9 Expert Flying Tips for Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines is a popular choice for many travelers, known for its flexibility, friendly service, and unique features like open seating and no change fees. To make the most out of your journey with Southwest, consider these nine expert tips that can elevate your flying experience.

1. Early Check-In Is Key

With Southwest’s open-seating policy, securing a good spot onboard starts with early check-in. The earlier you check-in, the better your boarding position. Set a reminder to check in exactly 24 hours before your flight departure time to increase your chances of snagging your preferred seat.

2. Utilize the Southwest App

Download the Southwest Airlines app to streamline your travel experience. Not only can you check in and access your boarding pass digitally, but the app also provides real-time flight updates, gate information, and allows you to easily manage your reservations on the go.

3. Pack Smartly for the Baggage Policy

Understanding Southwest’s baggage policy can save you time and money. Take advantage of the two free checked bags policy, but be mindful of the size and weight restrictions. Consider using compact luggage to maximize space and avoid extra fees for oversized or overweight baggage.

4. Embrace the Freedom of Seating

Southwest doesn’t assign seats, so boarding early gives you a chance to choose your preferred spot. If seating is a priority, consider purchasing EarlyBird Check-In or opt for Business Select fares to secure priority boarding and a better seat selection.

5. Be Mindful of the Boarding Process

The boarding process with Southwest follows a unique system—boarding positions are assigned based on check-in time. Familiarize yourself with the boarding groups and position numbers to efficiently navigate the boarding queues and find a seat that suits your preferences.

6. Explore Rapid Rewards

Enroll in Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program to earn points for every flight. Accumulate points by flying or through partner activities, and redeem them for future flights, hotel stays, car rentals, or even gift cards. It’s a great way to save on future travel expenses.

7. Flexibility Is Key

One of Southwest’s standout features is its flexibility. Take advantage of this by understanding their flexible policies for changes and cancellations. Southwest allows changes to flights without change fees, offering a hassle-free experience if your plans unexpectedly shift.

8. Enjoy In-Flight Entertainment

While Southwest doesn’t offer seatback screens, they provide complimentary in-flight entertainment via the onboard Wi-Fi. Connect your device to Southwest’s network to access movies, live TV, and other entertainment options during your flight.

9. Engage with Southwest’s Friendly Crew

Southwest Airlines is known for its exceptional customer service. Interact with the friendly crew, who often go above and beyond to make your journey pleasant. They can provide helpful insights, assist with any concerns, and make your flight experience more enjoyable.


By incorporating these expert tips into your Southwest Airlines journey, you can maximize comfort, convenience, and savings while enjoying the unique features this airline offers. Remember, a little planning and awareness go a long way in making your travel experience with Southwest Airlines an enjoyable one.

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