Last minute travel on Southwest and Tim Tebow

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Last November I was traveling for business and had to book at the very last minute.  The only sub $700 fares to the DC area I could find were on Southwest  so I bit the bullet and purchased them.  I was quite surprised with the amount of points that ended up posting for this trip.  I am an A-List Preferred member earning 100% bonus on points earned and as luck would have it, there happened to be a double points promotion running for flights into BWI that week.

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High Earn Rate for last minute travel

While $583.40 is the more than I am ever comfortable paying for a Southwest ticket (or any flight for that matter), the rebate from Southwest was a nice treat.  Southwest has a fixed price award system in which these 22,232 points are redeemable for $371 in Wanna Get Away fares, generally only applicable for travel purchased in advance.

Those points came in handy a month later when on a whim I decided I wanted to catch some football before the NFL season ended.  Minutes after the Broncos locked in their home playoff game, I hopped on Southwest.com and was able to redeem points at the Wanna Get Away fare bucket for a last minute round trip flight to Denver for a mere 15,840 points. Almost every last minute flight combination between the two cities was available at this rate.

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Low Burn Rate for last minute travel

I quickly added my companion’s flight online for 5 more dollars using my Southwest Companion Pass and off we went that weekend to go see Tim Tebow ‘Tebowing’.

 

Broncos

Having fun with last minute travel on Southwest

It was quite a game and yet another great adventure powered by points, miles, and (a few) martinis at the game. Winking smile

Quick Tip for you points collecting NFL fans out there.  Last minute NFL Wild Card tickets in smaller markets (think Seattle, Arizona, Denver) are fairly easy to get access to at face value, far easier than regular season games in my experience.  I have had success the last 3 years going through Ticketmaster.com immediately when ticketing opens and obtaining tickets since such short notice is given to the public.  Of course you have to be willing to (award) travel to where the game is!


Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

About alex

Alex loves to travel and does so a lot. Logging 100,000 flight miles each year over the past 4 years, Alex uses points and miles to power his passion. Alex is continuously striving to experience the far reaches of the globe. In his day job, Alex is a Management Consultant frequently on the road advising Technology organizations. I love thinking about, reading about, and talking about all things travel. Feel free to reach me at pmmalex@gmail.com

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  1. I wonder what the shortest timeframe is for booking a Wanna Get Away fare and thus using the least points for award travel. As short as a 7 Day advance purchase? On last-minute awards a short one-way hour flight would normally be priced at around $200. In almost every case that flight would require the use of at least 20,000 points. And that’s with no return.

  2. @Jeffrey – I can book a Wanna Get Away fare on flight 2340 from Chicago to Denver that leaves in an hour and a half. On some routes, there doesn’t appear to be a fixed advance purchase period. I believe it is tied to capacity on a route more than anything else.

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