How does Southwest Airlines compare to other airlines?


Quick Answer

Southwest Airlines generally compares favorably with other airlines in terms of its airfare and value for money, as of 2015. Its luggage and fee change policies are also more generous compared to other airlines.

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How does Southwest Airlines compare to other airlines?
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Full Answer

Southwest Airlines has a reputation of having lower fares compared to other airlines. However, this fare advantage has diminished over the past few years, according to USA Today. In a 2014 comparison, Southwest Airlines shared the lowest airfare with other airlines 40 percent of the time and did not have the lowest airfare 60 percent of the time. Southwest Airlines still offers many low fares compared to other airlines, but the frequency of these low fares has lessened.

However, when compared to other airlines, Southwest Airlines still offers other perks that offset this diminishing fare advantage. Unlike all other U.S. major airlines, Southwest Airlines does not charge for each passenger's first two checked bags. It has a more lenient fee change policy than other airlines. Southwest Airlines also ranks high in on-time performance. Its customer service also has a better reputation compared to most other airlines, according to Time.com. Southwest Airlines' emphasis on less bureaucracy means its employees are allowed to react to customers' needs more quickly than are employees of other airlines.

One longstanding disadvantage of Southwest Airlines compared to other airlines is its relative lack of flight route options. Southwest Airlines' point-to-point flight routes may be more inconvenient than other airlines' hub-and-spoke routes. This disadvantage persists, although Southwest Airlines has expanded its routes over the past few years.

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