Southwest Hawaii flights (and other Southwest flights) have, for the first time, become available for booking via an online travel agency, the Chase travel portal. We learned about it recently and tried using it tonight. The results were totally not what we were expecting, as you’ll see below.
It was just a few months ago we first wrote about Why You’ll Buy Hawaii Vacations From Banks or Amazon Next. So we didn’t have to wait long before actually giving it a try today.
Southwest Airlines has long shunned all OTA relationships, including Google Flights, Expedia, etc. The airline has been clear that it wants guests coming to the southwest.com website as the only place to book. That is until now.
First, Chase Southwest offerings included only two fare types: Wanna Get Away and Wanna Get Away Plus. It also isn’t clear whether the entire Southwest flight inventory has been loaded to Chase Travel or not. Read on for how our experience using the Chase portal compared with booking directly on Southwest.
The Chase travel portal is a relatively new feature for those having many Chase credit cards. Not unlike OTA’s, such as Expedia, the Chase travel portal lets you book flights, hotels, and more. You can also redeem their points to either pay in full or reduce the cost of a trip. There are no blackout dates.
Not all of Chase’s credit cards participate, so check yours. For example, Chase United Airlines credit cards earn United Mileage Plus miles instead of Chase points.
Benefits of booking travel in the portal.
Chase members earn rewards, including points per dollar or points spent on travel through the portal, among other rewards. That appears to be the compelling reason people choose to book through Chase Travel.
Big concerns about booking Southwest via Chase.
You might be far better off booking Hawaii travel directly with Southwest Airlines. If for no other reason, it’s always best to deal directly with the travel provider, especially in the event of any changes.
Getting to the Chase Travel portal.
When you log into your Chase account, the travel portal is found in the right sidebar.
To make any reservation through the Chase travel portal, you will be at the mercy of Chase’s own policies when it comes to changing or canceling tickets rather than the airline’s. So we’d suggest reading all the fine print first.
For example, you will have to contact Chase instead of Southwest to change your Hawaii travel plans. In our experience, that can be challenging compared to dealing directly with the airline. Southwest tends to be very easy to work with under such circumstances.
What’s with the extra 45% cost we just found booking Southwest Hawaii via Chase?
After a quick shopping comparison with Southwest and Chase, we found that Chase was significantly more money for the exact same Hawaii flights and dates. We suggest you price-compare, too, if you’re even inclined to book via Chase. For this comparison, we picked random dates flying between Los Angeles and Maui, and here’s what we found.
Southwest Airlines airfare via Chase Travel.
The cost to purchase the exact same ticket via the Chase Travel portal is 45% more than when booking on southwest.com. Chase offered a higher fare basis than Southwest on the return flight. Wow!
The same Southwest Airlines airfare via Southwest.com.
Southwest offered its lowest Wanna Get Away fares on both outbound and return, and the fare difference was astounding.
Have you ever booked travel using the Chase Travel portal, or would you consider it?