Southwest Airlines are the world’s largest low cost airline, and carry the highest number of domestic passengers in the USA. The company began a rebrand towards the end of 2014, launching international flights for the first time. Despite a major redesign, Southwest have been quick to reassure passengers that it’s a case of “new look, same heart.” At the moment Southwest isn’t a member of any global alliance, but as their quest for world domination continues, it’s likely that they could be joining a partnership in the future.
How to Check In
You can check in at the airport check-in desks, via self service kiosks, online from 24 hours before departure, or through Southwest’s mobile app. Early Bird check-in is also available, allowing you to check-in 36 hours before departure. This option costs an extra $12.50* (about £7.70) each way. *Prices subject to change
Baggage Allowance and Fees
Customers can bring two pieces of checked baggage weighing up to 50lbs (just under 23kg). Extra bags can be brought on board for $75* (around £46.15) each.
Seating – Leg Room, Choosing Seats
Southwest Airlines have a fairly average seat pitch, averaging at 32” across the fleet. There’s no assigned seating: passengers are ordered into boarding groups, and can choose where they want to sit when they get on the plane. You can choose to upgrade your boarding position for $40* (about £24.60) per flight. This can be done at the airport. Business Select, A-List and A-List Preferred Rapid Rewards customers, and those with Early Bird check-in will automatically have an earlier boarding position.
There are no booking fees, although some government and airport charges may apply depending on your route.
Meals, Snacks, Drinks
Complementary pretzels, peanuts, and soft drinks are available on all routes. If you fancy something more substantial, or want to indulge in some alcohol, you can purchase them from the in-flight menu. Cash isn’t accepted on board, so be prepared to whip out your credit card.
Despite a slight hiccup at the end of 2013, Southwest Airlines have returned to their punctual best with over 90% of flights arriving and departing on time.