares?

For Wanna Get Away fares, you must cancel at least 10 minutes before your flight to receive flight credit, which will expire in 12 months. The fares are non-refundable in the traditional sense, meaning you won’t get your money back, but you can use the credit for a future flight. Anytime fares are much simpler in this regard; they are fully refundable. You can cancel your flight anytime and get a full refund to your original form of payment without any penalties.

Can I change my Wanna Get Away or Anytime ticket without any fee?

Yes, both Wanna Get Away and Anytime fares allow you to change your ticket without any fee. The difference lies in the refundability if you decide to cancel. Wanna Get Away gives you a flight credit that you must use within 12 months. Anytime fares give you a full refund to your original payment method.

What is the boarding order for Wanna Get Away and Anytime passengers?

Southwest has a unique boarding process that doesn’t assign seats but instead assigns boarding positions. Business Select passengers get the first dibs, boarding in positions A1-A15. Anytime passengers usually board next due to the EarlyBird check-in feature, which automatically checks you in 36 hours before the flight. Wanna Get Away passengers generally board after the Anytime passengers and can enhance their boarding position by either purchasing EarlyBird check-in or checking in online as soon as the 24-hour window opens.

Are there any differences in seat selection for Wanna Get Away and Anytime fares?

There are no intrinsic differences in seat selection between Wanna Get Away and Anytime fares. Seat selection is based on your boarding position, and since Southwest doesn’t assign seats, you select your seat as you board the plane. Higher boarding positions will naturally offer more seat options. Anytime fares typically secure better boarding positions due to EarlyBird check-in.

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Joe Morelli

Joe Morelli, an avid travel enthusiast and founder of Modern Miles, has mastered the art of earning and redeeming millions of points and miles annually. Accompanied by his wife and two children, he explores the world's wonders, inspiring others with his expertise and unquenchable thirst for adventure.

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