Southwest Airlines Vacations (SAV) will provide increased booking flexibility and enhance the compensation package for travel agents in a major marketing push. SAV said the recent introduction of seven new air fare classes has significantly increased the number of low cost fares available to book. Effective January 12, where previously only ‘M’ class was commissionable, SAV has increased commissionable fares to four bulk classes of service, including the T, N, S, and M classes, when booked on the outbound flight.
SAV has also adjusted the deposit at time of booking policy to allow new bookings outside of 45 days from departure to be held, as well as inventory and pricing guaranteed, without a deposit until the end of the day at 11:59 PM EST. Inside of 45 days from departure, full payment will remain due at time of booking. The current $100 non-refundable per person deposit will remain the same and, if not applied to the booking by 11:59 PM EST, the reservation will auto-cancel and pricing will not be guaranteed.
This new, more flexible hold policy affects new bookings made on or after January 9. For those bookings made through SAV's Customer Support Center, the deposit will be due prior to the Center’s closing time. Air fare commission applies only to bulk fares; published fares remain non-commissionable.
SAV said it values its travel agent partners, and will continue to focus on creating new opportunities for agents to increase their revenue. It will also offer value to clients with vacation packages available in Dynamic VAX VacationAccess, as well as SAV’s affiliated booking sources— Amadeus North America, AgentNet VAX VacationAccess, Sabre Vacations and Worldspan VacationSelect.
Other benefits of booking SAV include no first or second checked bag fees, no fuel surcharges, no snack fees, and no aisle or window seat fees. SAV’s “Set Your Own Commission” tool is available in VAX VacationAccess, giving travel agents the option to add an agency fee based on their service and value to the customer. Agents can use the “Set Your Own Commission” option to add up to 20 percent of the gross package price or $100, whichever is greater. Pre-Travel Protection Waivers are also commissionable at 10 percent and, if the client cancels their vacation, the travel agent will still receive 50 percent of the retail price of the waiver. Clients can check in online and reserve their boarding position beginning 24 hours in advance of departure. Ongoing performance based incentives are offered for additional revenue opportunities for travel agencies throughout the year.