Southwest (also referred to as SW airlines or SWA) is a major US airline that provides low-cost passenger flights. The airline is based at Dallas Love Field airport operates an extensive network across the US, as well as to international destinations in North and Central America. Overall, the airline flies to more than 100 destinations. At its most popular time of year, Southwest flies more than 4,000 daily flights (pre Covid-19 pandemic)
Southwest Airlines was established in 1967, and originally only flew between Texas' three of its biggest cities: Houston, Dallas and San Antonio. The airline has grown massively since then and is now one of the biggest carriers in the US. It's regularly within the top 3 airlines in the US for number of passengers carried, behind Delta and American Airlines. It's the most popular low-cost carrier in all of North America.
The airline is known for its cheap basic fares, which are sold as seat-only tickets for very affordable prices. Passengers that want extra for their flight can add-on to their fare to give them what they need. Southwest is unique in that it's one of the only airlines to use open-seating. Open seating is when passengers aren't assigned a seat at check-in and choose their seat as they board the flight, on a first-come-first-serve basis.
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As of September 2021, Southwest Airlines has scheduled flights to over 100 domestic destinations in 40 states, including Chicago, Baltimore, Washington, Midway, Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas, Phoenix, Houston, Orlando, Atlanta, Los Angeles, as well as international more than 15 international destinations across Central America and the Caribbean.
|Alabama||Birmingham||Birmingham–Shuttlesworth International Airport|
|Arizona||Phoenix||Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport|
|Tucson||Tucson International Airport|
|Arkansas||Little Rock||Little Rock National Airport|
|California||Burbank||Hollywood Burbank Airport|
|Fresno||Fresno Yosemite International Airport|
|Long Beach||Long Beach Airport|
|Los Angeles||Los Angeles International Airport|
|Oakland||Oakland International Airport|
|Ontario||Ontario International Airport|
|Orange County||John Wayne Airport|
|Palm Springs||Palm Springs International Airport|
|Sacramento||Sacramento International Airport|
|San Diego||San Diego International Airport|
|San Francisco||San Francisco International Airport|
|San José||San Jose International Airport|
|Santa Barbara||Santa Barbara Municipal Airport|
|Colorado||Denver||Denver International Airport|
|Steamboat Springs||Yampa Valley Regional Airport|
|Telluride (Montrose||Montrose Regional Airport|
|Colorado Springs||Colorado Springs Airport|
|Connecticut||Hartford||Bradley International Airport|
|Florida||Fort Lauderdale||Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport|
|Fort Myers||Southwest Florida International Airport|
|Jacksonville||Jacksonville International Airport|
|Orlando||Orlando International Airport|
|Palm Beach||Palm Beach International Airport|
|Panama City||Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport|
|Pensacola||Pensacola International Airport|
|Miami||Miami International Airport|
|Sarasota||Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport|
|Tampa||Tampa International Airport|
|Georgia||Atlanta||Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport|
|Savannah||Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport|
|Hawaii||Honolulu||Daniel K. Inouye International Airport|
|Kailua-Kona||Kona International Airport|
|Hilo||Hilo International Airport|
|Illinois||Chicago||Midway International Airport|
|O'Hare International Airport|
|Indiana||Indianapolis||Indianapolis International Airport|
|Iowa||Des Moines||Des Moines International Airport|
|Kansas||Wichita||Wichita Eisenhower National Airport|
|Kentucky||Louisville||Louisville International Airport|
|Louisiana||New Orleans||Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport|
|Maine||Portland, ME||Portland International Jetport|
|Maryland||Baltimore||Baltimore–Washington International Airport|
|Massachusetts||Boston||Logan International Airport|
|Michigan||Detroit||Detroit Metropolitan Airport|
|Grand Rapids||Gerald R. Ford International Airport|
|Minnesota||Minneapolis/St. Paul||Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport|
|Mississippi||Jackson||Jackson International Airport|
|Missouri||Kansas City||Kansas City International Airport|
|St. Louis||St. Louis Lambert International Airport|
|Nevada||Las Vegas||McCarran International Airport|
|Reno/Tahoe||Reno-Tahoe International Airport|
|New Hampshire||Manchester||Manchester-Boston Regional Airport|
|New Mexico||Albuquerque||Albuquerque International Sunport|
|New York||Albany, NY||Albany International Airport|
|Buffalo||Buffalo Niagara International Airport|
|Long Island/Islip||Long Island MacArthur Airport|
|New York City||LaGuardia Airport|
|Rochester, NY||Greater Rochester International Airport|
|North Carolina||Charlotte||Charlotte/Douglas International Airport|
|Raleigh/Durham||Raleigh–Durham International Airport|
|Ohio||Cincinnati||Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport|
|Cleveland||Cleveland Hopkins International Airport|
|Columbus||John Glenn Columbus International Airport|
|Oklahoma||Oklahoma City||Will Rogers World Airport|
|Tulsa||Tulsa International Airport|
|Oregon||Portland, OR||Portland International Airport|
|Pennsylvania||Philadelphia||Philadelphia International Airport|
|Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh International Airport|
|Puerto Rico||San Juan||Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport|
|Rhode Island||Providence||T. F. Green Airport|
|South Carolina||Charleston||Charleston International Airport|
|Greenville/Spartanburg||Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport|
|Tennessee||Memphis||Memphis International Airport|
|Nashville||Nashville International Airport|
|Texas||Amarillo||Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport|
|Austin||Austin–Bergstrom International Airport|
|Corpus Christi||Corpus Christi International Airport|
|Dallas||Dallas Love Field|
|El Paso||El Paso International Airport|
|Harlingen/South Padre Island||Valley International Airport|
|Houston||George Bush Intercontinental Airport|
|William P. Hobby Airport|
|Lubbock||Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport|
|Midland/Odessa||Midland International Airport|
|San Antonio||San Antonio International Airport|
|Utah||Salt Lake City||Salt Lake City International Airport|
|Virginia||Norfolk||Norfolk International Airport|
|Richmond||Richmond International Airport|
|Washington||Seattle/Tacoma||Seattle–Tacoma International Airport|
|Spokane||Spokane International Airport|
|Washington, D.C.||Washington, D.C.||Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport|
|Washington Dulles International Airport|
|Wisconsin||Milwaukee||Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport|
Southwest Airlines flies to more than 15 international destinations, which a particular focus on central and southern America. International destinations include Aruba, the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Mexico, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
|Aruba||Oranjestad||Queen Beatrix International Airport|
|Bahamas||Nassau||Lynden Pindling International Airport|
|Belize||Belize City||Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport|
|Cayman Islands||George Town||Owen Roberts International Airport|
|Costa Rica||Liberia||Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport|
|San José||Juan Santamaría International Airport|
|Cuba||Havana||José Martí International Airport|
|Dominican Republic||Punta Cana||Punta Cana International Airport|
|Jamaica||Montego Bay||Sangster International Airport|
|Mexico||Cancún||Cancún International Airport|
|Cozumel||Cozumel International Airport|
|Puerto Vallarta||Lic. Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport|
|San José del Cabo||Los Cabos International Airport|
|Turks and Caicos Islands||Providenciales||Providenciales International Airport|
Southwest Airlines passengers are permitted to carry two-piece of checked baggage and one piece of carry-on baggage onboard their flight.
Southwest Airlines passengers are entitled to one item of carry-on baggage per person. This carry-on bag must not exceed 10 x 16 x 24 inches (25 x 40 x 60cm). In addition to this, passengers are allowed to bring one personal item with them on the flight, for example, a small rucksack, a handbag, a briefcase or a laptop. This small personal item must not exceed the overall dimensions of 18.5 x 8.5 x 13.5 inch (46 x 22 x 34 cm).
Passengers are allowed two items of checked baggage free of charge. This baggage must not weigh more than 50lb (22kg) per piece and must fit within the overall dimensions of 62 inches (157 cm) (L x W x H).
All seats on Southwest flights are economy as standard; this is the only class on all flights.
Economy class passengers receive free in-flight entertainment, including films and tv shows. All seating is open-seating, meaning that passengers simply choose their seat once they are on the plane. This avoids having to rush to get to check-in or pre-select your seat.
The seats on the Southwest fleet range from 31-33 inch pitch and 17 - 17.8 inches wide with 2 inches recline and adjustable headrests. This is reported to be one of the most comfortable economy seats on low-cost carriers, as the company have larger-than-average sears with enhanced cushion support in the seat.
There is no premium economy currently available with this airline.
Southwest has a booking fare called Business Select, which allows passengers certain privileges when flying with this airline. Although the onboard seating arrangements will be the same as every other passenger, such as being in the same cabin, Business Select passengers get priority features which enhance their experience.
Passengers will get guaranteed priority boarding, which is perfect for the open-seating plan, as passengers can enter the plane first, choose their seat and settle before the rest of the passengers are permitted on the plane. Check-in is also quicker, with lines all being fast-tracked for security and check-in. Passengers in Business will also receive a complimentary premium drink voucher to use on the day of travel, which includes options of alcoholic beverages.
The seats for business class are just the same as economy class, which are described above.
There is currently no first classed offered on this airline.
Southwest Airlines does not offer seat back in-flight entertainment but you can download the Southwest app to get access to in-flight entertainment for free.
Southwest Airlines offers free soft drinks and coffee onboard but alcoholic drinks are available to buy. Pretzels are free onboard. The menu onboard is available on their website.
Enjoy fast WIFI when you fly with Southwest Airlines. Allowing you to stay connected while being thousands of feet in the air, ultra-fast WIFI gives you access to all of your favourite streaming service, emails and messages, so you don't miss out on your favourite shows or important updates at work while you're flying. The airline's WIFI is available on Southwest flights, all-day WiFi only costs USD $8 (price as of 2020).
For passengers flying on Southwest Airlines, web check-in reservation is available on all flights. You can check-in online by visiting the online check-in page and entering your confirmation number, first and last name. Online check-in opens 24 hours before to one hour prior to scheduled flight departure time.
Airport check-in can be completed by visiting the dedicated check-in counters at the airport of departure. Airport check-in opens three hours before scheduled flight departure time and generally closes 30 minutes to one hour before.
This airline operates a frequent flyer program called Rapid Rewards to reward its regular passengers.
In 2011, Rapid Rewards changed to a points system based on ticket cost. Members earn and redeem points based on a three-tier fare scale multiplier and the cost of the ticket. Changes also included no blackout dates, seat restrictions or expiring credits. It also adds more options to use points.
It's now easier than ever to collect frequent flyer points easily with Alternative Airlines and enjoy the benefits of your chosen alliance. If you have not yet chosen an Airline Alliance, check out our article to find out which frequent flyer program is best for you.
When making your booking through Alternative Airlines, it is easy to collect your frequent flyer points. Simply select Rapid Rewards from the drop-down option during the flight-booking process and add your unique membership number.
Southwest Airlines is not a member of any airline alliance.
The extensive fleet consists of Boeing 737-700s, Boeing 737MAXs, and Boeing 737-800s, delivering more than 4,000 flights per day in peak season. In total, the airline has a fleet of almost over 750 aircraft and carried more than 134 million passengers in 2019.
|Boeing 737 MAX 7*||0||6|
|Boeing 737 MAX 8*||0||27|
*Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are now being grounded, hence, the airline has 34 more 737 MAX in storage.
Dallas Love Field is a city-owned airport located 6 miles outside of the city of Dallas. The airport was Dallas's main airport until Dallas Fort Worth International Airport opened in 1974. Other airlines that operate out of the airport include Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Delta Airlines and Taos Air.
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How to book a flight on Southwest Airlines
To make a reservation with Alternative Airlines, simply search your departure and destination cities into our search bar above. You can use our filters to select Southwest flights only.
When making a reservation with Alternative Airlines, you can also book a seat on your plane when purchasing your tickets, rather than waiting till check-in.
The following airlines operate similar routes to the ones served by Southwest Airlines:
3rd Februry 2021
Southwest Airlines announced last month that it will be adding an additional route between Kahului (Maui), Hawaii and Long Beach, Calif. From March, Southwest Airlines will also commence an additional six new routes from Long Beach including Chicago (Midway), Dallas (Love Field), Honolulu (Oahu), Houston (Hobby), Kahului (Maui), Reno/Tahoe, and St. Louis. This news follows a difficult year from the travel industry, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and suggests that, despite this, Southwest still sees continued growth in the future.
3 September 2020
24 February 2020
Southwest Airlines is planning to start seasonal daily flights between Denver and Steamboat Springs. The route is planned to commence in winter 2020. Currently, United Express is the only operator between the two destinations.
27 January 2020
Southwest is focused on growing its Hawaii service in 2020. The airline operates 14 daily flights from California to Hawaii via Oakland, Sacramento and San Jose. This is in addition to 38 daily departures across its inter-island network.
In march 2020, Southwest will kick off new routes from Sacramento to Kahului, and from San Diego to Maui and Honolulu in April.