If you are a smart parent looking to fly with children on Southwest Airlines you might come across some not very detailed information about a child fare on Southwest Airlines. There is also an infant fare on Southwest, although you can hold a baby on your lap instead of buying a ticket for the infant until the child is 2 years old.
What you will not find is how much the usual Southwest Airlines child fare is. You won’t even find information about how much cheaper than regular fare child fare is on Southwest, or how affordable are southwest infant fares?
Actually, the answer is there on the Southwest website, but you have to speak travel agent in order to understand how much a child fare ticket is going to cost you.
Child Fares on Southwest Airlines
The official Southwest Airlines website says that there is a special child fare ticket that you can buy to fly on Southwest with kids. It also says that children’s fares are “unrestricted” and that you can change the ticket at any time. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Of course, if you speak travel-ease, you might have noticed that the child fare is not going to be cheaper than a regular adult passenger fare. In the heavily B.S. laden world of travel, there is an ongoing lie perpetrated by every airline there is.
When you buy a plane ticket, you might call a travel agent, or check Expedia or Travelocity or even go directly to the airline’s website. There will be different plane tickets you can buy. There will be different itineraries, different departure dates, different departure times, non-stop, one-stop, and so on. Each of these different options creates a different plane ticket, and each different ticket has its own airfare charge. However, at no time will you ever see the “regular” airfare price.
The “regular” or “standard” or “full fare” airfare is the price you would pay if you walked up to the counter at the airport an hour before the plane left and bought a seat. In other words, it is the overpriced airline fare that used to be charged to business travelers who had to get on a plane today and fly to Chicago, or whatever. In reality, even those travelers rarely pay full fare. In other words, full fare is a phony fare.
But, if you want to get that discount child fare on Southwest or any other airline, the supposed discount is off of that full fare ticket. That means that it will be WAY more expensive than the adult fare you found online.
This is the same scam that travel rewards credit cards use to offer a “free companion” airfare or plane ticket. It’s free, but ONLY if you buy the heavily overpriced full-fare ticket. Nine times out of ten, you’ll come out ahead by buying two normal plane tickets instead.
Basically, don’t bother with a child’s fare ticket. It will cost you much more than buying another ticket like the one you are buying.
It is not a scam, per se, but it is a false hope extended to parents who are hoping to get a cheaper ticket for their son or daughter to fly out to see Grandma and Grandpa.
Here are some real tips for saving money on airfare for vacation.