Yellow plane
 

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 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 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 this airline, you should sign up - it's free.

There are no seat assignments.

The company 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, the company 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.

The 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 the airline, 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 Rewards Points

When you log into your account, 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.

More About Southwest

Southwest Airlines was started in 1971 with flights to Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio. Today, it has a fleet of 393 jets and operates 2,800 flights per day to 59 cities in 31 states. The airline has a very loyal following of travelers - fans of the airline enjoy low cost tickets and flexible travel options.

Instead of the traditional two or three seating classes, the company offers all coach class seating. There are no assigned seats - passengers choose their seats as they board the plane. There are preboarding privileges to passengers with disabilities, families traveling with small children, unaccompanied minors, or other Customers needing assistance.

Interesting Facts

  • Average passenger airfare is $89.28, and the average passenger trip length is about 737 miles.
  • The shortest daily flight is between Austin (AUS) and Houston (HOU) (152 miles). The longest daily flight is between Baltimore/Washington (BWI) and San Jose (SJC) (2,438 miles).
  • In 2003 served 52.6 million cans of soda, juices, and water; 8.7 million alcoholic beverages; 3 million bags of pretzels; 85 million bags of peanuts; and 31.7 million other snacks.

The Boeing 737s seat between 122 and 137 people, depending on the plane and seat configuration. All of 393 planes offer coach class seating only; there are no seat assignments. This is in keeping with Southwest's main goal of providing affordable air travel.

Seat Measurements

  • Seat pitch from the start of one row to the next is between 32 and 33 inches.
  • Seat width between armrest and armrest is 17.25 inches.
  • Seat width between cushion edge and cushion edge is 18.75 inches.

The company has a fleet of 393 Boeing 737 jets.

Aircraft fly an average of about 7 flights per day, or about 12 hours per day. Southwest Airlines operates 2,800 flights per day to 59 cities in 31 states. The airline flies to the following cities:

  • Albany
  • Albuquerque
  • Amarillo
  • Austin
  • Baltimore/Washington
  • Birmingham
  • Boise
  • Buffalo
  • Burbank
  • Chicago (Midway)
  • Cleveland
  • Columbus
  • Corpus Christi
  • Dallas (Love Field)
  • Detroit (Metro)
  • El Paso
  • Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood
  • Harlingen/South Padre Island
  • Hartford/Springfield
  • Houston (Hobby & Intercontinental)
  • Indianapolis
  • Long Island/Islip
  • Jackson
  • Jacksonville
  • Kansas City
  • Las Vegas
  • Little Rock
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Louisville
  • Lubbock
  • Manchester
  • Midland/Odessa
  • Nashville
  • New Orleans
  • Norfolk
  • Oakland
  • Oklahoma City
  • Omaha
  • Ontario
  • Orlando
  • Phoenix
  • Portland
  • Providence
  • Raleigh-Durham
  • Reno
  • Sacramento
  • St. Louis
  • Salt Lake City
  • San Antonio
  • San Diego
  • San Jose
  • Seattle/Tacoma
  • Spokane
  • Tampa
  • Tucson
  • Tulsa
  • West Palm Beach

Top ten airports are:

  • Las Vegas
  • Phoenix
  • Baltimore/Washington
  • Houston Hobby
  • Chicago Midway
  • Dallas (Love Field)
  • Oakland
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Nashville
  • San Diego