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Southwest Airlines

TripAdvisor Rating

4.0 of 5 stars 896 ratings 86% recommend

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Traveler ratings for Southwest Airlines

4.0 of 5 stars Value
4.0 of 5 stars Check-in experience
4.0 of 5 stars Punctuality
4.0 of 5 stars Baggage handling
3.0 of 5 stars Seat comfort
3.0 of 5 stars In-flight service
2.0 of 5 stars In-flight amenities
4.0 of 5 stars Reasonableness of fees

About Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines is an industry-leading low-cost carrier headquartered in Dallas, Texas. Southwest began service in 1971 and now operates more than 550 Boeing 737 aircraft on routes to over 70 cities in more than 35 U.S. states. Southwest is the largest U.S. carrier based on the number of domestic passengers carried. In 2011, Southwest Airlines acquired AirTran Airways, and the companies continue to integrate their operations. Southwest was a pioneer in the low-cost carrier space, and effectively invented the low-cost business model especially with regard to operating a single configuration fleet and eliminating traditional benefits such as seat assignments and meals.

Class of Service

Southwest Airlines provides one-class service on its flights.

  • All leather seats, complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Satellite-delivered broadband is being added to all aircraft
  • No assigned seats
  • Passengers who purchase Business Select fares enjoy priority boarding, a premium drink coupon and priority security checkpoint access
  • Passengers can purchase EarlyBird Check-In for a fee, which will automatically check you in 36 hours before departure and improve your seat selection options upon boarding
  • Bags Fly Free - no charge to check the first or second bag

Food and Drink

Non-alcoholic beverages and snacks are complimentary, and alcoholic beverages are available for purchase.

In-Flight Technology

Southwest is in the process of installing satellite-delivered broadband on its fleet, which will be available for a fee. There is a free internet portal that provides limited content, including games, shopping and a flight tracker. Voice applications (VOIP) will not be available.

View Southwest Airlines seat maps at SeatGuru.com.

Aircraft seat map

The Fleet

Southwest Airlines' fleet includes the following aircraft types*:

B737-300, -500 and -700
- There are over 500 737s in Southwest's fleet, all of which feature one class of service.

*Please note that Southwest may have several configurations of a specific aircraft type, so please check SeatGuru for seat map information and recommendations on the best seats for your flight.

Partner Airlines

Southwest Airlines partners with the Mexican carrier Volaris to provide connecting service to destinations in Mexico.

Customer Loyalty Program

Rapid Rewards is Southwest Airlines' frequent flyer loyalty program.

  • You can earn points by flying Southwest Airlines.
  • Points can also be accrued by purchasing products or services from numerous participating hotel, car and retail partners and by using an affiliated credit card.
  • Points can be redeemed for travel and other awards.
  • Points do not expire if you fly Southwest or earn points through partners at least once during a 24-month period.
  • Membership levels are A-List, A-List Preferred and Companion Pass. These membership levels are attained by flying 35,000, 70,000 and 110,000 Tier Qualifying Points or 25, 50 and 100 one-way qualifying flights, respectively, in one calendar year.
    • Perks include priority on the waitlist, bonus points on each flight and priority boarding.
  • You can buy miles for a fee.
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