Southwest Airlines

Contact details

Telephone:

Reservations: 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9792)

Website:

www.southwest.com

Southwest Airlines Check-in

Passengers can check in online, at check-in desks, at the departure gate or at self-service kiosks. Check-in times vary by airport, but Southwest suggests arriving between 60 and 90 minutes before your flight is due to depart.

Online check-in opens 24 hours before departure and closes one hour beforehand.

Southwest Airlines baggage allowance

Carry-on: One item plus one personal item which includes a purse, briefcase, laptop, or diaper bag. Items must fit in the overhead compartment or under your seat.

Checked: The first two bags are free. They should be no bigger than 62in and weigh no more than 50lbs each. The third through ninth bags will incur a fee of $50 each and the 10th bag will cost $110.

Excess: Bags weighing between 51-70lbs will be charged $50 extra, and for bags between 71-100lbs, $100 extra.

Southwest Airlines legroom

Seat pitch: 32–33 inches.

Pre-arranged seating

Southwest Airlines operates an open seating policy. Though passengers are boarded in three tiers (those with boarding cards “A” first, followed by “B”, followed by “C”), it pays to check in early.

Passenger change details

Only reservations booked online can be changed. Make changes online or call the reservation center.

Child fares

Infants under two years of age can travel for free, if traveling on an adult’s lap. There is a child fare for children between the ages of two and 11. Infant and child fares are not available online and must be booked at the reservation center.

Senior fares

Available for passengers aged 65 and older. Prices vary from city to city. Senior airfares are fully refundable and exchangeable. Fares can be booked online or at the reservation center.

Pets

Southwest only accepts small cats and dogs in carriers that can fit under the seat in front of passengers. The cost is $75 each way. Pets cannot be carried in the cargo hold. Be sure to make a reservation for your pet ahead of time.

Carrying musical instruments

Musical instruments can be carried on if they meet the size requirements for carry-on items. You can also purchase a seat for a large or fragile instrument at a child’s fare rate, but an instrument cannot be carried in place of a free companion under any fare promotion.

In-flight service

Complimentary tea, coffee and non-alcoholic drinks and snacks are available. Beer, wine or cocktails are available for purchase. Wi-Fi is offered on-board some aircraft.

Air miles

Rapid Rewards allows you to earn miles when you fly Southwest.

Airline food link

Check out the airline’s menu before you fly so you can decide if you need to bring any extra snacks. See photographs taken by fellow fliers of meals they’ve been served and read reviews at AirlineMeals.net.

In-flight magazine

Spirit, Southwest’s in-flight magazine, is available on every flight. Read a preview online.

Airline alliances

None.

Airline overview

Southwest began as a small, Texas-based airline in 1971. The short-haul, discount airline now offers flights to 69 cities across America. Based out of Dallas, Southwest has hubs in Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland, Orlando and Phoenix.

Article by Melisse Hinkle (374 posts)

A New England native but explorer at heart, Melisse has traveled throughout North America, biked through rice paddies in Bali, seen the Northern Lights in Iceland, walked alongside llamas in Machu Picchu and made her way around Europe while studying abroad in London. She is the Head of Content and Social Media for North America at Cheapflights.