Is Southwest Airlines a Good & Safe Airline? Pros & Cons

When it comes to air travel, you’re likely considering a mix of factors – cost, comfort, and most importantly, safety. Southwest Airlines is a popular choice for many, but is it a good and safe airline? Let’s jump into the pros and cons to give you a clearer picture.

Southwest has built a reputation for affordable flights and customer-friendly policies. But, like any airline, it’s not without its drawbacks. In this text, we’ll explore the good, the bad, and everything in between. So, buckle up and get ready for an in-depth look at Southwest Airlines.

Pros of Southwest Airlines

Varied reasons render Southwest Airlines a top pick for air voyagers! Enriched with commendable features like affordability, reliability, and comfort, Southwest Airlines stands tall and stands proud.

A prominent advantage of Southwest is its budget-friendly options. When you’re pinching pennies and airfare costs seem unmanageable, Southwest provides a ray of hope. Known for their less expensive fares, you can often find deals that make travel affordable and achievable.

Plus, Southwest is one of the few airlines that still present an option for two free checked bags. Not always the case with other airlines, this feature is definitely a plus. You’re able to pack all your necessities without fretting about additional costs. Do you know what this means? Relief from that extra stress that fees for checked bags usually cause!

Also, let’s not gloss over the flexibility of their flight policies. We’ve all faced unforeseen circumstances that require us to cancel or change our travel arrangements. Southwest shines here – their alteration and cancellation policies are remarkably merciful. You can make changes without feeling the usual sting of hefty alteration fees. Easy changes imply less worry!

Ponder over Southwest’s rewards scheme, Rapid Rewards. This program is a treat for frequent flyers. The more you fly, the more you earn. Spending these hard-earned reward points is a versatile affair. Whether you want to book more flights or snatch up goodies in their online store, the choice is yours.

And there’s Southwest’s reputation for punctuality. Have an important meeting to attend or an event you can’t be late for? Choose Southwest to get you to your destination.

Cons of Southwest Airlines

While Southwest Airlines has sizable pros, it’s significant to address the drawbacks that could affect your travel experience. Let’s explore.

Limited Global Reach

First and foremost, Southwest Airlines’ global reach is limited. If your travel plans often include exotic, international destinations, Southwest may not be your best option. They have a wide network within the US, yet it doesn’t extend far beyond North America. They serve a few locations in Central America and the Caribbean. So, compared to other airlines, their international footprint is relatively small.

No First or Business Class

Southwest’s commitment to a budget-friendly approach results in a lack of premium seating or cabin classes. So, if you’re one accustomed to the comfort of first or business class, then this airline may not meet your expectations.

No Assigned Seating

A unique aspect of Southwest’s service is its first-come, first-served seating policy. This can be a potential deterrent to some travelers. You won’t get an assigned seat number when you check in. Instead, you’re assigned a letter and a number which designate your place in the boarding call line. This may add undue stress to your experience, as you may need to arrive very early or risk ending up with a less desirable seat.

Limited Meal Options

Last but not least, Southwest’s inflight food options can leave a lot to be desired. The airline is known for offering limited food options on most flights. You’ll often find a packet of peanuts or pretzels with your complimentary drink, but don’t expect a full meal service. This factor may not be significant for short domestic flights, but might be crucial for longer ones.

Hence, when considering Southwest for your travel needs, it’s vital to balance these potential downsides with the many benefits it offers. Be sure to weigh your personal requirements and preferences— they will guide your decision process.

Safety Record of Southwest Airlines

When choosing an airline, safety is undeniably a critical aspect you’ll consider. So let’s investigate into Southwest Airlines’ safety record.

Founded in 1967, Southwest Airlines has maintained a strong safety performance over the years. In fact, Southwest holds one of the best safety records in the airline industry. Only a small number of incidents have occurred over the last five decades, and these were not categorized as major accidents.

In recognition of their safety efforts, Southwest received the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Diamond Certificate of Excellence in 2019. This prestigious award marks the airline’s commitment to superior maintenance of their aircraft and continuous training of their maintenance teams.

To ensure flight safety, Southwest also stresses pilot proficiency. Every year, their pilots go through mandatory training to refresh their knowledge and skills. This proactive approach plays a significant role in maintaining a high-level of operational safety.

Here are a few notable safety stats for Southwest:

Year Total Flights Reported Incidents
2020 1,164,352 3
2019 1,249,292 2
2018 1,227,683 1

This table paints a clear picture of the airline’s commitment to safety. With millions of flights operated and minimal incidents reported, it’s fair to say that safety is a top priority for Southwest Airlines.

While no airline can claim to be perfect, Southwest Airlines has shown time and again it’s serious about safety. It has consistently worked to uphold stringent safety standards on every flight, for every passenger. Proof lies in their impressive safety statistics and the dedication to maintain an excellent safety record. When flying Southwest, you can expect a solid emphasis on safety from departure to arrival.

Southwest’s Affordability and Customer-Friendly Policies

When it comes to affordability coupled with customer-centricity, Southwest Airlines undoubtedly holds a distinguished position. The airline offers some of the most competitive rates in the industry. This doesn’t translate to a compromised, Spartan travel experience though. You get value for each dollar you spend, and this is one of the reasons why so many travelers consider Southwest their go-to airline.

Southwest’s budget-friendly options aren’t just limited to booking tickets. It serves your pocket in other ways too. For instance, the airline offers two free checked bags per customer, a policy you’d be hard-pressed to find with most other airlines. Also, if your trip schedule changes last minute, you’ve got the flexibility of altering your booking without any cost with Southwest’s flexible flight policies. Your wallet will thank you for this.

To make your journey with Southwest even more satisfying and rewarding, you can enroll in the airline’s free Rapid Rewards program. Getting signed up for this program gives you access to benefits like no blackout dates on awards flights, points that never expire, and the ability to earn points for every dollar spent. Just another perk that makes Southwest a valuable pick for judicious travelers like you.

On-time performance is a critical factor for any airline, and Southwest Airlines takes this very seriously. The company has built a robust reputation for its punctuality. So if you’re particular about time and don’t enjoy airport lounges longer than necessary, Southwest deserves your attention.

Southwest Airlines hasn’t gained mass appeal just with affordability and customer-friendly policies. Safety also tops its priorities. But, we’ll investigate into that later. Your comfort, experience, and wallet are well looked after when you choose Southwest. Going by the numbers and popular feedback, it seems like a smart choice for many fervent flyers around the country.

Southwest Airlines’ Customer Service and Experience

Continuing with the features that set Southwest Airlines apart, you must know that their customer service is rated among the best in the industry. If you’ve had unpleasant experiences with airline customer service in the past, flying with Southwest may change your perception.

Southwest takes pride in providing top-notch, customer-friendly service. They’ve received the highest ranking in the J.D. Power North America Airline Satisfaction Study for low-cost carriers. This indicates their commitment to ensuring their passengers have a satisfying airline experience.

Besides, their employees consistently get high ratings for friendliness and helpfulness, even when dealing with issues like flight cancellations and baggage mishandling. Resolving problems swiftly and effectively is a hallmark of their customer service.

Not just that, Southwest’s customer service goes beyond dealing with complaints. Their flight attendants are known for making flights more enjoyable with their charming personalities and good humor. You might even enjoy amusing safety demonstrations, keeping passengers engaged and lightening the mood.

Also, Southwest offers impressive features like free live TV, streaming music, movies, and free texting service during flights. This commitment to passenger entertainment and comfort helps enhance the overall travel experience.

In terms of in-flight convenience, Southwest uniquely offers an open seating policy. Instead of pre-assigned seating, passengers choose their seat once they’re onboard. This can be a pro or a con depending on personal preference, but it certainly offers you the flexibility to select your seatmate or decide where in the cabin you’d want to sit.

These factors combined contribute significantly to Southwest’s positive customer experience. The direct focus on smooth customer interactions, combined with the airline’s overall dedication to passenger comfort and satisfaction, helps set them apart in a highly competitive industry. As we continue our exploration, remember these points when considering your air travel options.


So, you’ve seen both sides of the coin for Southwest Airlines. They’ve proven to be a reliable and affordable choice for many travelers. Their customer-friendly policies, including two free checked bags and flexible flights, are a definite plus. The Rapid Rewards program is another perk that’s hard to ignore. Their consistent punctuality is a testament to their commitment to their customers.

Safety-wise, Southwest has a commendable record. Their recognition from the FAA and commitment to pilot proficiency and maintenance speak volumes about their dedication to safety. It’s clear that safety isn’t just a buzzword for them – it’s a priority.

When it comes to customer service, they’re a standout in the industry. Their high J.D. Power ranking and commitment to swift and effective issue resolution are notable. The added bonus of in-flight features like free live TV and streaming services only enhances the overall customer experience.

Balancing these pros and cons, it’s easy to see why Southwest Airlines could be a smart choice for your next trip.

Q1: What are the key advantages of choosing Southwest Airlines for air travel?

Southwest Airlines boasts budget-friendly options and flexible flight policies. They also offer two free checked bags, a beneficial Rapid Rewards program, and have a reputation for punctuality.

Q2: How does Southwest Airlines fare in terms of safety?

Southwest Airlines prides itself on a robust safety record. They have received accolades for their safety performance from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), demonstrating their commitment to pilot proficiency and maintenance.

Q3: What does the article say about Southwest Airlines’ customer service?

The article notes that Southwest Airlines excels in customer service. According to the J.D. Power North America Airline Satisfaction Study, Southwest ranks high, showing commitment to swift and effective issues resolution and offering in-flight perks including free live TV and streaming services.

Q4: Is it affordable to travel with Southwest Airlines?

Yes, Southwest Airlines is known for its affordable flights. Additionally, the airline also offers two free checked bags, adding to its reputation as a budget-friendly option.

Q5: Does Southwest Airlines have a rewards program?

Yes, Southwest Airlines operates a Rapid Rewards program that offers numerous benefits for frequent flyers, strengthening Southwest’s attraction as a choice for regular air travel.

Q6: How does Southwest’s customer service experience set them apart in the industry?

Southwest’s exceptional customer service is demonstrated in features such as free live TV and streaming services on flights, and their effectiveness in swiftly resolving customer issues. This has earned them a high ranking in the J.D. Power North America Airline Satisfaction Study.

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