Most airlines have a separate cabin for business class or first class with nicer, more comfy seating — but not Southwest. Every seat is virtually the same and there are no rows dedicated for premier seating. Southwest does have “Business Select” fare which offers priority security/check-in, flexible cancellation, a free premium drink, and priority boarding (A1 to A15) but you’re not given a seat with more legroom or comfort. It also comes with additional perks like better earning rate and you can click here to find out if if Business Select if worth it for you.
One of the potential drawbacks to Southwest’s network is that they serve a lot of secondary airports. For example, in Houston, Southwest serves Hobby (HOU) instead of George Bush Intercontinental (IAH). This often means going without nice airport lounges or other amenities but also means traveling through smaller airports that are often easier to get in and out of.
Southwest is the largest “point-to-point” operator in the US. This means that it’s extra easy to find direct flights to many destinations versus other airlines who operate with more of a true hub model. If you hate extra flying, Southwest could offer you an escape!
As I just mentioned, Southwest credit cards offer different types of bonuses all of the time — we’ve seen offers range from 25,000 points to 60,000 points for these cards! Try to seek out the best offers for the business Southwest credit card and for the personal cards like the Southwest Premier and Southwest Plus. While you are limited to one personal card, it is possible to get a personal card and a business card but I would wait 30 days in-between applications. Also note that if a higher offer comes out within 90 days of you applying, ask Chase to match you to the higher offer and they usually will! Almost the entire Southwest Airlines fleet consists of 737-700s and 737-800s. In fact, Southwest is the largest operator of the Boeing 737 worldwide! This means you can expect virtually the same flight experience each flight. If you like to seek out extra leg room or upgrade to business select in order to snag the emergency exit rows with more room, knowing which type of plane will be flying is key since the 737-800s have an extra “2-person row.” You can see the difference between the two seat maps below. The 737-800 (pictured on the right) is bigger and has more seats with extra legroom. Some seats might have limited recline or bad window views, though. You can read more about the specific differences between Southwest seats here. Also, be sure to read how to find the best seat on southwest.
The biggest tip I could ever offer if you want to maximize value with Southwest, is to look into getting the Southwest Companion Pass. This allows a companion to fly for free with you on any Southwest flights for up to two years! The Companion Pass can easily be obtained by getting two credit cards from Chase. The Chase Southwest cards come with bonuses with as much as 80,000 Rapid Rewards. Since you only 125,000 Rapid Rewards (or 100 one-way qualifying flight flights) for the Southwest Companion Pass, this allows you to instantly obtain the Companion Pass! That pass can be worth well over $3,000 so if you’re looking to save money with Southwest, definitely consider this.