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Carry-on Baggage: Passengers are entitled to one item of carry-on baggage per person. This carry-on bag must not exceed 10 x 16 x 24 inches (25 x 40 x 60cm). In addition to this, passengers are allowed to bring one personal item with them on the flight, for example, a small rucksack, a handbag, a briefcase or a laptop. This small personal item must not exceed the overall dimensions of 18.5 x 8.5 x 13.5 inch (46 x 22 x 34 cm).
Checked Baggage: Passengers are allowed two items of checked baggage free of charge. This baggage must not weigh more than 22kg per piece and must fit within the overall dimensions of 62 inches (157 cm) (L x W x H).
Online Check-in: For passengers with a reservation, web check-in is available on all flights. You can check-in online by visiting the online check-in page and entering your confirmation number, first and last name. Online check-in opens 24 hours before to one hour prior to scheduled flight departure time.
Airport Check-in: Airport check-in can be completed by visiting the dedicated check-in counters at the airport of departure. Airport check-in opens three hours before scheduled flight departure time and generally closes 30 minutes—one hour before.
Southwest Airlines is a airline based in Dallas, Texas that has a reputation for low fares. The airline flies to many destinations, including Chicago, Baltimore, Washington, Midway, Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas, Phoneix, Houston, Orlando, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Arizona, Oranjestad, Nassau, Belize City, Liberia, San Jose, Punta Cana, Mexico City and many others.
The airline carries the most domestic passengers of any US airline. Its extensive fleet consists of Boeing 737-700s, Boeing 737MAXs, and Boeing 737-800s. In total, the airline has a fleet of over 750 aircraft and carried more than 134 million passengers in 2019. The fleet delivers more than 4,000 flights per day in peak seasons.
The airline was established on March 15, 1967, by Herb Kelleher as Air Southwest Co. and adopted its current name, Southwest Airlines Co., in 1971, when it began operating as an intrastate airline wholly within the state of Texas, first flying between Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. The airline has nearly 60,000 employees and operates about 4,000 departures a day during peak travel season.
As of 2018, Southwest carried the most domestic passengers of any United States airline. The airline has scheduled service to 103 destinations in the United States and ten additional countries. In late 2020, Southwest began announcing a series of expansions to several new airports, such as Palm Springs International Airport, and the return to several previously exited airports such as Jackson–Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport.
Southwest Airlines History
Southwest Airlines was founded in 1966 by Herbert Kelleher and Rollin King, and in 1967 it was incorporated as Air Southwest Co. Three other airlines took legal action to try to prevent the company from its planned strategy of undercutting their prices by flying only within Texas and thus being exempt from various regulations. The lawsuits were resolved in 1970, and in 1971 the airline began operating regularly scheduled flights between Dallas Love Field and Houston and between Love Field and San Antonio, and adopted the name Southwest Airlines Co. In 1975, Southwest began operating flights to various additional cities within Texas, and in 1979 it began flying to adjacent states. Service to the East and the Southeast started in the 1990s
Southwest Airlines Destinations
To date, Southwest schedules flights to 105 destinations in 40 states (and Puerto Rico), Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Southwest does not use the hub and spoke system of other major airlines, preferring the point-to-point system, combined with a rolling hub model in its base cities. Southwest started service to Miami International Airport and Palm Springs International Airport in November 2020, and Montrose Regional Airport in December 2020. Service to George Bush Intercontinental Airport, O'Hare International Airport, Jackson–Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport, Colorado Springs Airport, Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, Fresno Yosemite International Airport, and Santa Barbara Municipal Airport is scheduled to start in 2021
Southwest Airlines Operating bases
Southwest airlines Fleet
Southwest Airlines has operated only Boeing 737 jetliners, except for 1979 to 1980 and 1983 to 1985 when it leased and operated a few Boeing 727-200s. Southwest is the largest operator of the Boeing 737 worldwide, with 734 in its fleet.
In October 2020, it was reported that Southwest was considering the Airbus A220 as an alternative to the MAX 7 to replace its 737-700s, with deliveries from 2025. The company expects to make a decision in 2021 after evaluating whether the economic advantages of the A220 are sufficient to offset the efficiencies of an all-Boeing fleet.
Southwest Airlines passenger Experience
While most U.S. airlines now charge passengers for checked luggage, Southwest continues to permit 2 free checked bags per passenger. Regarding last-minute itinerary changes, Southwest also does not charge any change fees; passengers are permitted to change their flight as late as 10 minutes prior to their flights, and only pay the difference if their new flight is more expensive than the original flight (or receive a credit if the new flight is less expensive than the original flight). In the event of a cancellation, passengers are refunded a travel credit in the amount spent on their ticket, and the credit may be used toward any other Southwest Airlines or Southwest Vacations purchase within a year of the original ticket purchase.
Southwest offers free in-flight non-alcoholic beverages and offers alcoholic beverages for sale for $6 to $7/beverage, with Rapid Rewards members eligible to receive drinks vouchers with their tickets. Free alcoholic drinks are offered on popular holidays such as Valentine's Day and Halloween, provided the passenger is at least 21. Southwest has complimentary pretzels on all flights, and most flights have free Nabisco snacks. Southwest is known for colorful boarding announcements and crews that burst out in song, which is quite popular among passengers.
According to the Department of Transportation (DOT) Southwest ranks number one (lowest number of complaints) of all U.S. airlines for customer complaints. Southwest Airlines has consistently received the fewest ratio of complaints per passenger boarded of all major U.S. carriers that have been reporting statistics to the DOT since 1987, which is when the DOT began tracking customer satisfaction statistics and publishing its Air Travel Consumer Report.
Prior to 2007, Southwest boarded passengers by grouping the passengers into three groups, labeled A, B and C. Passengers would line up at their specified letter and board.
In 2007, Southwest modified its boarding procedure by introducing a number. Each passenger receives a letter (A, B, or C) and a number 1 through 60. Passengers line up in numerical order within each letter group and choose any open seat on the aircraft. According to a 2012 study by Mythbusters, this is the fastest method currently in use for non-first class passengers to board a plane; on average, it is 10 minutes faster than the standard method used by most airlines of boarding from the back frontward.
Southwest Airlines In flight Entertainment
All Southwest Airlines Reservations aircraft are equipped with Wi-Fi, free streaming live television, free movies, free streaming music from iHeartRadio, and free app messaging. After completing a testing phase that began in February 2009, Southwest announced on August 21, 2009, that it would begin rolling out in-flight Wi-Fi Internet connectivity via Global Eagle Entertainment's satellite-broadband based product. Southwest began adding Wi-Fi to its aircraft in the first quarter of 2010. The airline began testing streaming live television in the summer of 2012 and video on demand in January 2013. As of November 1, 2018, live in-flight TV, movies, messaging (iMessage and WhatsApp) and real-time flight tracking information via Wi-Fi are available for free to all passengers, with full Internet access available at a fee for regular passengers and free to A-List Preferred Rapid Rewards members.
Southwest Airlines Evolve interior
On January 17, 2012, Southwest introduced a plan to retrofit its fleet with a new interior. Improvements include a modern cabin design, lighter and more comfortable seats made of eco-friendly products, increased under-seat space, new netted seatback pockets to provide more knee room, a new fixed-wing headrest, and improved ergonomics. All Boeing 737-700s and 115 737-800s have the Evolve interior. Though not originally planned, because of space saved, Southwest was able to fit an extra row of seats on its planes. All Boeing 737-800s have the Boeing Sky interior, which features sculpted sidewalls and redesigned window housings, along with increased headroom and LED moon lighting
Southwest Airlines HeadQuaters
The Southwest Airlines headquarters is located on the grounds of Dallas Love Field in the Love Field neighborhood of Dallas, Texas. Chris Sloan of Airways Magazine stated it is "as much a living, breathing museum and showcase for the "culture that LUV built" as they are corporate offices."
On September 17, 2012, Southwest broke ground on a new Training and Operational Support (TOPS) building. The TOPS Building is across the street from its current headquarters building. The property includes a two-story, 100,000-square-foot Network Operations Control (NOC) building that can withstand an EF3 tornado. It also includes a four-story, 392,000-square-foot office, and training facility with two levels devoted to each function. The new facilities house 24-hour coordination and maintenance operations, customer support and services, and training. The project was completed in late 2013, with occupancy beginning in 2014.
On June 2, 2016, Southwest broke ground on its new office and training facility known as Wings. The newest addition to the corporate campus is composed of a 420,000-square-foot six-story office building, and a 380,000-square-foot adjoining structure called the LEAD (Leadership Education and Aircrew Development) Center which serves as the new pilot training facility. The LEAD Center has the capacity to house and support 18 flight simulators. It is designed to be expanded to accommodate up to 26 simulator bays. The building opened on April 3, 2018.
On August 16, 2019, Southwest announced an expansion of the LEAD Center to accommodate eight additional simulators for future operational and training demands. On January 2, 2020, it was announced that Southwest would be purchasing an additional 3 acres (1.2 ha) of land adjacent to its Wings and LEAD facilities. No additional details were disclosed.
Southwest Airlines Impact on carriers
Southwest has been a major inspiration to other low-cost carriers, and its business model has been repeated many times around the world. The competitive strategy combines a high level of employee and aircraft productivity with low unit costs by reducing aircraft turn around time particularly at the gate. Europe's EasyJet and Ryanair are two of the best-known airlines to follow Southwest's business strategy in that continent. Other airlines with a business model based on Southwest's system include Canada's WestJet, Malaysia's AirAsia (the first and biggest LCC in Asia), India's IndiGo, Australia's Jetstar, a subsidiary of Qantas (although Jetstar now operates three aircraft types), Philippines's Cebu Pacific, Thailand's Nok Air, Mexico's Volaris, Indonesia's Lion Air and Turkey's Pegasus Airlines. Although Southwest has been a major inspiration to many other airlines, including Ryanair, AirAsia, Lion Air, and Jetstar, the management strategies, for example, of Ryanair, AirAsia, Lion Air, and Jetstar differ significantly from those of Southwest. All these different management strategies can be seen as means of differentiation from other competitors in order to gain competitive advantages.
All seats on Southwest flights are economy as standard; this is the only class on all flights.
Economy Class Facilities:
1. Free in-flight entertainment, including films and TV shows.
2. Open-seating, meaning that passengers simply choose their seat once they are on the plane (This avoids having to rush to get to check-in or pre-select your seat).
3. WIFI is available on Southwest flights, all-day WiFi only costs USD $8.
Economy Class Seats: The seats on the Southwest fleet range from 31-33 inch pitch and 17 - 17.8 inches wide with 2 inches recline and adjustable headrests. This is reported to be one of the most comfortable economy seats on low-cost carriers, as the company have larger-than-average sears with enhanced cushion support in the seat.
Southwest has a booking fare called Business Select, which allows passengers certain privileges when flying with this airline. Although the onboard seating arrangements will be the same as every other passenger, such as being in the same cabin, Business Select passengers get priority features which enhance their experience.
Business Class Facilities:
1. Guaranteed priority boarding (perfect for the open-seating plan, as passengers can enter the plane first, choose their seat and settle before the rest of the passengers are permitted on the plane).
2. Check-in is quicker, with lines all being fast-tracked for security and check-in.
3. Passengers will receive a complimentary premium drink voucher to use on the day of travel (includes options of alcoholic beverages).
4. WIFI is available on Southwest flights, all-day WiFi only costs USD $8.
Business class seats: The seats for business class are just the same as economy class.