Southwest Airlines to introduce new fare category with perks customers will ‘happily pay’ for

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Travelers who “wanna get away” will have a new option on Southwest Airlines next year.

In a presentation to investors Wednesday, the airline announced that it will introduce a “new fare product” midway through 2022.

The fares will appear in a fourth column alongside Southwest’s current Wanna Get Away, Anytime and Business Select offerings.

Details are still under wraps, but Southwest Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Andrew Watterson said it will be above the airline’s lowest priced Wanna Get Away category and offer enhanced attributes “customers will happily pay a little bit more” for.

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A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 parked at the gate.

A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 parked at the gate.

He stressed that the new product will not take anything away from other fares but offer something more. It will be available across all channels for business or leisure.Southwest also announced a new co-brand loyalty agreement with Chase, which is expected to contribute to the airlines’ profitability. Details were not revealed on that either.

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No new destinations were announced for next year.

Watterson said Southwest was probably done with new airports for a while.

Instead the airline plans to focus on maturing the 18 new markets it’s added since 2020 as well as its Hawaii service.

Outgoing CEO Gary Kelly said restoring the frequency of flights to existing destinations is the immediate priority.

He noted the airline has not stopped service to any of its destinations amid the pandemic.

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Kelly said he’s confident incoming CEO Bob Jordan will take the airline to even greater heights when he retires in February. Kelly will continue to serve as chairman.

Jordan, who is currently an executive vice president, said he’s already taken over day-to-day operations. He called the new role a joy he doesn’t take for granted and thanked Kelly, who he called a mentor, sponsor and friend for 34 years.

While Jordan said he expects 2022 to still be choppy and a time for rebuilding, he said Southwest remains committed to the vision of being “the world’s most loved, most efficient, and most profitable airline.”

Barring unforeseen circumstances, the airline expects to report a profit in its fourth quarter and throughout next year, according to Executive Vice President and CFO Tammy. The airline also expects to add at least 8,000 jobs.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Southwest Airlines introducing a new type of fare next year

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