Ultimate Guide to Flying Southwest
Okay, so this might sound crazy. But until a few years ago, I had never flown Southwest. I’d been on plenty of flights, but I had just always gravitated towards what I knew (Delta, American Airlines). But when I was trying to decide on a flight to Dallas, my sister suggested I check Southwest’s website. Apparently a lot of their flights don’t show up in places like Kayak or Google Flights because they have three seating options! When I checked, SURE ‘NUFF their prices were lower than anyone else’s!! And THEN I saw that your first two checked bags fly free?? I mean, what is that about?? THERE HAS TO BE A CATCH, RIGHT?
Here’s what I like to call my
Ultimate Guide to Flying Southwest:
BUY DIRECTLY FROM THEM
I have ALWAYS checked flight prices through somewhere like Kayak or Google Flights, because I like to compare my options all in one place (who doesn’t?). It wasn’t until my sister mentioned it that I realized Southwest’s often didn’t show up with the cheapest flights! But when I visited their actual website, their prices blew the other airlines outta the water! When you’re comparing flights, always check their site. My guess is that you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
CHECK IN SO FAST
My biggest advice to anyone flying Southwest would be to check in ASAP! You get your boarding group and number at this time. You board in groups (A, B, C, D) and each person has a number within their group (1-60). For example, if you’re B3, you’ll be at the front of the second boarding group. Once you board, you just pick a seat! This is super awesome but also a little anxiety-inducing if you forgot to check in until just a couple of hours before your flight.
You can pay a small fee for early check-in, but I just set an alarm for exactly 24 hours before my flight (the earliest you can check in without paying to do it early) and got a window seat my first time and an aisle my next! The one time I forgot to set an alarm, however, I was one of the last ten people to board and ended up sandwiched between two guys. Just… set an alarm, people. You can thank me later.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THOSE FREE BAGS
For my trip, I knew I was going to be doing several photo shoots, which meant several outfit changes. I was nervous at first, but then remembered I could check two bags up to 50 lbs EACH. AND I could bring a carryon! AND a personal item! I actually didn’t even end up bringing a carryon, since it’s just one more thing to drag with me through the airport and I was able to fit everything in my two checked bags! If you only have one big suitcase because you’re not doing a photo shoot or something crazy that requires a ridiculous amount of clothes, shoes, accessories, etc, I would recommend going ahead and checking your carryon! It was so nice to only have my purse to keep up with.
GET THOSE RAPID REWARDS POINTS
As an online shopper, you KNOW the first thing I did was sign up for the Southwest Rapid Rewards program. They’re partners with SO MANY BUSINESSES, most of which I already shop with! I placed an order at Old Navy last week and like two days later, BOOM I had points on my account. Hey, shopping online AND getting free flights? I’m definitely about that life.
EARN 2X POINTS WITH THE SOUTHWEST CREDIT CARD
Now, I’m not encouraging anyone to go into debt over here. BUT if you have a credit card you hardly use or don’t use it all, I suggest getting rid of it and snagging a Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card instead! By far one of the best decisions I’ve made when it comes to traveling. Basically you get 1 point per dollar spent, but on Southwest flights, you get double the points! So when I spend money on flying, I’m simultaneously earning points that will get me free flights later!
Not only that, they run deals all the time that will get you a TON of bonus points. Last fall, they made it to where any grocery store, gas, or Amazon purchase earned you 5X POINTS! All I had to do was use my card to get the things I normally buy (not spend anything extra) and just in the past few months, I’ve earned enough points for a free flight to Hawaii. How cool is that?!
Well, that’s all I’ve got for you! Although things are a little “up in the air” (see what I did there?) with Covid right now, you might feel better after checking out my post with some tips to fly safer during the pandemic! Please feel free to comment and let me know if you have any other questions about flying Southwest. And DEFINITELY let me know if you have any tips of your own!
Another airline that is very reasonable price wise is Frontier. Depending on where you are going, check with them too!
Also, since we are pretty close to both Memphis (MEM) and Little Rock (LIT) as departures. I did that last time I flew and save over $150 by changing from Memphis to LR instead!!
Absolutely!! I ALWAYS check prices for both Memphis and Little Rock, especially since they’re almost the same distance from my house! And I’ve never flown Frontier before, I’ll have to look into it!