Infant Fare

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Old Nov 22, 15, 3:20 pm
#1
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Infant Fare

So the swa website says that it provides discounted fares when purchasing for an infant <2yo, but when I called, they said it was cheaper to just buy the wanna get away fare. Why advertise that they do this? The lady said that they discount the anytime fare cost not the wanna get away cost. Seems like they try and pull a fast one? I love southwest but I feel cheated by this, I just want to do what's safest for my infant, but it's the same cost as a regular fare even though she won't have her own luggage.
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Old Nov 22, 15, 9:05 pm
#2

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Originally Posted by annoyedmama View Post
So the swa website says that it provides discounted fares when purchasing for an infant <2yo, but when I called, they said it was cheaper to just buy the wanna get away fare. Why advertise that they do this? The lady said that they discount the anytime fare cost not the wanna get away cost. Seems like they try and pull a fast one? I love southwest but I feel cheated by this, I just want to do what's safest for my infant, but it's the same cost as a regular fare even though she won't have her own luggage.
Cheated? How did they cheat you? She can have her own luggage. I'm not understanding.

The infant fare is CHEAPER than an adult Anytime fare. And is REFUNDABLE, unlike a Wanna Get Away fare. The Wanna Get Away fare is already a discounted fare and has restrictions.
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Old Nov 22, 15, 11:22 pm
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Originally Posted by NextTrip View Post
Cheated? How did they cheat you? She can have her own luggage. I'm not understanding.

The infant fare is CHEAPER than an adult Anytime fare. And is REFUNDABLE, unlike a Wanna Get Away fare. The Wanna Get Away fare is already a discounted fare and has restrictions.
I'm not understanding either. Infant fares can also be available when no WGA fare is available, which can make it a very good deal.
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Old Nov 24, 15, 2:05 pm
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Infant fares are similar to Senior Fares: a discount off the Anytime Fare. As such, it is refundable.

Non-refundable WGA fares, if available, may be cheaper than Senior (or Infant) Fares but have restrictions -- including being locked to the infant's name if the flight is not taken (must cancel at least 10 minutes before departure).

If WGA fares are not available for the flight desired, Senior (or Infant) Fares will be less than the Anytime Fare and, as noted above, do have the benefit of being refundable.
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Old Nov 24, 15, 3:02 pm
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Just a tip: On Southwest you can bring your car seat on board if there are any empty seats. That's even cheaper than a WGA fare.
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Old Nov 24, 15, 3:47 pm
#6
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No good deed goes unpunished. The WN agent should have just let OP go ahead and purchase the more expensive but refundable fare instead of suggesting the option of the cheaper but non-refundable (although useable as a credit for another flight) fare.

OP has a choice here. That's a good thing.
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Old Nov 25, 15, 12:53 am
#7

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The problem stems, like so many things, from the imprecise language Southwest uses on their website.

Southwest specifically calls their infant fares "very affordable," which leads the customer to believe that they cost less than the "regular" fare.

Most infrequent flyers purchase WGA, and aren't as knowledgable about the various refundable/non-refundable fare categories as we are here on FT. It's not unreasonable to assume that "very affordable" means "less than," and not, "probably significantly much more than," the adult fare.

The website says that these "very affordable infant fares for children under two years of age" ... "allow you to reserve a seat for your little traveler to fly safely in his/her approved CRS," which seems to indicate that you should specifically purchase the infant fare for a child under 2 (if a seat for that child is desired).

The booking engine requires one to begin by selecting either "Adults (Age 2+)" or "Seniors (Age 65+)." This leads people to waste time researching the correct way to book for children under 2. You must then call to inquire about infant fares -- since they're not available online -- and only then are you given the somewhat nonsensical direction that it's cheaper to book the infant on an "Adult (Age 2+)" fare. (This despite the fact that an infant doesn't fit that qualifier, and to do so you have to actively "lie" when booking.)

The description of infant fares does not say that the fare is discounted from the more expensive Anytime fare, and that cheaper fares may be available for children under age 2 online, by booking as an adult. If the website were updated to reflect that fact, and stress that infant fares are flexible rather than affordable, much of the customer confusion could be easily avoided.

Choice is, of course, a good thing. But clear, correct information is even better.

Note: I sent this suggestion to Southwest almost 7 years ago, when I first encountered the situation. They said they would share it with their leaders.
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Old Nov 25, 15, 2:14 am
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They are affordable compared to the anytime fare.... if they were trying to pull a fast one they would have sold you the discounted anytime fare.
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Old Nov 25, 15, 3:32 am
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Affordable? I do not think that word means what you think it means.

They are discounted compared to the Anytime fare.

Which is not disclosed on the website.

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Old Nov 26, 15, 12:43 pm
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Originally Posted by ursine1 View Post
Affordable? I do not think that word means what you think it means.

They are discounted compared to the Anytime fare.

Which is not disclosed on the website.

Actually it is, when you search for flights it says at the bottom in the "Important Fare and Schedule Information" area "Along with our everyday low fares you may inquire about our discounts off the "Anytime" fare for infant, child (2-11), and military fares by calling 1-800-I-fly-swa."
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Old Nov 27, 15, 12:19 am
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That's awesome. I've never noticed that before. I think that may be a relatively new addition to the disclosures.

However, you don't see that unless you're trying to book an Adult (or Senior) fare. If you start by searching the website for the correct way to book for someone under age 2, it's never mentioned that the Infant Fare is a discount off of Anytime.

Baby on Board

Traveling with Children


I think if this info were somewhere more prominent than among the disclosures, it would eliminate much confusion.
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Old Jan 3, 16, 3:24 pm
#12

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Wait. Southwest refunds the infant fare, apparently along the lines of the old COS policy?!



Is this true? If so, I wish I would have been aware of it when my partner and I were flying with his <2 year old infant.
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Old Jan 5, 16, 1:58 pm
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I have heard of Southwest refunding the airfare paid by an <2 year old child where the child was intended to fly as a lap infant but the parents forgot the proof of age. In that case, the parents were required to buy a seat for the child at check-in but Southwest later refunded the cost of the ticket when the parents provided proof of age after the flight.

It'd be pretty awesome though if their policy was that they'd refund an <2 ticket as long as there were seats available. It seems like it wouldn't be entirely inconsistent with what they do with respect to lap babies, where the gate agents will tell parents to go ahead and take their car seats on and claim a seat when the flight's not full.
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