Friday, March 11, 2022
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    Product Rating 4/5

    Rating Criteria

    COVID-19 Star Rating Breakdown 7/7

    Rating Criteria

    • Operates in economy only seating configuration. Business select seats only guarantee a seat in the front 15 rows of the aircraft.
    • Pretzels and non-alcoholic drinks complimentary. Alcohol drinks must be purchased.
    • Wi-Fi available for a fee on most aircraft.
    • In-flight entertainment app on your own device.
    • Seat pitch of 31 to 32 inch with seat width of 15.5 to 17.8 inches width and a slight seat recline.
    • Seating is not allocated however business select passengers can ensure they are among the first few passengers to board.
    • No blankets or pillows provided.
    • Commenced services in 1971 and has become America’s largest low cost carrier
    • Acquired AirTran Holdings Inc. on May 2nd 2011 and now operates AirTran Airways as a wholly owned subsidiary
    • Many low cost airlines around the world have copied Southwest’s business model
    • Operates over 570 aircraft
    • 737-MAX 8
    • 737-700
    • 737-800

    COVID-19 Compliance (7/7)

    – COVID-19 website information and instructions
    – Social distancing on boarding
    – Flight attendant Personal Protection Equipment
    – Face masks compulsory
    – Meal service modified
    – Passenger Sanitizer Kit
    – Deep clean of aircraft

    • AirTran Airways

    Denied boarding

    Carrier must verbally offer cash/cheque for Denied Boarding Compensation if the carrier verbally offers a travel voucher as Denied Boarding Compensation to passengers who are involuntarily bumped.  Carrier must inform passengers solicited to volunteer for denied boarding about all material restrictions on the use of transportation vouchers offered in lieu of cash.

    Minimum denied boarding compensation limits are $650/$1,300 or 200%/400% of the one-way fare, whichever is smaller. Denied Boarding Compensation must be offered to “zero fare ticket” holders (e.g, holders of frequent flyer award tickets) who are involuntarily bumped. For Southwest’s denied boarding policy in more detail, click here.


    In the event Carrier cancels or fails to operate any flight according to Carrier’s published schedule, or changes the schedule of any flight, Carrier will, at the request of a Passenger with a confirmed Ticket on such flight, take one of the following actions:

    • Transport the Passenger at no additional charge on Carrier’s next flight(s) on which space is available to the Passenger’s intended destination, in accordance with Carrier’s established re-accommodation practices; or
    • Refund the unused portion of the Passenger’s fare in accordance with the above.

    Southwest will not absorb the cost of ground transport and accomodation (unless the delay is a controllable fault of the airline) if the delay is at the point of origin on the itinerary.

    Southwest will not absorb any costs associated with the use of an alternate airlien to get to your destination. Southwest will refund the fare of the southwest ticket.

    Long flight delays

    If a delay within the airline’s control occurs which results in a customer missing the last flight or connection of the day to his/her destination, Southwest will arrange for overnight accommodation at no additional cost including ground transportation to accommodation.

    The airline will refund the unused portion of the fare or will assist the passenger by arranging to transport the passenger to his/her destination on another Southwest flight with available seats at no extra charge.

    Lengthy Tarmac Delays at US airports

    U.S. and foreign air carriers are not to permit an international flight to remain on the tarmac at a U.S. airports for more than four hours without allowing passengers to deplane subject to safety,  security, and ATC exceptions.  This applies to small hub and non-hub airports, including diversion airports.

    Notification of the status of delays must be given every 30 minutes while aircraft is delayed, including reasons for delay, if known. the airline will ensure snack and drinks are made avaialbel if the delay lasts for more than two hours


    Passengers whose luggage has been lost or misplaced must contact Southwest within four hours of the flight’s arrival at the airport. Passengers must complete a Lost/Delayed Receipt Form. If the airline cannot locate the baggage, Southwest will compensate passengers for the current value of the items in the baggage. High-value items, such as cameras, jewellery and family heirlooms, are not covered, and you should not carry them in checked luggage

    People with disabilities and people with reduced mobility

    Southwest has detailed and extensive information on their website regarding passengers with disabilities. For full details, see here

    For a detailed account of issues and compensation click here

    NOTE: Conditions of Carriage refer to the country of origin and may not be applicable to all jurisdictions.

    Passenger rights for US airlines flying into Europe click here

    To lodge a complaint with the airline click here

    To lodge a complaint with the US Department of Transport (DOT) click here


    Click here for more information about our Southwest Airlines reviews and safety ratings system.

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