Beginning sometime next year, Southwest Airlines will start charging a no-show fee for passengers who fail to cancel tickets before their flights. The company also said fees on early check-in and oversized bags are going up.
For years, Southwest Airlines had bragged that it was the only airline to not charge customers a fee to change their ticket. The airline even let customers apply the price of an unused ticket to a later trip.
But Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said customers who take advantage of those policies are leaving too many seats empty and that’s why the airline now plans to charge a no-show fee on its cheapest fares. At this point, the airline isn’t saying how much that fee will cost, or when it will go into effect.
CEO Gary Kelly also said the change will bring Southwest closer in line with policies at other airlines and won’t alienate customers.
The airline expects to raise $100 million next year from the new fee.