I’ve flown United, Frontier, Delta and Southwest. The Denver area is home. Flying Southwest as my preferred airline has some advantages.
Their booking, loyalty program and fees are quite simple and easy. The booking policies are excellent.
- If you find the price of your flight has dropped, you can re-book and get the difference as a credit for future use. I believe this is one year from the original booking date. If you change or cancel within 24 hours of the original booking, you can request a refund instead of a credit.
- Absolutely no fee for re-booking/changes, but you pay the current fares. If there is a change close to your travel, this will be expensive. Not any different than other airlines.
- Nice to choose between checked (up to 2 bags for free) or carry-on luggage without extra fees.
- When considering extra fees and convenience, they are among the lowest cost.
They don’t charge extra for non-alcoholic beverages, peanuts/pretzels or WiFi (when available).
If you don’t have not signed-up for their loyalty program (Rapid Rewards), you should.
You accumulate points based on the base fare. These points can be used on any available flights without blackout periods. You will still need to pay the T.S.A. Fees, currently $5.60 per segment.
I am lucky enough to fly frequently and usually maintain A-List status (A-List/A-list Preferred Information). This is the lowest of the preferred levels. It requires 25 paid segments per year. I’m not quite sure flying this many segments just for the status is worth the benefits. If you fly anyway, it gets you automatic check-in 48 hours before your flight. This saves the Early Bird Fee of $15 each way. You can also use the preferred/premier lines at the airport at the ticket counter and T.S.A .Screening.
T.S.A. PreCheck is another alternative to speed the T.S.A. Screening. It costs $85 for five years.
Money Saving Tip:
Their airfares change quite often, so consider checking your booked travel periodically and re-book to save money.
Keep track of you credits, you need First & Last Name and Confirmation #. If you forget the expiration date or amount, lookup up here.
Beware of booking multiple flights for the same day/destination. I am guilty of doing this sometimes, if I’m unsure of which flight I want/coordinating with someone. With the updated Southwest Booking System, one of the reservations will be automatically cancelled within 24 hours. I think it is the most expensive flight that gets cancelled.