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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 and 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 the 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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Southwest Airlines rules for baggage are that passengers are permitted to carry two-piece of checked baggage and one piece of carry-on baggage onboard their flight.
Southwest Airlinebaggage requirements are that 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 inches (46 x 22 x 34 cm). You musn't pack any prohibited items in your carry-on as they will be removed and thrown away at airporrt security. Prohibited items include liquids over 100ml, sharp objects, illegal substances and explosives.
Passengers are allowed two items of checked baggage free of charge. Southwest Airlines checked baggage weight limit is 50lb (22kg) per piece and its overall dimension is62 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 seats 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 has larger-than-average seats 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 that 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 for alcoholic beverages.
The seats for business class are just the same as economy class, which are described above.
There is currently no first-class offered on this airline.
Southwest Airlines offers free in-flight entertainment for its passengers to sit back and enjoy the journey! You can watch live and on-demand TV, watch movies or listen to music on Southwest flights.
Southwest Airlines offers free soft drinks and coffee onboard but alcoholic drinks are available to buy. Peanuts and 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 services, 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).
Online and airport check-in is available for flights with Southwest Airlines.
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 the scheduled Southwest Airline departure time and generally closes 30 minutes to one hour before.
Southwest Airlines has a frequent flyer program called Rapid Rewards.
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.
As of September 2022, Southwest Airlines travel destinations include over 100 domestic destinations in 40 states such as Chicago, Baltimore, Washington, Midway, Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas, Phoenix, Houston, Orlando, Atlanta and Los Angeles, as well as more than 15 international destinations across Central America and the Caribbean. Why not book a one-way flight with Southwest to the following destinations?
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Dallas Love Field (DAL) 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. Dallas Love Field (DAL) is the hub for Southwest -the airline has a 95% market share at the airport. The airport only has a single terminal with 20 gates, numbered from 1-20. Alaska Airlines leases two gates (11 and 13), and Southwest leases the other eighteen gates.
Take the time to treat yourself or a family member in duty-free stores- you could spend endless hours browsing the shops Dallas-Love field has to offer. There are also a range of Cafes and restaurants for you to enjoy, including Chick-Fil-A, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks and Chili's.
The extensive fleet consists of Boeing 737-700s, Boeing 737MAXs, and Boeing 737-800s, delivering more than 4,000 SW Airlines flights per day in peak season. Southwest is the largest operator of the Boeing 737 worldwide. In total, the airline has a fleet of over 800 aircraft and carried more than 134 million passengers in 2019. Below is a more accurate list of all the aircraft in Southwest's fleet:
Boeing 737-700 - Southwest has almost 450 in service, with each aircraft seating up to 143 passengers.
Boeing 737-800 - Just over 200 in service, seating up to 175 passengers per aircraft.
Boeing 737 MAX 8 - Over 150 in service, with 200 more orders of this aircraft to be added to the fleet.
Boeing 737 MAX 7 - None in the fleet just yet, but Southwest has 192 orders of this particular aircraft and deliveries are expected to begin in 2023.
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3rd February 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 for the travel industry, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and suggests that, despite this, Southwest still sees continued growth in the future.
3 September 2020
Southwest is looking to start its flights to Miami International Airport and Palm Springs International Airport within 2020.
24 February 2020
Southwest Airlines plans 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.