Southwest Airlines are a major US airline, based in Dallas, Texas. They began in 1967, and have come to be one of the biggest airlines in the world, carrying more domestic US passengers than any other airline.
Southwest fly to 89 destinations, including Puerto Rico and some other international destinations. Thanks to their variety of routes and purse friendly fares, Southwest was awarded the Traveller’s Choice Award from Trip Advisor in 2014. They’re well known for their “different” method of boarding, which you can read more about in the seating section.
Southwest have always employed humour in their advertising, having used several different slogans like “Just Plane Smart!”, and “Somebody Else Up There Who Loves You”. There was actually a dispute over the origin of the “Just Plane Smart” slogan, with Stevens Airlines also claiming the trademark for it. Instead of following the argument into the courts, the CEO’s of both companies settled it over an arm wrestle. No, really.
How to Check In
You can check in online, on mobile or at the airport with Southwest Airlines. You also have the option of choosing Early Bird check in, which allows you to check in 12 hours earlier than general boarding. You can use the mobile app to check in, or the Skycap Podium* and ticket desk when you arrive. Southwest have a portal on their website so that you can check the check in deadlines and documentation needed for your flight itinerary.
Baggage Allowance and Fees
Cabin baggage should be no bigger than 10 x 16 x 24 inches. As well as one bag, you’re allowed to take 1 personal item on board (such as a laptop, small handbag, or small SLR Camera). You are able to drop bags at the airport desks, curbside at a Skycap Podium*, or Express bag drop kiosks. Hold baggage should weigh no more than 22.6kg (50lb) and be within 62 inch (length x width x height). Oversized baggage is charged at $75 per item. Passengers should note that even on connecting flights, baggage needs to be collected when arriving in the US, and then rechecked for the new destination. *What’s a Skycap Podium? Occasionally porters are employed in airports to deal with check in and baggage handling curbside. This takes the hassle out of check in for a lot of people, and the porters usually work for tips. However, you cannot drop bags with the skycap porter for international Southwest flights.
With Southwest, passengers board according to the order in which they check in. They also don’t assign seats for general boarding, so if you’d like to make reservations you can do so with the Early Bird check in. You get a little more legroom than usual on Southwest Airlines with a seat pitch of 32-33 inches, and a normal seat width of 17 inches.
Passengers can upgrade for early boarding online for a $12.50 fee or at the gate for a $30-$40 fee per passenger.
Service on Board
It costs $8 per device to connect to the Wifi on board, $5 for unlimited TV access and $5 per movie. There’s a complimentary non-alcoholic drink and snack on domestic flights, however Southwest Airlines does not offer any sandwiches or meals (they’re okay with you bringing your own food though!).
Southwest believe that their unorthodox approach to seating leads to a faster boarding time.
Information is correct as of 21/08/2014 and is subject to change. Please check with the airline directly for complete accuracy.
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