Last week, I wrote about an experience I had with Southwest Airlines when I volunteered to be “bumped” from one of their flights, and now I’m hooked on this travel strategy.
Taking advantage of Southwest’s voluntary bump policy never occurred to me until a few weeks ago, when inclement weather conditions prompted me to consider the option. My daughter and I had a wonderful diversion, turning an otherwise harrowing flight into a lovely overnight adventure in Providence, RI.
For years now, my family and I have been traveling from Baltimore to Cape Cod for holidays and vacations. I generally book our flights between BWI and Providence airports, since Providence is more convenient than Boston in many ways. The most logical departure time from Providence is in the early evening, sometime around 5pm to 7pm. The flight takes just over an hour, and gets us back to Baltimore at a reasonable time for settling back into our home routine.
On Sunday, when we were traveling back to Baltimore, the Southwest representative announced that they had a concern about some technical issues on our assigned plane. Once again, they were asking for volunteers to postpone their departure until another plane could be sent. It made good sense that they were asking for folks who were not at risk of jeopardizing any connecting flights. So once again, I was a perfect match for their request. And since my husband and I were traveling without our daughter this trip, the considerations were less complex. I made a beeline for the customer service counter to hear the offer.
Unlike the previous bump, we would only need to wait a few hours until we could board a flight, whereas the previous offer included an overnight stay. The benefits would include a $300 Southwest Airlines travel voucher per person (calculated according to Southwest’s policy, and the cost of our original tickets), the comp tickets to get home, and coupons for a meal at the airport café. After a quick calculation, I determined that we had received benefits that valued in excess of $1,100. The café food wasn’t the best, but for these savings we could certainly afford to pay for a nice glass of wine out of pocket.
As we began to board our 9pm flight, I heard the gate attendant announce another bump opportunity to the midnight flight. As I began to turn toward the representative to respond, my husband gently grabbed my hand and said, “Enough, honey. It’s time to go home.” And with his voice redirecting me back to reality, I found my seat and enjoyed our return flight.
Thanks again, Southwest. I’ll be waiting for our next rendezvous.
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
- 25,000 Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account
- Earn 6,000 Bonus Points after your Cardmember Anniversary*
- Earn unlimited points that don’t expire as long as you are a Cardmember*
- 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest Airlines® and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases*
- 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases*
- No foreign transaction fees on purchases made abroad†
- No blackout dates or seat restrictions when you redeem with points*