Southwest Airlines
Overall Satisfaction Rating
3.96/5
  • 5 stars
    228
  • 4 stars
    127
  • 3 stars
    41
  • 2 stars
    16
  • 1 star
    79
Based on 491 ratings submitted in the last year
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Southwest Airlines

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Last updated: Nov. 21, 2017

1148 Southwest Airlines Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Nov. 21, 2017

A flight attendant walked down the aisle, ascertaining drink preferences. He addressed EVERY WOMAN by the diminutive term "Honey". When I objected, he told me that I was the only one to do so. I complained to Southwest, who told me that their flight attendants were trained to be 'fun loving'. Southwest apologized for upsetting me and asked for my return business but made no mention of instructing male flight attendants to refrain from calling women passengers "Honey". Until Southwest understands the nature of sexist and offensive terminology, and that it is more than just 'upsetting' one passenger, I refuse to fly this airline. I would rather pay more for a ticket and patronize an airline that no longer has its 1970's Flight Attendants in Hot Pants mentality.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 6, 2017

I was having a hard time when trying to get to the bathroom since I'm alone. They wouldn't keep my suitcase making it hard, but a passenger watch my suitcase while I went. Felt sick from holding my bathroom break.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 2, 2017

Boarding flight 771 from Chicago to Orlando on Tuesday, October 31st was very disorganized and in fact understaffed. I bought two boarding upgrades for $80. 1/2 hour before boarding was to begin, I realized that there were over 80 pre-boards. I asked for my money back before boarding began and was told "how do I know how many pre-boards there are." Look I said... frankly, he was rather rude. Later on the flight I heard there were 77 special pre-boards plus the average normal pre-boards. This is just the airlines being greedy at my expense. The flight was over 1/2 full before they got to the business select customers. I will definitely look for a different airline the next time I need to fly somewhere.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 2, 2017

Travel on Southwest is quick & easy... no drama! Their employees are friendly & committed to making a flight enjoyable. I would recommend Southwest to anyone flying nationally.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 1, 2017

I have had the runaround for a week when I contacted Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, their customer relations department, and more rewards departments. All I wanted to do was utilize my points toward a car rental for my vacation and the hold times are 20 minutes at a time for every call. Misinformation from every representative I have spoke to from the beginning. A representative guided me through a certificate purchase in lieu of points for the car rental, never mentioned the 72 hour hold time in the warehouse before shipping out certificates and a week later they are still pending in the system. After numerous phone calls the representatives all said nothing can be done or try to pass me off to another department.

This evening I spoke to a supervisor, Heather in More Rewards and she treated me like a criminal on the witness stand defending the employees for not sharing the pertinent guidelines when purchasing these certificates. This is completely unacceptable, a supervisor should have more sense to solve an issue a customer is having rather than imply that it is the customer's fault and error. I have been a loyal Southwest Airlines customer for over 30 years. I am completely dissatisfied and the level of incompetence is shocking. I will not let this go, my rewards points are being held hostage due to the inability to resolve the issue, with a little bit of knowledge this could have been resolved. These certificates have no value to me if received after my scheduled trip. A big thumbs down for Southwest!

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 1, 2017

We spent a good deal of time trying to decide the best layover options and arrival times to Las Vegas. Our agent also spent time helping us decide based on our preferences. Very knowledgeable.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 30, 2017

I flew on flight 5457 from Orlando to Hartford on October 29, 2017. The flight was initially delayed almost three hours for mechanical issues and then was diverted to Baltimore due to weather. Once we were diverted it took approximately 1 hour to get to Baltimore which was at 1:52 am. We were all shuffled to a gate and were told to wait a few minutes until things were straightened out. We received a couple of announcements with the same message... our supervisor is working on it. I was #23 in line and had paid for early bird check-in. I was in the A group on my diverted flight. We got to the counter... no announcements had been made at all as to what was happening. We were handed boarding passes to go to another gate and my boarding pass boarding group B # 50. Not a word was said as to why the boarding group was so different and we were not allowed to ask any questions.

I completely understand a diversion but no communication and standing in line for 2 hours with no real updates made me feel like this was the first diversion this team ever dealt with. And to think there was an hour when we were in flight that the team had to get things figured out and it appeared no one even started working on this and when we arrived we were told they had not been told what would happen with our flight. 5 employees were laughing and having a great time behind the counter including the supervisor who was in the phone and in her cell phone as well which seemed as though it was a personal call but that was just my assumption. I flew SWA because my boss insists it’s the best and this was business travel. She even brought Jason Young into our conference this week that I flew to speak about customer service and how SWA stands apart from the rest.

I did not see that or feel that experience tonight starting with the mechanical delay and ending like this. And funny thing is, as I am writing this another passenger just sat next to me who just came from the line who has a position in the A group. I will be telling my boss that I will pick my own business travel flights. This is not the service I expected based on Jason’s workshop this week.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 29, 2017

I like Southwest ticket prices and the fact they do not charge extra for baggage! I had 1 issue, I am handicapped and order a wheelchair to help me get around. I flew from Omaha to Phoenix in February and they picked me up after getting off the plane, we started through the terminal and they had to park me and take care of another customer quick. I sat there approximately 15 minutes before someone came to help again, we went a little ways and the same thing happened! By the time someone came to help again the luggage carousel was empty and my suitcase moved away! We finally tracked it down but I was unhappy.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 28, 2017

I fly Southwest because: 2 bags free; low prices if booked far enough in advance & flexible on time/date of travel; direct flights where I want to go. The seating by section at the gate works well too.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 26, 2017

In my opinion, Southwest sets the standard for value and customer service. No other airline to my knowledge provides free checked baggage, drinks, and snacks. Their flight attendants for the most part are friendly and make the passengers feel valued.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Oct. 21, 2017

I purchased 6 airline tickets which included two small grandchildren ages 2 and 4. I also purchased the Early Bird for all 6. Everything was fine except the last leg of the trip in which the gate agent was rude to my daughter about loading out of place that she was 31 and her two year old was 32 and he needed to wait! He said she was out of turn and should have waited! Waited for what!!! The man was extremely rude and we will not fly on this airline again.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 21, 2017

I have usually flown SWA, but my loyalty has been shaken by a recent experience. In May 2017, I used a voucher that expired on Nov 5, 2017 and a gift card to purchase a flight. The gift card was the same as cash and, when I had to cancel the reservation, I should have had the gift card funds available until May, 2018. However, when I went to book a trip for later in November, I was told that the gift card funds had been wiped out as of Nov 5 with the voucher that expired on that date.

I was also told that SWA causes all funds to expire on the earliest possible date, instead of the later date which was one year from the date of the original purchase. The effect was that SWA took the proceeds of my gift card after just a few months and did not allow me to re-use them within one year as they advertise. I was told that this is explained in some small print somewhere, but I could not find it and, in any event, most people do not read the small print that one finds online. I feel cheated by SWA and am considering switching my loyalty to another airline.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 13, 2017

On Saturday evening 9/23/17, I received a notification stating my disable father flight was cancelled for Sat., which I clearly called and cancelled and verified that we all had tickets for Sun. morning. I was informed that we were all booked for Sunday. I called SWA, at first I was told I had to wait until Mon, but luckily they were able to help me.

Once we arrived to the airport my disable father who have a injured foot with a surgical shoe on it and a pacemaker was forced by Supv. Timothy to go thru the machine, even after being told he couldn't stand and was informed he had a pacemaker and several other ailments. I showed him my dad's card, but he insisted that this is the way they done things at their airport. I informed him we clearly traveled before and he wasn't forced to go thru there. There is a sign that clearly states. "Do a hand-pat search. If you request a hand-pat search, you can ask them to do it in a private area away from public view".

Not only did he have to go thru the machine he also had to STAND UP and be patted and wanded downed, which per MD orders states NO STANDING. The other staff had agreed to search my dad in the wheelchair, but Timothy aggressiveness overruled. As my dad was forced to stand, he became very unbalanced I went to assist and was told I couldn't touch my dad or I had to be rechecked. Once again Timothy rudely rushed over and stood in front of me so I couldn't assist my dad. Once we arrived on the plane, my dad oxygen machine was between his legs, the ** attendant instructed him to push it further down, which he couldn't then he attempted to remove the oxygen and place in the overhead storage, I immediately informed him the oxygen can't be away from my dad.

He went to inform the ** flight attendant that my dad had a black book bag under the seat, but we were claiming it was oxygen. The ** attendant returns to us, and told us this was a $1200 fine. I clearly explained to him that was my dad's lifeline and the flight was short and it should remain with my dad until we land. He then forced it under the seat, claiming they had never seen this type of tank before. Once we arrived we had to sit there while the plane was emptied and the Supervisor was called and he informed me that he was called by the attendants and they informed him that there was a problem on the plane and my dad had a black bag and they had never seen this type of oxygen before. The black bag was provided by FITZSIMMONS OXYGEN COMPANY. I opened the bag showed it to Chris and showed him the paperwork from the Dr. and Fitzsimmons and informed him his staff need to be properly trained.

If we made it thru security how is it a fine? Once we arrived to BWI, I spoke with the boarding person, the flight attendant and the pilot, they were extremely helpful, they showed me the book of the different Oxygen machines you all allow on the plane, and my dad's was the fourth one on there, the only difference we were provided with a carrier. Once we landed to MDW, there was no wheelchair waiting for my dad, but the other passenger who walked on the plane had one, which was fine. The wheelchair attendant informed me it was a wheelchair behind me, I can push my dad myself, remind you I had luggage plus his oxygen. The flight attendant overheard him say that and she immediately asked him to call someone and he said he couldn't and he was only there for the other passenger, she spoke with him briefly, and she then wheeled my dad up the ramp.

She informed the gentlemen sitting at the desk and he called for assistance, after 15 mins. no one came. I pushed my dad and his oxygen to the exit point. This was the worst experience my family and I had to endure. My 71 year old disable father felt as if he would've never went this wouldn't of happened. I understand there are rules in place for EVERYONE'S safety, but to have my dad stand, when there is clearly a sign stating, "If you have a pacemaker and prefer to be wanded down please step to the side and someone will speak with you." Why was my dad forced to stand.

There are so many unanswered questions and concerns I have. This was my sister and niece first time traveling and the behavior she seen yesterday, she said it will be her last. I ask that the flight attendants please be updated on new equipment and your supervisors and staff have more respect and patience for the elderly and disable. I reached out to SWA, the second day I was home thru email and phone. No one have yet to contact me back. I received a general reply stating, "Thanks for your concerns, someone will reach out to you shortly." I will submit my email again.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 11, 2017

I have always found Southwest a great airline to fly with. They have high safety records, great prices and friendly staff. Several years while flying with my mother who was in a wheelchair, one of the pilots helped wheel my mother from the gate to the baggage claim area.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Oct. 11, 2017

I purchased a round trip ticket on September 25, '17 and used partial rewards points and had to purchase more because I didn't have enough for the flight. Early October (10th) the flight went on sale. I contacted Southwest Airline to change my flight to a later one on the same day which was actually less money than the original one. I was told "sorry" you used "rewards points" to purchase your ticket you have to either buy more points 11,000 or pay the $189 cost of that leg of the flight. I wasn't looking for cash back; just a simple change of flights. A lousy one hour difference! Which would have gotten me to my destination at the same time. Are you kidding me! I was a loyal customer of Southwest Airlines for years and I never expected that kind of response from them. Travel any other carrier but not SOUTHWEST AIRLINES.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 11, 2017

Southwest has cheap flights and they have great service. Flights are on time as well. It's important to get your boarding pass early if you care about where you sit, window, aisle, middle seat.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 11, 2017

Southwest trains their flight crews and ground personnel extremely well, has clean, well-maintained aircraft, and is very customer-oriented - the opposite of some airlines flying today.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 11, 2017

Most times you fly, you need to take luggage. Southwest has the most generous luggage program - 2 free bags! Some people do not like the "pick your seat" way they do business but it doesn't bother me. As I enter the plane I can survey the crowd and avoid children or heavy - set people or whatever and choose who I get to sit by. When I reserve my seat in advance, I don't get that option. I think they are a good value and their flight attendants are the best!!!

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 11, 2017

I was flying alone, and it was a last minute decision. Due to phone issues I was unable to check-in early but was given the opportunity to upgrade to earlier boarding. The flight crew were all very positive and helpful to all passengers. One of the advantages of this airline is that you don't have to pay for your carry-on luggage!

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 11, 2017

All ground and in flight personnel were very helpful and friendly. Only one issue was the weather problem. There was no one to say what the issue was. News media had a field day. Only minor delays.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 11, 2017

I never pay baggage fees, flights go where I go, and often. I choose the bargain airfare each time. I've gotten used to buying food before I get on the plane so the small snacks are okay with me. The flight attendants seem to have good senses of humor.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 10, 2017

Excellent flights on 10/3/17 flight 1089 and flight 751 to DC, return 10/7/17 flight 5451 and flight 2841 home to Las Vegas. Best flight attendance ever polite, courteous, customer friendly. Great snacks and drinks. Wonderful flights. My complaint is with the wheelchair and baggage personnel. They were not polite, not courteous and not customer friendly. Baggage personnel never asked my husband for his ID and only held his hand out for me to give him my ID. We could have been on the no fly list!

Their uniforms were greasy and dirty and we could not understand what they were saying. I gave the wheelchair lady a tip and she stood in front of my wheelchair and glared at me. It was a little scary. Where did you get these people from? Take a lesson from Chicago and Indianapolis on their ground personnel who handle the seniors or disabled with politeness, helped you out of the chair and said thank you when you gave them a tip.

Good service Chicago. Good service Indianapolis and to think the capital of the United States would have the worst service. As much as you pay to fly and all that the American people have been through shootings here in Las Vegas and shootings across the country, Southwest I think you can do better! We fly Southwest for years and we want to continue but not with the people you use on the ground to assist you.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 10, 2017

I find the whole experience with Southwest easy and pleasant. I've never encountered personnel in less than a professional and pleasant mood (unlike experiences I've experienced with both American Airlines and United Airlines whose staff have become unpredictable mood wise). They don't seem to take themselves too seriously always smiling and in love their impromptu songs!

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 10, 2017

It was easy to book a flight. Good price for a short flight to Seattle, WA from Ontario, CA. Nice attendants and left on time. No problems at all with seating or bag retrieval.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 10, 2017

Southwest is an awesome airline. I flew last year and due to a late international flight, I missed my SW connection. They cheerfully booked me on the next morning flight at no extra charge.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 10, 2017

SW - for the most part has been a positive experience - with the exception of reserved seating. I have stress of having to sit on my iPhone and hope I get a good position in line. I would be willing to pay extra for reserved seating but it is not guaranteed. There was a woman behind me in line that paid extra and she had a worst position than me. I understand that the method they use allows for easy cancellations but maybe some seats should be set aside to be reserved.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 10, 2017

The flights I have traveled on were wonderful when it comes to taking off and landing. The flight attendant was very helpful and very nice. Great service.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 10, 2017

Find the peace of mind of not being charged to reschedule should plans change a A+. With other airlines there are fees for everything & getting worse. Does nothing for the friendly skies. I fly Southwest whenever possible.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 9, 2017

Good cheap fares. No add on, no frills just a fair price to get you to the other side of the country. The seats are ok, the staff friendly and planes are maintained.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 9, 2017

I have flown all of the USA, Mexico and Puerto Rico and I will not fly with any other airline if I am in control of the choice than Southwest Airlines. I have faced every situation from last minute flight changes, mechanical difficulties, weather related issues, and out of all of the airlines Southwest has the most professional, courteous, friendly and accommodating staff from reservationists to their pilots and hands down their pilots are extremely cautious of protecting their passengers. They are #1 in my book!

Southwest Airlines expert review by Erika Armstrong

After incorporating in 1967, Southwest Airlines did not start taking passengers until 1971 after a long battle through the court system. Today, Southwest is the largest budget passenger airline in the U.S., launching more than 3,800 flights per day on peak travel days.

  • Discount pricing: Southwest is best known for its low-price philosophy and offers very competitive prices on flights throughout the U.S.

  • Cargo flights: Southwest combines passenger flights with cargo to offer fast shipping when needed, with top-tier options guaranteeing delivery on the next flight out.

  • Budget corporate travel: Businesses that do more than $100,000 in travel per year can build a customized travel program.

  • Bags fly free: Southwest offers every passenger two free checked bags that weigh fewer than 50 pounds.

  • Package discounts: When booking airfare and ground transportation through the Southwest website, access to exclusive discounts are available.

  • Best for: Vacationers, business travelers, holiday travelers and frequent fliers.

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Erika Armstrong

Airlines Contributing Editor

From the front desk of a busy FBO to the captain's seat of a commercial airliner, Erika Armstrong has experienced everything aviation has to offer. She is the author of A CHICK IN THE COCKPIT and her aviation articles can be found at Consumer Affairs, Plane & Pilot, Flying.com, Disciples of Flight, NYC Aviation, Contrails, Mentor, General Aviation News and Business Insider.

Southwest Airlines Company Information

Company Name:
Southwest Airlines
Year Founded:
1967
Address:
2702 Love Field Dr.
City:
Dallas
State/Province:
TX
Postal Code:
75235
Country:
United States
Phone:
(855) 234-4654
Website:
www.southwest.com