How To Find the Best Deals with Southwest Airlines
This one-of-a-kind airline that only flies within the United States has a unique logo, colors, offers and policies that set it apart from other airlines. For example, you can check two bags for free and board on a first come first served.
Southwest, we’ll talk about how to book a flight and other things you need to know before deciding if this airline is right for you. If you just want a quick answer, you should know that Southwest is a great airline I would always suggest. However, some of the airline’s quirks could make your flight more stressful if you don’t know what to expect.
What to Bring When Flying Southwest
Some of the best things to bring on a Southwest trip are tried-and-true flying basics, like earplugs in case you get stuck with a crying baby. But make sure you read the first thing on our list because it’s unique to Southwest!
Tablet with downloaded movies, TV shows, and headphones: I love traveling by plane with this tablet and noise-canceling headphones. This is especially important on Southwest, where you can only watch movies or TV shows on your phone or tablet, not in the back of your seat. There are many things to like about this airline, but at the end of the day, it’s still a cheap airline, so make sure you have something to do, especially if it’s a long trip.
- Light Blocking Eye Mask: Let’s be honest; you won’t sleep with a sleep mask like this, but blocking out the light on an early flight is still a better way to fly.
- Ear Plugs: Silicone plugs are the better noise blocking plugs. If you’re using regular foam earplugs, the crying baby has already won.
- Compression Socks: They can do a lot to keep your circulation healthy in the air.
- Reusable Water Bottles: You can bring a reusable bottle through security and fill it up with water after the gate? Boom, your thirst is gone.
- Backpacks: Some people utilize backpacks or tote bags as carry-ons that count as personal items.
How To Choose the Best Seat on a Southwest Flight
The gate number you get when you check in is the key to getting the best seat on a Southwest flight. You’ll learn more about how it’s used in the boarding process below, but for now, just know that there are three groups of 60 numbers each: A, B, and C. The best answer is A1, and if you get B1, all 60 people in A are ahead of you, and so on.
Regardless of how much you spend or how hard you beg, you can’t reserve a seat on Southwest. But you can do a few things to ensure that your boarding number is as high as possible and that you get the most favorable spot possible.
If you want to be sure of getting a good boarding number, you can fly Business Select. This will get you from A1 to A15 and gives you other perks like fast screening and a different boarding lane. You can often choose “Early bird check-in,” which doesn’t give you all the benefits of Business Select but does promise you a high flight number without making you check in at a certain time.
If you don’t want to pay for a sure spot on the plane, you must check in 24 hours before the trip. This is a common way for Southwest passengers to check in, so I don’t mean you must do so in 2 minutes or 10 minutes after your 24-hour window.
If your flight goes at 12:30pm on Tuesday, you should have all your information in the box by 12:29pm on Monday and be ready to click “Check-in” when the clock hits 12:30pm. Every time I do this, I always get Group A, which puts me in the first 60 people and gives me a lot of choices on the plane.
Southwest Airlines Eats and Drinks
Southwest is an excellent airline that still gives away snacks and drinks that don’t contain booze for free. Most people require this for a trip within their own country, and you may also bring snacks and food. They don’t have a menu or service where you can buy food in the air.
What Southwest Does Give You for “Free”
When You Buy a Base Ticket on Southwest, You Get the Following for “Free”:
- If the trip is more than 250 miles, snacks and drinks
- 2 bags checked per person
- 1 bag (rucksack) for each person
- 1 carry-on bag per traveler
- You get a boarding number when you check in, depending on when you check in, so you can pick your seat on the flight.
- You can use your phone to get to the activities on board.
How To Save Money With Southwest Airlines
Southwest advertises itself as a cheap airline, and some seats can be cheaper than some “Legacy” airlines. So, they offer “Wanna Get Away” non-refundable flight deals but the most affordable ticket choice. I always choose this price because, even though you can’t get your money back, you can switch to a different trip for free any day before your departure.
There is no change fee, but you would still have to pay additional costs if your flight costs more. If your plans are open, you can also look at their Low Fare Calendar when booking. It will quickly show you which dates and times would be the cheapest. Southwest also has a program called Rapid Rewards. This is a great way to earn points and save money on trips in the future.
People want to know if it’s safe, whether you’re talking about Southwest, Frontier, Spirit, or the numerous other American airlines. Southwest has a safety rate of a perfect 7/7 from a global rating service, and only two passengers have died on its flights since the 1970s.
One was because a customer tried to take over the pilot, which had nothing to do with airline safety, and the other was because something from the engine broke a window during the flight. This is a great safety record when you think about how many flights Southwest has every hour and every day, so you should feel safe if you choose Southwest.