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.
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.
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’.
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.
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!