Southwest Vacations (SWAV) celebrated its 30th-anniversary last month, marking three decades of milestones.
The vacation packager launched in 1989 as Southwest Airlines Fun Pack Vacations with only one destination in Las Vegas. SWAV added California (Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco) the following year and expanded its business to include Phoenix and Salt Lake City by 1994.
By the end of its first decade of existence SWAV had expanded to Florida (Orlando, Tampa and Ft. Lauderdale); introduced a website and online booking; changed its name to Southwest Airlines Vacations and begun offering ski vacations.
In 2003, SWAV launched the Friends Fly Free promotion with Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. Five years later, the company rolled out a new website design and introduced a convenient online check-in.
2011 was another big year for SWAV as Southwest Airlines acquired AirTran Airways and launched Southwest SGS air link enabling SWAV to become ticketless.
Two years later SWAV expanded its ever-growing destination list to include Mexico and via AirTran operated flights. Meanwhile, 2014 saw the SouthwestVacations.com website redesigned for improved user experience on various devices, including mobile phones and tablets.
After 25 years of growth, SWAV became the exclusive provider of packaging for Southwest Airlines in 2014 and launched its Risk Seat program on select international routes that same year. The following year, the route network expanded yet again to include coveted destinations like Puerto Vallarta, Liberia and Costa Rica while a Hotel Sort Algorithm was introduced to provide a better shopping experience and conversion rates.
In the past three years alone, SWAV has added EarlyBird Check-In and an Uplift payment option; allowed travelers to use Southwest Air Credits as a form of payment; added AMResorts to its hotel lineup and expanded to the Hawaiian islands.
As recently as last year, the Southwest Vacations travel agent website was redesigned and launched on VAX VacationAccess as SWVAgent.com, making it easier for agents to make their clients’ dream vacations a reality.
Only time will tell what the next 30 years have in store for SWAV.
In the meantime, everything’s on sale as travelers can save up to $250 on top of additional hotel savings when they book a flight and hotel vacation package to any of Southwest Vacations’ destinations. Save up to $250 on international and Hawaii vacations and as much as $125 on U.S. destinations excluding Hawaii.
Book by 7 p.m. ET on Monday, June 24 for travel now through January 4, 2020, to take advantage. One-day advance purchase is required.