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Never Flown Southwest Airlines? 5 Reasons You’re Missing Out

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Never Flown Southwest Airlines? 5 Reasons You’re Missing Out

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Friends and family sometimes look at me with a blank stare when I tell them my favorite US airline is Southwest.  They know I love First Class flights, so I can see why it’s news to learn my favorite airline is a “low-cost carrier” with no Business Class seats.

But after flying Southwest 100+ times over the past few years, I can say I’ve rarely been disappointed.  It helps that my wife and I have saved $10,000 on Southwest airfare over the past 4 years thanks to the Companion Pass.  Having the ability to add my wife to ANY flight I book with points or cash for just the cost of taxes & fees (usually ~$6 each way) is definitely the main reason I love Southwest Airlines.  If you missed the incredible news, you can earn your own Companion Pass and 30,000 Southwest points by applying for one of these cards and spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account:

These offers are only available through February 11, 2019.  And the promotional Companion Pass with this deal is valid through December 31, 2019.  Here’s a post with more information on the amazing limited-time Chase Southwest credit card offers!

Southwest Is My Favorite US Airline Because They Offer the Companion Pass! Plus, They’re Often the Most Affordable Option for Flights Within the US or to the Caribbean or Mexico!

I know many folks overlook Southwest, especially because they don’t appear when you search for flights through an online travel agency like Expedia.  But it’s definitely worth the effort of checking Southwest’s site because you’ll often find the most affordable flight deals.  My guess is this stays true once the airline launches service to Hawaii, too!

Besides the Companion Pass, here are some other reasons I love Southwest Airlines.

1.   Southwest Is a Chase Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partner

I recently shared how my wife and I have 12 Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards.  One reason why is because we love earning points to transfer directly to Southwest to book award flights.  And with the Companion Pass, I can add my wife for just the cost of taxes and fees, even on flights booked with points.

2.   Southwest Has No Blackout Dates for Award Flights

Southwest’s frequent flyer program is as straightforward as they come.  There are no stuffy elite status tiers, no complicated award charts, and no blackout dates!  As long as a seat is available for sale on a Southwest flight, you can book it using points.

During fare sales, you can sometimes book a short-haul round-trip Southwest flight (like Los Angeles to Las Vegas) for as low as 3,000 points!  That’s an unbelievable deal!

3.   No Cancellation Fees or Change Fees

Yes, you read that correctly.  While other airlines are charging $200 to change your travel plans, Southwest has no change or cancellation fees.

If you book a Southwest flight with points, you’ll get a full refund if you cancel.  And if you pay cash for a Wanna Get Away fare and cancel, you’ll receive a Southwest credit valid for a year.

4.   Check 2 Bags for Free

Admittedly, I’m surprised that Southwest hasn’t changed their baggage policy because it’s so generous compared to other airlines.  Right now, each passenger can check 2 bags for free.  Competitors are charging $30 per first bag, so Southwest is better for the wallet, especially if you’re flying with family.

5.   Southwest Is Efficient – Fastest Turnaround Time in the Industry

I studied industrial engineering, so I always admire companies who optimize their processes and are best in class.  Southwest continuously ranks #1 for having the fastest turnaround time in the industry.  If you’ve ever waited by a Southwest gate, you’ll notice passengers are lined up to board while folks from the previous flight are still getting off.  I’m constantly amazed how quickly Southwest crew is able to turn around the aircraft and stick to the scheduled departure time.

I know some flyers don’t like Southwest’s boarding process and unassigned seating.  But if they’re the fastest in the industry, they must be doing something right!

What are your thoughts about Southwest Airlines? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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I have a quick question. If booking a domestic ticket with points and I need to cancel, I know that I get back the points and also the $11.20 9/11 fee to the credit card. My question: if I book an international ticket with points and I need to cancel, do I get the fee back? Or does SW give credit for 1 year?

My brother was at Orlando airport and the Southwest area has a Southwest credit card booth. They have a 50000 k sign up bonus for spending $2,000 in three months. The brochure on the plane has the same 50k offer. It is called “exclusive inflight entertainment portal offer”. It says go to “southwestwifi.com”. I think this can only be accessed at the airport. Also, do I have same chance of being approved as I do if I sign up on the computer or over the phone (assuming the point offers are the same)? I know some airports have southwest credit card booths. I know Kansas City (where I am from) does not have a SW credit card booth. Can you comment on the above? Any information would be helpful. I will be going to Orlando in mid February.

I will find out next week with my first ever trip on Southwest to Las Vegas. Interesting that I have never flown on them or Delta with all the traveling I have done the past 30 years.

reason #1 for not flying southwest: they dont fly from HNL yet. once they do, ill be sure to try southwest!

Can’t wait until they do! Look forward to hearing what you think.

You must not fly other airlines to compare to.
1. cattle car loading, no assigned seats
2. No first Class cabin
3 booking 11 months out flights can be way cheaper than SW
4 Flight times rarely work for business applications, in my experience

Hi Craig — I have status with Alaska Airlines and United Airlines. Alaska is great for Business Class, but route network is relatively limited. I’ve never booked a flight 11 months out so I’ll trust your experience on that point. Although with Southwest, you can continue to rebook if fares drop because they have no change fees.

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