5 Reasons to Love Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines is my go-to choice for domestic travel, including flights to Hawaii. I have been able to find 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’m going to share with your 5 reasons why I love Southwest Airlines. But first, let’s talk about how to get Southwest Rapid Reward points.  


How to Get Southwest Rapid Rewards Points

The easiest way to get Southwest points is by signing up for their credit cards. Currently, all Southwest personal cards have a limited-time bonus of 65,000 points. This offer ends July 14, 2021. 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 Rapid Rewards Plus:

  • 65,000 points after spending $2,000 in 3 months
  • $69 annual fee
  • 3,000 points on your cardmember anniversary
  • 2x the points on Southwest purchases and 1x on all else


Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier:

  • 65,000 points after spending $2,000 in 3 months
  • $99 annual fee
  • 6,000 points on your cardmember anniversary
  • no foreign transaction fees
  • 2x points on Southwest purchases and 1x on all else


Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority:

  • 65,000 points after spending $2,000 in 3 months
  • $149 annual fee
  • 7,500 points on your cardmember anniversary
  • $75 Southwest annual travel credit
  • 4 upgraded boardings per year, when available
  • 20% back on inflight drinks and wifi
  • no foreign transaction fees
  • 2x points on Southwest purchases and 1x on all else


Southwest Premier Business Credit Card:

  • 60,000 points after spending $3,000 in 3 months
  • $99 annual fee
  • 6,000 points on cardmember anniversary
  • no foreign transaction fees
  • 2x points on Southwest purchases and 1x on all else


Southwest Performance Business Credit Card:

  • 80,000 points after spending $5,000 in 3 months
  • $199 annual fee
  • 9,000 points on cardmember anniversary
  • 4 upgraded boardings per year, when available
  • inflight WiFi credits
  • Global Entry or TSA Precheck reimbursement
  • no foreign transaction fees
  • 3x points on Southwest purchases, 2x points on social media and search engine advertising, Internet, cable, and phone services


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 125K 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 has the Companion Pass. I book him and our kid’s flights using points and then I get to fly free. 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 points is to sign up for their credit cards. By opening a personal and a business card while the bonuses are high, you can hit that 125K points. Check out this post for more information about the Southwest Companion Pass.  

flights to Hawaii on Southwest Airlines

We have used the Companion Pass for flights to Hawaii


2. Southwest Open Seating

Ok, so this may be a super unpopular opinion, but I actually really like Southwest’s boarding procedure 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, and C. You can pay to be at the beginning of the A group (I never do). You can check-in 24 hours before take-off and then you will be given your boarding number. The earlier you check-in, the higher up you’ll be in the boarding order. I always set an alarm on my phone to go off 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 at that 24-hour mark….good luck :/ The good news is if you are traveling with young kids (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 procedure, but as I’ve flown Southwest more and then flown other airlines, 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 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. 

mother with kids on southwest flight

We always get good seats together thanks to Southwest’s 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 boarding. 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 booked flight has gone down in price. If it has, I can get the difference in points redeposited into my account with a 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!

What’s even better is periodically Southwest will open up windows of time and allow you to change your flight to a different flight, even a flight that costs more, but still only pay the price of your original flight. You can take advantage of these opportunities by booking a cheap flight that you don’t want and then switching it to the flight that you really want. Check out @swatraveltips for more info on this.  


4. Bags Fly Free

When you fly with 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 your $30+ for your first checked bag. When my family went to Hawaii recently we saved around $250 in baggage fees by flying Southwest Airlines!  

We saved a lot of money over the years by not having to pay for bags


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 to book flights for these cheap fares are 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 from January 5th, 2022 and on September 16th they’ll release their schedule through April 24th, 2022.  


Bottom Line

If you have a family then I cannot recommend Southwest Airlines enough. I love that Southwest Airlines doesn’t charge for baggage, 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.


Southwest Airlines pin

Southwest Airlines plane

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