5 Reasons to Love Southwest Airlines

Alex

Southwest Airlines is my go-to choice for domestic travel, including flights to Hawaii. I have found huge value in using Southwest Rapid Rewards to book flights. In my opinion, you really can’t beat Southwest Airlines for family travel. Today, I will share with you 5 reasons why I love Southwest Airlines. But first, let’s talk about how to get Southwest Rapid Rewards points.  

 

How to Get Southwest Rapid Rewards Points

The easiest way to get Southwest points is by signing up for their credit cards. The links below are our affiliate links. Thank you so much for supporting our work by using those links if you decide to apply for a Southwest credit card. We appreciate it so much!  

 

 

Southwest Personal Credit Cards

(Note that you can only hold one Southwest personal card at a time.)

 

 
  • $69 annual fee
  • 3,000 points on your cardmember anniversary
  • 2x on Southwest purchases, Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental bookings, local commuting, transit, rideshares, internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming services
  • 1x on all other purchases
  • 25% back on inflight purchases
  • 2 EarlyBird Check-Ins per year

 

 
  • $99 annual fee
  • 6,000 points on your cardmember anniversary
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 3x on Southwest purchases
  • 2x on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental bookings, local commuting, transit, rideshares, internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming services
  • 1x on all other purchases
  • 25% back on inflight purchases
  • 2 EarlyBird Check-Ins per year
  • 1,500 tier qualifying points towards A-List status for every $10,000 spent

 

 
  • $149 annual fee
  • 7,500 points on your cardmember anniversary
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 3x on Southwest purchases
  • 2x on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental bookings, local commuting, transit, rideshares, internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming services
  • 1x on all other purchases
  • 25% back on inflight purchases
  • 4 Upgraded Boardings per year
  • $75 Southwest annual travel credit
  • 1,500 tier qualifying points towards A-List status for every $10,000 spent

 

Southwest Business Credit Cards

 

 
  • $99 annual fee
  • 6,000 points on your cardmember anniversary
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 3x on Southwest purchases
  • 2x on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental bookings, local commuting, transit, and rideshares
  • 1x on all other purchases
  • 25% back on inflight purchases
  • 2 EarlyBird Check-Ins per year
  • 1,500 tier qualifying points towards A-List status for every $10,000 spent

 

 
  • $199 annual fee
  • 9,000 points on your cardmember anniversary
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 4x on Southwest purchases
  • 3x on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental bookings
  • 2x on local commuting, transit, rideshares, social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable, and phone services
  • 1x on all other purchases
  • 4 Upgraded Boardings per year
  • Inflight WiFi credits
  • Up to $100 Global Entry/PreCheck/NEXUS fee credit every 4 years
  • 1,500 tier qualifying points towards A-List status for every $10,000 spent

 

Why I Love Southwest Airlines

 

1. Southwest Companion Pass

One reason why I love Southwest Airlines is that they offer the Southwest Companion Pass. Once you earn 135K points in one calendar year, you get the companion pass. This allows someone to fly free with you for the rest of the year in which you earn the pass and all of the following year! This is incredible! Right now, my husband and I both have a Companion Pass. For our family that means we book six tickets but only pay for four! There is no limit to the number of times you can use this pass, and you can use it anywhere that Southwest flies.

The easiest way to earn the pass is to sign up for Southwest credit cards. By opening a personal and a business card (or two business cards) while the bonuses are high, you can hit that 135K points. Check out this post for more information about the Southwest Companion Pass.  

 

Family of 6 standing in front of hotel

Six of us flew to Hawaii but we only paid for four!

 

2. Southwest Open Seating

Ok, this may be a super unpopular opinion, but I actually really like Southwest’s boarding process and that they have open seating. If you aren’t sure how it works, I’ll give you a quick rundown. There are no seat assignments; when you get on the plane, you choose your seat. You board the flight in groups—A, B, or C. It is possible to pay to be at the beginning of the A group (I rarely do). You can check in 24 hours before your flight departs, and then you will be given your boarding position. The earlier you check in, the higher up you’ll be in the boarding order. I always set an alarm on my phone so I don’t forget to check-in.

This has always worked well for me, and I get a good seat. That being said if you don’t check in right at that 24-hour mark….good luck :/ The good news is that if you are traveling with kids 6 and under (which I often am), you get to board during family boarding, which is between the A and B groups.

I didn’t always like their boarding process, but as I’ve flown Southwest more and more, I actually prefer it. One of the reasons I like it more now is because it irritates me that other airlines are charging more to choose your seats ahead of time. For example, I just booked a flight on Delta, and it was 5,000 more points to choose my seat ahead of time. That may not seem like a lot, but that adds up when you are flying as a family. It’s also the cost of a one-way ticket on Southwest Airlines to some places! United charges more if I want to choose a preferred economy seat (which is a normal economy seat); it’s just in the middle of the plane vs. towards the back. 

 

southwest flight with kids

We always get good seats thanks to Southwest family boarding!

 

3. Southwest Flight Change/Cancellation Policy

This is one of the biggest reasons why I love Southwest Airlines. When I book a flight, I can cancel and get all those points back (up to 10 minutes before the scheduled departure time). This is huge! If I find a flight I like, I book it right then and I figure out the details later. If it doesn’t work out, I can cancel it, no risk. When you book in cash, they’ll give you credits to use on a later flight.

This also works if the price changes on a flight. I can log into my Rapid Rewards account, select change flight, and it will show me if my current flight has gone down in price. If it has, I can get the difference in points redeposited into my account with the click of a button. In fact, I did this today and got 4,000 points back. Now that’s not a ton, and I’ve saved much more in the past, but I’ll take it!

 

4. Bags Fly Free

When you fly Southwest, your bags fly free. This isn’t just your first bag, but also a second bag! This is a huge saving for families! Most other airlines will charge you $30+ for your first checked bag. When my family went to Hawaii recently, we saved around $250 in baggage fees by flying Southwest Airlines!

 

boys on southwest flights with grandpa

Flying Southwest Airlines with their grandpa from Kauai to Maui

 

5. Cheap Fares

Another reason that I love Southwest Airlines is that they offer cheap fares. Mitch and I flew to Maui roundtrip for 20,000 Rapid Rewards! I just booked Mitch a flight to Denver for about 2,500 Rapid Rewards one-way. That is almost nothing! When you have a big family, booking flights for these cheap fares is so awesome! When it comes to booking with Southwest, I recommend booking as soon as they release their dates to get the best price. Remember, you can always rebook if the price drops. Currently, they are accepting reservations through March 6th, 2024, and on August 3rd, they’ll release their schedule through April 8th, 2024.  

 

Bottom Line

If you have a family, then I cannot recommend Southwest Airlines enough. I love that Southwest Airlines doesn’t charge for bags, has low-cost fares, offers family boarding, and more. The Southwest Companion Pass is by far the best airline companion pass offered by any airline, and has allowed my family to save so much on flights! I haven’t even touched on their great customer service and friendly crews, but those are fantastic as well. If you haven’t given Southwest Airlines a try, then you may want to consider it. It may take some getting used to their boarding process, but I’ve come to really like it.

 

Related Posts

Top Five Reasons We Love Southwest for Family Travel

How to Get the Southwest Companion Pass

 

 

Southwest Airlines plane

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. American Express is a Travel Mom Squad advertiser, but we always show the best public offer even when we don’t earn a commission. Terms Apply. 

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