I’ve been a Southwest Rapid Rewards member (and credit card holder) for three years. I’ve flown Southwest both domestically and internationally and have had nothing but amazing experiences.
Southwest is a beloved airline for many travelers. Here are 8 reasons to love Southwest Airlines.
Two free checked bags
With most airlines charging for checked bags, and some airlines even charging for carry-on bags, two free checked bags per ticketed passenger is virtually unheard of. You also get a free personal item and carry-on bag, meaning you should have plenty of room for souvenirs!
Flying made easy for families
Southwest offers child fares up to the age of 11, but it does require you to make a phone call to book. Southwest does require a copy of your infant or toddler’s birth certificate if you choose for them to fly free by sitting in your lap (up to the age of 2).
Families with children under the age of 6 board together between the A and B boarding groups, ensuring you should be able to find seats together. Additionally, car seats and strollers fly free and don’t count towards your two free checked bags.
Southwest’s coveted Companion Pass is the stuff of dreams for couples who enjoy travelling. If you fly frequently, or spend quite a bit on a credit card each year, you should be striving for the Companion Pass. Earning it allows you to designate one person to fly for free with you for the rest of the year you earn it in as well as the entire next year, regardless of if you’re paying for your flight with cash or points.
Earning the Companion Pass takes some work – it requires you to either complete 100 one-way flights or earn 110K qualifying Rapid Rewards points within a calendar year. If you don’t have a Rapid Rewards credit card, watch for sign up bonuses that make it easier to land a Companion Pass. Buy one, get one free flights is a serious perk!
No change fees
This is a huge benefit of flying Southwest – no fees for changing your flight! If you’re having a great time and decide you want to extend your vacation, no problem. If an emergency happens and you need to head home sooner than expected, Southwest makes it easy. Many other airlines charge outrageous fees for changing your flight, but Southwest is committed to working with you for free.
Free snacks and beverages
While this is a simple gesture, a free bag of pretzels and non-alcoholic beverages is absolutely worth noting. In a world where many airlines charge extra for as many small amenities as possible, free anything is always a plus.
Great customer service
Southwest is known for going above and beyond, and that can make all the difference during a flight delay or any number of other tense situations. Southwest flight attendants are also great at what they do and tend to go the extra mile to make your flight experience enjoyable.
Quicker boarding process
Southwest is perhaps most infamous for their unique open seating policy. They never assign seats as travelers are instead assigned a boarding position based on the order in which they check in for the flight.
Check in becomes available 24 hours before you take off, and the quicker you check in, the sooner you’ll get on the plane and have your choice of any open seat. While some people find this stressful, especially if you are late to the check in party, I have found it to be smoother than the herd of people crowding the gate when pre-assigned seat groups are called to board.
If you aren’t up for the risk of finding yourself in C group (which likely means you’re doomed to a middle seat) you can pay a little extra for automatic early bird check in so you’re guaranteed an early boarding position without any effort on your part.
Walking onto the plane and grabbing the first open seat tends to go much quicker than everyone looking for a specific seat number, trying to find open bin space near their seat, and climbing over passengers to get to that window seat while holding everyone else up in the aisle.
A rapidly expanding route map
Southwest is adding new destinations, both international and domestic, often. Hawaii is their most recent new destination, and they also fly to 14 international destinations (and counting).