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Why I select Southwest each time

I believe it is secure to say that I’m TPG’s resident Southwest Airways fangirl.

I grew up flying Southwest solely, so I spent my early journey years assuming that free checked baggage, a high-stakes check-in course of and selecting a seat away from the screaming child had been all a part of the common flying expertise.

Colour me shocked after I finally realized these experiences had been distinctive to flying Southwest — and many individuals averted the airline in favor of elite standing, potential seat upgrades and airport lounge entry with their most popular airline of selection.

A few of my fellow TPGers felt assured I’d abandon my Southwest loyalty as soon as I skilled my first business-class improve on one other airline. However to their bewilderment, flying different airways has solely solidified my love for Southwest. Because it seems, I worth the power to maneuver seats greater than the choice to pick extra “elevated” snacks like chocolate quinoa (no matter that’s).

It isn’t simply nostalgia that retains me coming again to Southwest Airways. In a time when so many are abandoning or switching their airline loyalty, listed below are the explanations you may nonetheless discover me flying Southwest — and why you might wish to be part of me.

(In the event you occur to agree with me about Southwest being a best choice, know that three of the non-public Southwest cobranded playing cards are providing elevated welcome bonuses of 75,000 bonus factors after you spend $3,000 within the first three months from account opening, however solely till Dec. 11.)

Now, let’s bounce into it.

Nice values

Southwest is commonly considered as a finances airline, and for good purpose. There are a number of ways in which flying Southwest can prevent cash if you journey.

Gross sales

Typically, I discover Southwest’s costs are fairly good. I exploit its low-fare calendar to see prices in money or factors and select journey dates with the very best obtainable offers after I can.

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However the place it actually comes via with low costs is throughout its common gross sales. Each few weeks, I get an e-mail alerting me that Southwest is providing low fares — generally as little as $39 to $59 one-way.

These gross sales are a good time to guide new journey and test the value of any present bookings. Southwest makes it straightforward to rebook the identical flight to benefit from a cheaper price, a perk that always saves me 1000’s of factors when rebooking flights.

Associated: How you can rebook a Southwest flight when the fare adjustments

Companion Go

In all probability probably the most worthwhile providing from Southwest Airways is its Companion Go, which lets you carry a companion with you at no cost (plus taxes and costs) on limitless flights for not less than a full calendar yr.

Since I often journey solo, this explicit perk hasn’t saved me a lot cash. Nonetheless, I’ve watched my dad and mom simply save 1000’s of {dollars} in journey with their Compansion Passes over time.

And Southwest cobranded bank cards make incomes a Companion Go attainable for many individuals. That is a large perk — particularly contemplating that almost all different airways tout a single companion ticket as a worthwhile perk on their cobranded playing cards.

Associated: How you can earn and use the Southwest Companion Go

Free checked baggage

Many people are proudly carry-on-only vacationers, however all of us have instances after we really want or wish to test a bag.

The price of checking baggage varies amongst airways, however you are usually charged not less than $30 for a primary bag and $40 for a second one if you do not have a bank card or standing with the airline that lets you skip these charges.

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In the meantime, Southwest permits every passenger to test their first two baggage for no further value. Which means a household of 4 might test as much as eight baggage earlier than incurring any charges — saving them lots of of {dollars} on high of any cash they saved by reserving their journey throughout a Southwest sale.

Associated: Why I all the time test a bag after I fly

No change or cancellation charges

Usually, finances airways promote good flight offers solely to tack on additional charges later, however you will not discover this to be the case with Southwest Airways.

Probably the greatest issues about Southwest is that it does not cost additional charges when it is advisable to make a change after reserving your journey. In the event you cancel your flight, you may obtain a factors refund or flight credit score proper again into your Fast Rewards account.

If it is advisable to change, you possibly can rebook for no further value apart from the fare distinction or benefit from free same-day standby.

Associated: How you can change or cancel a Southwest Airways flight

Simplicity

For these of us who discover journey planning overwhelming, Southwest’s reserving simplicity is a big perk. There aren’t any accomplice airways to navigate, no distinction in seat sorts or quantity of bags allowed with totally different fare sorts.

Easy incomes and redeeming

Past the standard technique of incomes factors via flying Southwest, it is easy to rack up Fast Rewards factors via bank card spending. You should utilize a cobranded Southwest bank card to earn Fast Rewards factors straight, or you should use a card that earns Chase Final Rewards factors after which switch these factors to your Fast Rewards account.

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Southwest does not accomplice with different airways or belong to an airline alliance, so the Fast Rewards program is very good for freshmen and people who endure from factors evaluation paralysis.

Merely earn your factors after which use them to guide your flight. Southwest determines a ticket’s level worth by its money worth at a fee of round 1.5 cents per level, so you possibly can really feel nice figuring out you’ve got gotten an excellent worth with out spending hours studying methods to finagle the very best redemption.

If you wish to maximize your factors, search for the lowest-fare tickets. Just like different airways, Southwest tends to supply higher offers on much less handy routes, like early or late flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Nonetheless, I have been in a position to snag some killer offers on handy nonstop routes by reserving (or re-pricing) throughout Southwest’s periodic gross sales.

Associated: Your full information to Southwest Fast Rewards

Extra nonstop choices

Southwest makes use of extra of a point-to-point route community than a standard hub-and-spoke mannequin; this enables the airline to supply extra nonstop and extra environment friendly route choices than many airways. Since I do not reside close to a real hub for any airline, I particularly admire that I haven’t got to waste time flying previous my dwelling airport to get to a hub earlier than I can get dwelling.

Equality

Southwest perks are fairly evenly doled out to passengers. Everybody will get the identical first-come, first-served seating selection, in addition to the identical free checked baggage and the identical inflight snack choices. Except for a couple of variations in fare sort, there aren’t many choices to make when reserving a ticket with Southwest.

If you wish to skip to the entrance of the boarding line and improve your possibilities of getting an excellent seat, you possibly can pay for the privilege. For instance, passengers should purchase upgraded boarding to snag one of many first 15 boarding positions. It’s also possible to buy EarlyBird Verify-In, however these are choices obtainable to everybody and never a part of some sophisticated hierarchy of passengers.

Moreover, Southwest has 4 totally different fare sorts: Enterprise Choose, Anytime, Wanna Get Away Plus and Wanna Get Away. Enterprise Choose is the costliest choice and contains perks like an computerized A1-A15 boarding place and free inflight Wi-Fi. Nonetheless, these choices can be found (and often comparatively inexpensive) to everybody — no million-mile standing required.

Associated: How you can snag the very best seats on Southwest Airways

Bank card lineup

Southwest provides a number of methods to earn Fast Rewards factors via bank card spending. The Southwest cobranded bank card lineup contains three private and two enterprise playing cards, and you can too select to switch your Chase Final Rewards factors to your Fast Rewards account.

As a factors and miles fanatic and Southwest devotee, I’ve had a number of Southwest bank cards over time.

I began with the Southwest Fast Rewards Plus Credit score Card, the lowest-tier private card with only a $69 annual price. It comes with restricted perks, however it was excellent after I was studying to navigate bank card rewards.

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Lately, I acquired the Southwest Fast Rewards Premier Enterprise Credit score Card and am at present working to earn my welcome bonus. I like that it has an inexpensive $99 annual price and comes with 6,000 bonus anniversary factors in addition to two free EarlyBird Verify-Ins every year.

Once I’m paying for eating or common journey, nonetheless, I attain for my Chase Sapphire Reserve.

It earns an elevated 3 factors per greenback on these purchases, which I can switch at a 1:1 ratio to Southwest Fast Rewards or any of Chase’s 13 different lodge and airline companions. Observe, nonetheless, that you simply will not get to rely these factors towards Companion Go qualification — you may wish to spend on a cobranded card if that is your objective.

No matter your priorities, it is easy to rack up Fast Rewards via on a regular basis bank card spending with this vary of choices.

Associated: The most effective Southwest Airways bank cards

Drawbacks

Nobody factor is ideal for everybody, and there are actually individuals who will not discover Southwest Airways as lovable or proper for his or her wants as I do.

Primarily home routes

Southwest primarily flies home routes, though it additionally flies to some (largely tropical) worldwide locations. I fly extra home than worldwide routes, so Southwest usually has routes to the locations I want. Nonetheless, somebody who usually flies internationally will discover Southwest’s routes inadequate.

Restricted elite perks

In the event you’re somebody who relishes the perks you get out of your airline’s elite standing program, put together to be disenchanted by Southwest.

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Southwest does not supply quite a lot of seat sorts, so you will not discover a first-class cabin or perhaps a premium financial system choice. This implies there is no hope of getting a seat improve if you fly Southwest. That stated, the sooner you get on, the higher your odds of snagging the just about “infinite legroom” seat within the exit row, so not less than there’s that.

Associated: What’s Southwest Airways elite standing price?

Open seating

Talking of seats, I view the open seating coverage on Southwest as a profit. It provides me the pliability to decide on a seat away from crying infants and bachelorette events. Nonetheless, the check-in and boarding course of may be irritating for these accustomed to deciding on their most popular seat forward of time.

If you wish to safe an early boarding spot, you possibly can pay for EarlyBird Verify-In ($15 or extra per one-way flight), which checks you in robotically 24 hours earlier than your flight; additional, an upgraded boarding place ($30 or extra per phase) locations you within the first 15 boarding spots.

Since saving cash is considered one of my priorities after I journey, I are inclined to skip these and as an alternative set an alarm to remind me to test in precisely 24 hours earlier than my Southwest flight.

Whereas there aren’t any ensures, this usually will get me a ok boarding place to snag my most popular aisle seat; I do not trouble paying for EarlyBird Verify-In or an upgraded boarding except I will not be capable of test in on time earlier than an extended flight. It solely took one late check-in and a center seat on a cross-country flight to persuade me that paying for this one luxurious may very well be price it.

It’s also price noting, nonetheless, that flying solo makes it simpler to discover a good seat. Massive events could have extra restricted choices to take a seat collectively if they do not handle to get a boarding group quantity towards the entrance of the method.

Associated: How you can get seats collectively on Southwest Airways

Backside line

Once I’m flying internationally, I am airline agnostic: I will fly whichever airline is most cost-effective or guide the ticket I can most simply cowl with my stash of factors and miles.

However after I’m flying someplace Southwest Airways can take me, you possibly can wager I’ll select it. With good offers, nonstop choices, free checked baggage and open seating, you may discover me flying Southwest each likelihood I get.

Associated studying:


Apply right here: Southwest Fast Rewards Plus Credit score Card

Apply right here: Southwest Fast Rewards Premier Credit score Card

Apply right here: Southwest Fast Rewards Precedence Credit score Card


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