I promised I'd explain about the sometimes misleading cues Southwest Vacations gives on their specials. I'm surprised I haven't seen much talk about this elsewhere, as their website does not make it clear, and it is crucial you understand it if you are making a booking there. Once you learn how to read their listings, though, it is actually quite straightforward.
For any location there are often multiple specials being offered. Southwest Vacations give each one an identifying code, listed within the detailed description of the offer. Here is an example of two such offers for Disney World. I've circled the code word ("DEAL" and "SALE", in this case) for each.
Once you choose "BOOK NOW" from one of these offers, you might conclude that the offer you chose would apply to all listings shown, or, if not to all of the listings, at least to any which specifically noted the offer. Not so! Here are a couple of the listings that came up when the Free Dining Plan ("SALE") offer was selected.
The left hand listing has (1) "FREE Quick Service Dining!" noted in red, however the Room Type shows (2) "Standard Room". This choice would NOT include the Free Dining offer. I believe this may be a vestige of a listing that once had this option, but has sold out the quantity they had available with the special. The right hand listing came up with the (3) "DEAL Standard" Room Type. If this were selected, the special "DEAL" offer, with a lower per night room rate, would be applied, but it would not include the Free Dining "SALE" offer. This listing has more Room Type options available. (4) To see them, click on the "Upgrade Room" link, and the current choices available will pop up.
Here we can see the choices for this listing include the "SALE" offer, either as a Standard or Preferred room. If the Room Type implies the special is being offered, but does not indicate the specific offer code (such as saying "FREE Quick Dining Plan...", but not including the "SALE" offer code in the Room Type description), it is NOT offering what it implies. This does happen! Think of it as a typo, and don't be misled. Once you select your desired Room Type, and press the "Upgrade Room" button, you will have all the promised features for that offer bundled together, and can proceed with your booking.
- Note the code associated with the offer you wish to book
- Look for that offer code as part of the Room Type description
- If you don't see the code and there is an "Upgrade Room" link, see if it is available
If you follow these steps, you can be sure of what you will receive. If you don't see your Room Type and are flexible on dates, try a different start date, and you may see it in those listings.