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A Review of Southwest Senior Fares, Boarding and Rules

Traveling for seniors is very common as they too may feel the need of visiting their distant family and relatives or perhaps, just go on a holiday getaway. Southwest Airlines provides certain perks and regulations for customers who are seniors and flying on their flights. Here is a review of Southwest senior fares. This may also include discounts on fares, checking in, boarding, cancellation of reservations, and more.

In this travel guide prepared by Treknova, we will provide you insight on Southwest senior fares, their boarding procedure, and other regulations as well.

A Brief Overview of Southwest Seniors Fare

Southwest Airlines offers low fares to seniors traveling within or outside the United States on their flights. These low fares often include special discounts for customers that are of age 65 years and above.

In other words, senior fares on Southwest have discounted Anytime fares for customers that are aged 65 years and over. The Southwest senior fare is, in most cases, the best price for a refundable fare. For instance, the Wanna Get Away fare will likely be lower, if it’s still available. However, if the ability to refund is important, then a senior fare would be a good option.

Although Southwest senior fares have discounts, however, these discounted fares may or may not include services at the airport and when onboard the flight. Well, this actually depends on the ticket type purchased i.e., Business or First class cabin, and also whether the ticket is refundable or non-refundable. In addition, there are certain regulations specifically issued toward senior citizens that can be found on the airline’s travel policy. So, be sure to read them.

Mandatory Age Verification for Senior Travellers

Customers traveling on a Senior Fare and who are not “age verified”, are required to provide valid proof of age when exchanging their confirmation number for a boarding pass. A driver’s license or other valid identification can also be accepted at the airport. Once the age and documents have been confirmed, seniors will then be able to use mobile boarding passes from thereon out.

If you are a senior traveling with Southwest, keep in mind that you cannot check-in online or at a self-service kiosk without being age verified first. Also, the same identification is required to check a bag or clear security. In this case, though, you will have to stop at airport check-in even if you are not checking a bag in order to be verified.

Updates for Southwest Senior Travel

Southwest Airlines made certain changes to their travel policy a year ago. Thus, as of December 11, 2019, senior fares are no longer available for purchase. You will, however, still be able to avail various services with their other fare features.

You will be glad to know that refundable fares are still available with Southwest’s Anytime® fares and Business Select® fares as well.

Thus, as per their policy, all Southwest fares offer the following benefits:

  • Reusable funds (future travel credit, up to 12 months from the initial booking date)
  • Bags fly free (applies to first and second checked bags only. Weight and size limits also apply)
  • No change fees (fare difference may apply)

Booking a Southwest Senior Reservation

Southwest Airlines allows booking reservations for seniors on their website for both domestic and international destinations. You can also make reservations by contacting a Southwest Airlines Customer Representative or visiting a local travel agent near you.

However, keep in mind that Southwest Senior Fares only apply to customers who are aged 65 years or over. So, even if you are travelling as a companion with a senior citizen, you will still have to pay full price for your fare.

For international itineraries, premium fares cannot be combined with other types of fares in the same reservation. For example, you cannot book one passenger for the standard Wanna Get Away Fare and another passenger for a premium ticket in the same booking. Premium fares must be booked in a separate international flight itinerary.

Since you need to verify your passport, you can check in for international flights online and get an assigned boarding location. However, you can only obtain the actual boarding pass after checking in at the Southwest Airlines ticket counter or the airport check-in kiosk.

Southwest Senior Check-in

As with other Southwest Airlines fares, travelers using premium fares can check in for flights and obtain boarding passes online on You can also check in at Skycap podiums at specific locations, ticket counters, boarding gates or airport self-service counters.

If you are travelling on a Senior Fare and you are already age verified, you can request your boarding pass at or at the airport’s self-service kiosk. Additionally, if a wheelchair is required, the facility can be requested at curbside check in or at the ticket counter located in the main lobby. If seniors are travelling with their own electrical wheelchair, you must notify Southwest at least 48 hours in advance.

It isalso recommended that you visit the airline’s Check in and Boarding Procedures pages on their website for complete details on their travel policies.

For International Travel

If you are a senior traveller, you can check in online for international flights and receive your assigned boarding position. You will not receive an actual boarding pass until you check in at the Southwest Airlines Ticket Counter or kiosk upon arrival at the airport and have your passport verified.

Required documentation

Keep in mind that documentation required to travel to foreign countries and/or re-enter the United States varies by country. Therefore, it is important that you provide your origin/destination for documentation requirements specific to your itinerary. A valid passport is also required for international travel along with other documentation based on your destination.

You must provide your passport information prior to checking in for your flight, but it is not required in order to make a reservation. You may do so either:

(i) during the booking process at,

(ii) after you book your flight online at,

(iii) during the online check in process, or

(iv) at the airport on your day of travel using a kiosk or at the Southwest Airlines Ticket Counter.

To reduce wait times at the airport, it is recommended that you enter your required passport information online at prior to travel. In addition, keep in mind that there are other types of documents that may be used in order to travel internationally in lieu of a passport, such as a Visa or Green Card.

Checking baggage

When checking baggage at the airport, please remember that after arriving in the United States, transfer passengers must claim all their baggage regardless of their final destination. Airline customer service agent before connecting.

In addition, if any part of the itinerary includes international flights, you cannot use SkyCap to check luggage on the roadside. You must visit the Southwest Airlines ticket counter.

No Show Policy for Southwest Senior Customers

Southwest Airlines stated in its ‘No Show’ travel policy: ‘If you do not plan to travel on any part of the ticket price, please cancel your reservation at least 10 minutes before the scheduled flight departure. Even the cheapest Southwest Airlines ticket can be saved Come down and reuse it for future trips.’

Unlike almost all other airlines, Southwest Airlines does not charge passengers who fail to cancel their ‘want to leave’ fare segment bookings at least 10 minutes before travel. Passengers who have not boarded the flight will be deemed not to show up and all your tickets will be confiscated.

All remaining unused business select, anytime and premium fare funds will be converted into reusable travel funds that are only applicable to the original ticketing passenger.

If you do not show the ‘Quick Rewards’ travel booking, these points will be re-deposited to the buyer’s ‘Quick Rewards’ account. Any taxes and fees associated with award travel bookings will be retained in the traveler’s name in the form of reusable travel funds for future use.

Other Things to Consider

If you need a wheelchair, please check in at the side of the road or request a wheelchair at the main ticket counter in the lobby. If you travel with your own electric wheelchair, you must notify Southwest Airlines at least 48 hours in advance.

Finally, if checking luggage, be sure to give your final destination rather than your connecting city to the Southwest agent handling your check in process. Make sure the city shown on your baggage claim ticket and luggage tag matches your final destination.

Value of Senior Fares vs. Rapid Rewards Points

When the premium fare may not be able to get a high value, please don’t forget Southwest Airlines’ quick reward points for award flights. Passengers with Southwest Airlines Express Rewards credit cards can earn 2 extra points for every dollar spent on Southwest Airlines.

Southwest Customer Helpline for Managing Senior Reservation

If you need to change or cancel your existing reservation, you can visit Manage Reservations online on You can also contact a Southwest Airlines Customer Service Representative at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9729) for assistance.

Forcustomers who are deaf and hard of hearing may call the airline’s Teletypewriter (TTY) number, (800) 533-1305, and speak with a Customer Service Representative. Their Customer Service Representatives can assist with making reservations and answering general questions. Additionally, SouthwestAirlines offers a video relay service at SWAVRS.TV, and there are TTY phones located in each of the airports they serve. So, you always find assistance when in need.

Conclusion – Review of Southwest Senior Fares

Thus, if you are a senior aged 65 yeas or over and looking for a fully refundable option, then the Senior Fare on Southwest Airlines can be a really great benefit for you. Also, understanding the ins and outs of how they work as seen from the above-mentioned guide, will provide you an even greater benefit.

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