Southwest Airlines Fares Now Available on Google Flights

Southwest Winglet

American low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines has a unique position on today’s aviation market. While the company was the first successful budget carrier – and proudly carries that moniker until today – nowadays Southwest tickets include more services than American legacy carriers. For example, booking with Southwest means two included checked bags on every flight. Further, all tickets can be rebooked for only the fare difference, without an additional fee.

But being customer friendly isn’t the only thing that makes Southwest stand out. The company fought a long fight against meta-searches like Google Flights, kayak or momondo – since it did not want to be listed by these websites. The company has now changed its stance regarding these sites. As of today, all Southwest flights are listed on Google Flights. That makes it a lot easier to compare prices for US domestic and some international routes:

Southwest on Google Flights I

Since Southwest was previously missing in lists like these, many travellers weren’t aware that there might be cheaper options (at least when checking bags). Sadly, setting filters for prices with cabin or hold bags won’t work properly on most routes. The reason is Spirit Airline’s denial to make such data to Google.

On a positive note, even searching for cheap destinations from a specific airport (in this case: Phoenix PHX) now works with Southwest fares.

Southwest on Google Flights II

Southwest Actively Fought Against Price Comparison

Until this recent change, it was Southwest itself that denied any possibility to compare prices on sight. They went as far as taking legal action against a browser plug-in that added Southwest fares to Google Flights search results. Because of its many advantages, Southwest has garnered a large and loyal group of followers over the past decades. The airline counted on these people to book directly on Southwest’s website instead of thinking about comparing prices.

Southwest Airlines is the best value option when travelling with checked bags in most cases. However, if you hold a frequent flyer that enables you to bring a bag for free on Alaska Airlines, American, Delta or United, these companies might be the cheaper option. It will be interesting to see how passengers react to Southwest’s new-found lust for competition.

Bottom Line

With a fleet of more than 800 aircraft, Southwest Airlines is the fourth-largest carrier in the United States. Its omission from Google Flights has been a detriment to both the tool and customers. Being able to compare prices is a huge step in the right direction for both Google and passengers – and it even maybe for the airline. Since the (usually more expensive) Southwest tickets include almost everything, you still have to weed through other offers to see which offer is actually the best for your personal needs.

Thanks to our source, Reddit!

Translated by Felix

Cover Picture: Stephanie Klepacki

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