BCD & Balboa Travel now connects to Southwest Airlines

Since February 1st, ALL Southwest Airline fares are available through BCD Travel and Balboa Travel with the added convenience of billing your airfare directly to your campus funds!

Southwest Airlines do not allow agencies access to their lowest fare inventory (also known as web fares) and 58% of UC travelers were booking their tickets through SWABIZ, instead of the agencies, in order to take advantage of such fares. This meant that these travelers could not take advantage of the campus CTS/Direct Bill option to pay for their airfare and those who chose to book with the agencies may have been paying higher airfare.

Direct Connect is a Southwest approved, 3rd party online tool that bridges the gap between Southwest’s live inventory and BCD/Balboa. UC’s Travel Council approved implementing this program to benefit UC and our travelers. This option will also generate a net savings of $627,748.

Additional Benefits of this new option:

  • BCD/Balboa will connect directly to Southwest for real time fare and flight availability
  • Access to all international routes
  • Easily book trips to multiple destinations, or fly into one city and out of another
  • Allows for mixed class fares (depart on “wanna get away”, return on “Anytime” fare)
  • Rapid Reward and TSA Pre-Check/Known Traveler numbers will now be sent automatically to Southwest

Please note: Direct Connect is a 3rd party tool and as such the online booking fee for all Southwest tickets will go up by $4 (to $11.50) per ticket. The full service agency assist transaction fee of $34 will remain the same.

We will hold 30-minute webinars to showcase this new option and we encourage you to check for an updated schedule here.