Southwest Airlines reviews rank this budget carrier in the industry's top tier. On sites such as Viewpoints, passengers confess their love of Southwest, saying it's affordable, flexible, and even fun to fly. They note positives such as friendly and often funny flight crews, cheap prices, orderly boarding, and comfortable planes. Over at Epinions, Southwest reviews express appreciation for policies that don't pad the company's bottom line - i.e., Southwest is one of the rare airlines that still lets you check luggage for free and hands out free snacks and beverages. Galt Tech gives a thumbs-up in its Southwest review for easy check-in and on-time flights.
Not surprisingly, some Southwest reviews gripe about the usual, such as lack of assigned seats and difficulty of sitting together as a family, misleading marketing on the cost of changing a reservation, and occurrences of damaged luggage and rude crew members.
Southwest's baggage policy surpasses almost every other airline's. Passengers can check two bags free if they don't exceed 50 pounds each and additional bags cost $50 apiece. You can check in online 24 hours in advance, which gives you a place in line for boarding, but seating is essentially first come, first served once you're on the plane. Seats are about 17 inches wide with 31 to 33 inches of pitch. Perks on Southwest flights include a complimentary drink and snack and a small charge for in-flight Wi-Fi on some routes. Southwest operates 3,400 flights a day and claims landing rights at 74 airports, making it the largest discount airline. With so many flights, it should be relatively easy to rebook a convenient flight if the original is delayed or cancelled.
Southwest earns our vote as best cheap airline for its two free checked bags policy and passengers' enthusiastic praise for customer service. If Southwest flies where and when you want to travel, chances are you won't be disappointed.