Photo Credit: Southwest Airlines
 

Southwest Airlines offers two reservations options - by phone (800-435-9792) and online (www.southwest.com).

You can get the most out of your online reservation by first signing up for the Southwest Airlines' Rapid Rewards program. Once you sign up, you will be able to book your airline tickets online, earn rewards and save your preferences for next time.

When booking on the Southwest web site, you will receive an electronic ticket. For those who prefer paper tickets, the airline offers a toll-free reservations number: 800-435-9792. When speaking with a reservations agent, be sure to specify whether you want an electronic or a paper ticket.

You can earn frequent flier rewards whether booking online or by phone. Even if you do not frequently fly Southwest, you should sign up - it's free.

Southwest Airlines does not offer seat assignments.

Southwest Airlines is known for its affordable advance purchase and walk-up fares. For example, fares that require no advance purchase or overnight stay start at $49 one-way from Philadelphia to Providence. Southwest's average passenger airfare is $89.28.

In addition to already low fares, Southwest Airlines lists their last minute airfare offers on their web site www.southwest.com. The airline also sends out weekly Click ‘N Save e-mails which are very popular with travelers - more than 4 million people subscribe to the last minute airfare e-mail.

Southwest Airlines' Rapid Rewards program is very popular. In addition to being able to earn points for flights, hotels and car rentals, Rapid Rewards program members enjoy additional online benefits.

Earning Points

Every time you fly on Southwest Airlines, you can earn 2 points. You also receive points for Southwest Airlines Vacation packages and can earn points with the following partners:

  • Hotels: Choice Hotels, Hilton, Hyatt, LaQuinta, Marriott
  • Rental Cars: Alamo, Budget, Dollar, Hertz
  • Telecommunications: EarthLink, Nextel, MCI
  • Credit Cards: Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Visa, American Express, Diners Club

For details on earning miles with partners, visit the Rapid Rewards FAQ section in the Southwest Airlines' web site www.southwest.com.

Redeeming Southwest Airlines' Rapid Rewards Points

When you log into your account at Southwest Airlines, you can see how may miles are needed to receive an Award. After you receive 16 credits within 12 consecutive months, an Award is automatically deposited into your account.

Once a Ticketless Award is in your account, you can redeem it on your next flight, whether booking online of through the airline's reservations line at 800-248-4377. If you have a paper Award Tickets, you will have to book by phone.

The airline has some blackout dates for redeeming rewards around major holidays - for details see their web site.

How to Join the Program

You can sign up for free at www.southwest.com, or contact Rapid Rewards Customer Service 800-445-5764 with any questions.