Starting December 11, Southwest Airlines will eliminate discounted airfares for seniors. Currently, those aged 65 and older can receive a fully refundable ticket at a much lower price. Seniors flying on Southwest can often save a couple hundred dollars for a round-trip ticket using their senior discount.
While senior citizens who fly with Southwest are probably disappointed by the news, the airline still offers its Wanna Get Away tickets for a lower price than senior fares, but Wanna Get Away fares can only be refunded for future credit, while senior fares offer a full refund in the event of cancellation.
Southwest claims that, with careful consideration, the senior fare option isn't needed as its Wanna Get Away fare offers many of the same benefits, including low fares and reusable funds should the flyer cancel his or her trip. That said, Southwest is still allowing its customers to access the senior discounts till December 11, for flights booked through April 13 of next year.
When compared with other major airlines, Southwest offers a generous and easily accessible senior discount. Southwest made it relatively easy to access the senior discount as eligible flyers could simply buy the tickets via southwest.com. American Airlines also offers senior discounts, but travelers must call the company, and the discount isn't available on all flights. United Airlines, however, offers senior discounts directly on its website, but again, not for all routes.
On another note, Southwest still offers discounts for children 11 and under, as well as for infants, but tickets must be purchased over the phone. Similarly, members of the military and their families, as well as government employees, can call southwest and enjoy discounted fares.