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Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Southwest Airlines is the largest low-cost carrier in the world. More domestic passengers fly with this airline than with any other airline in the United States. During peak season, Southwest Airlines operates over 4,000 daily departures to 99 domestic destinations and to international destinations in 10 other countries. Originally founded in 1967 as Air Southwest, the airline received its current name in 1971, when it began operations as an interstate airline in Texas.
For its first few years in operation, Southwest Airlines only flew routes to and from Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. Harlingen was added in 1975 and, by 1976, the airline was flying to 11 different cities in Texas. In the same year, Southwest Airlines also added its first rout outside of the state, to New Orleans. Throughout the 80s and 90s, Southwest Airlines continued to grow its network of routes within the United States to include cities such as Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver, Detroit, and Cleveland. In the 90s, the airline proved to be ahead of its time by creating a website where passengers could go to view schedules and route maps.
The next major step forward for Southwest Airlines came in 2011, with the acquisition of AirTran Airways. This acquisition added 25 new destinations to the airline’s routes, including destinations to cities in the Caribbean. It also brought Southwest Airlines to Atlanta, Georgia, which, at the time, was the largest city in the United States not served by Southwest Airlines. Over the next several years, the airline continued to expand north to Washington D.C. and New York City and South to Cuba.
Today, Southwest Airlines flies to 40 different US states, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Central America, Turks and Caicos, and other Caribbean destinations. Having already established itself as a domestic carrier, the airline is continually expanding into offering more international routes.
Once you’ve got your flight and tickets booked with Southwest Airlines to one of their domestic or international destinations, it’s time to start thinking about accommodations and transportation for your trip. You can use Skyscanner’s helpful tools to find the best deals on hotels and cheap car rentals at your next Southwest Airlines destination.
10 Domestic Destinations Served by Southwest Airlines
1) Dallas Love Field; Dallas, Texas
2) Austin-Bergstrom International Airport; Austin, Texas
3) Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport; New Orleans, Louisiana
4) Will Rogers World Airport; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
5) Albuquerque International Sunport; Albuquerque, New Mexico
6) McCarran International Airport; Las Vegas, Nevada
7) Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport; Phoenix, Arizona
8) Indianapolis International Airport; Indianapolis, Indiana
9) San Diego International Airport; San Diego, California
10) Los Angeles International Airport; Los Angeles, California
10 International Destinations Served by Southwest Airlines
1) Providenciales International Airport; Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands
2) Owen Roberts International Airport; George Town, Cayman Islands
3) José Martí International Airport; Havana, Cuba
4) Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport; Liberia, Costa Rica
5) Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport; Belize City, Belize
6) Lic. Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
7) Mexico City International Airport; Mexico City, Mexico
8) Sangster International Airport; Montego Bay, Jamaica
9) Punta Cana International Airport; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
10) Dominican Republic; Nassau, Bahamas
Southwest Airlines Fleet
Southwest Airlines exclusively operates Boeing 737 aircraft, as it has done since its inception. It is, today, the single largest operator of Boeing 737s in the entire world and was the first airline in the United States to take a delivery of Boeing 737 MAX 8. Southwest Airlines currently operates 12 Boeing 737 MAX 8s, 175 Boeing 737-800s, and an astounding 509 Boeing 737-700s. Southwest Airlines will also be the launch customer for the Boeing 737 MAX 7.
Loyalty Programs, Discounts and Miles promotions
Frequent fliers with Southwest Airlines can take advantage of the Rapid Rewards program to earn points which they can then redeem for flights and other awards. Points are earned every time you fly at a rate determined by the cost and type of your fare. You can also earn points by making purchases with Rapid Rewards partners. Once you’ve accumulated enough points, you can redeem them to pay for fares, hotel stays, rental cars, gift cards, and a variety of other rewards.
Loyal travellers can enjoy even more benefits through three distinct tiers in the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards program: A-List, A-List Preferred, and Companion Pass. A-List and A-List Preferred members earn points at a faster rate, receive priority boarding, check-in access, and security lane access, and can take advantage of free same-day standby. With a companion pass, you may choose someone to fly with you, free of airline charges, every time you redeem or purchase points for a fare.
Southwest Airlines frequently features promotions from Rapid Rewards partners on their website which allow you to earn thousands of points at a time.
How to Check In, Seating Assignment, Leg Room and Other Fees
If you want to avoid standing in line at the Southwest Airlines check-in counter, then consider checking in ahead of time online. Online check-in is available 24 hours before the scheduled time of departure. Simply check in, print your boarding pass, and skip the line at the airport. If you check in for a Southwest Airlines flight with a web-enabled mobile device, then you won’t even need to print a boarding pass. You’ll instead have the option of receiving a mobile boarding pass which you can show directly from your device at security checkpoints and when boarding.
You do not receive an assigned seat when flying with Southwest Airlines. Instead, each flight has open seating and assigned boarding groups. When your boarding group is called, you simply board the aircraft and choose an open seat. Boarding groups are first-come, first-serve, but you can secure your spot in one of the earliest boarding groups for an extra $30 or $40 fee, depending on your flight. A higher position helps ensure more preferential seating.
Baggage Allowance and Fees
Don’t worry about having to whittle down your packing – Southwest Airlines allows each passenger to bring up to two free checked bags each weighing up to 23 kg. The maximum allowable combined dimensions for each bag cannot exceed 157 cm. Any additional piece of baggage or any piece of baggage which exceeds the weight and size allowance but does not exceed 45 kg or 203 cm will be accepted for a $75 fee.
Southwest Airlines also allows passengers to bring one carry-on and one personal item into the cabin of the aircraft. Your personal item should be able to fit under the seat in front of you, while your carry-on can be stowed in the overhead compartment. Carry-on items may not exceed dimensions of 25x40.5x61 cm.
Service On Board: In-flight Entertainment and Meals
If you don’t feel like napping, reading, or chatting with your neighbour, then Southwest Airlines has you covered with an in-flight entertainment portal where you can play games, view the flight tracker, and access the Southwest Airlines website. To view movies and TV shows during your flight, simply download Southwest Airlines’ Airtime Player app from the Google Play or App Store before you board your flight and watch directly from your mobile device.
Every Southwest Airlines flight provides passengers with complimentary pretzels, peanuts, and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as additional snacks for longer flights. If you would like something more to eat, simply take a look at the menu located in the seatback pocket in front of you.
Child Fares/Fees, Minor Service guidelines
An infant (a child under two years of age), can be carried onto a Southwest Airlines flight free of charge as long as they will not be occupying a seat and travelling with someone 12 years or older. Children over two and younger than 12 years of age need to have their own seat but can fly on a discounted child’s fare. Proof of age for infants and children will be required before you board your flight.
Southwest Airlines provides unaccompanied minor service but only for domestic flights. On domestic flights, children aged five to 11 travelling alone will be accompanied onto the aircraft, periodically checked on while in the air, and escorted to the person who is picking them up at the destination. Minors under the age of 18 are not allowed to fly without an adult 18 years or older to an international destination.
Southwest Airlines allows pets to travel in the cabin on domestic flights. Pets are not permitted as check-in baggage in the cargo hold, nor on any international flights. Only small cats and dogs that will comfortably fit into a carrier which can be stowed under the seat in front of you are permitted into the cabin. If you plan to travel with your pet, then you’ll have to call Southwest Airlines directly to make a reservation ahead of time, as space is limited. Pets are subject to a $95 fare per carrier each way. Only one carrier is allowed per passenger, but passengers are allowed up to two small animals of the same species in the same carrier.
Airline Contact Information
Southwest Airlines Co.
2702 Love Field Drive
Prices shown on this page are estimated lowest prices only. Found in the last 15 days.