Does Southwest have business class or first class?

For people that are new to Southwest Airlines they often ask if Southwest has an equivalent of business class or first class.  For a seasoned Southwest traveler that may seem like a dumb question, but I get traffic on my web site every day with people asking that exact question.

Does Southwest have business class or first class?  No. 

Remember, once onboard a Southwest plane every one on the plane is equal.  There aren’t a handful of seats at the front of the plane filled with the elites.  All the seats are roughly the same with some small differences around exit rows, bulk heads, and the back of the plane.  It’s true the people with status are probably sitting up front, but not always.

What is Business Select though?

Business Select is Southwest’s top fare aimed at business travelers.  While it is the most expensive fare, it is only usually $22 more than the refundable fare.  Whereas a first class or business class ticket on another airline can cost hundreds if not thousands more.

What does Business Select get you?  You’ll be one of the first on the plane with a position of A1 – A15, you’ll get the most rapid rewards points possible for the flight, and you’ll get a free drink coupon for that flight.  You’re one of the first people on the plane and that is nice.  Keep in mind though that you still board after the pre-boarders.  Some flights will also have passengers from a previous stop as well.  Still you get to board before everyone else after that so if you are picky about where you sit, Business Select is for you.

Is Business Select worth it?  Depends on the flight.  If you can get someone else to pay for it, absolutely.   Business Select is usually reasonable for those flying on short regional flights at the last minute.

On longer flights such as Dallas to La Guardia, the Wanna Get Away fares don’t get booked up as fast on last minute flights.  That means the price difference between Wanna Get Away and Anytime / Business Select might be a few hundred dollars each way.  That’s usually hard to justify.

When it comes to points, you get double the amount per dollar (12 points versus 6 points).  Couple that with the higher fare and you will get a huge number of points for each Business Select flight you take.  No other airline can compare to this.

Note, if you don’t use your drink coupon on that flight, you can usually get away with using it on another flight.  This is a good use for those drink coupons you get from those 6 am flights on the way to see a client.  It means you can double-up on the way home.

Hopefully that explains how Business Select works on Southwest.  If you still have questions about flying on Southwest, be sure and read my Beginner’s Guide to flying Southwest.

Southwest offering $15 off your ride to Dallas Love Field with Lyft

LyftThe parking shortage continues at Dallas Love Field as we enter the summer season and a new garage is years away.  To encourage users to ride to the airport instead of parking, Southwest has partnered with Lyft to bring you a discount to and from the airport.  If you are not familiar with Lyft, it is another online ride service similar to Uber.

You’ll get a promo code automatically via e-mail when you checkin for your next flight.   The promotion code is good for up to $15 to and from the airport.  Each voucher is good for two rides (i.e.: there and back).  Promo codes expire August, 15th, 2015.

I have a few promo codes that I won’t be using (since I live really far away), so help yourself.

  • LOV38581
  • LOV90945
  • LOV87877

I am guessing you could just put any five digit number after LOV and it will probably work.  If you use one of the promo codes, leave a comment and let us know how your ride was.

Download the Lfyt App now to get started.

Be sure and check out my post on the Dallas Love Field parking shortage for additional tips.

What is a “Wanna get away” fare on Southwest Airlines?

Southwest Airlines keeps their airfare classes extremely simple.  They don’t have Y, M, K, X, and other cryptic classes that only people with 10+ years in the travel industry understand.  They have three fares:

  • Business Select – Southwest’s top fare which includes priority boarding, more Rapid Rewards Points, priority screening, and a drink.  It’s also fully refundable and you can change your ticket at any time.  This is as close as it comes to first class on Southwest.
  • Anytime – This is Southwest’s fully refundable fare.  This fare allows you to change your ticket at any time without penalty.  It also allows you to fly standby at no extra charge.
  • Wanna Get Away – This is Southwest’s lowest fare aimed at the casual traveler.   You can get this fare by booking your flights in advance.  However, it comes with fewer Rapid Rewards points and flying standby will cost you extra.  If you want to fly standby, you will have to pay the fare difference between what you paid and the published Anytime fare.  On the plus side, there is no change fee charged on top of your fare.  You can change you flight at any time.  Just keep in mind fares go up as your travel date gets closer.

For the seasoned Southwest traveler, these fares may be common knowledge.  According to my analytics though, this is one of the top search queries directing users to my site.  For more information on Southwest fares, refer to this chart.

Double points are back on Southwest for flights to / from Dallas or Austin

Southwest AirlinesTo celebrate more non-stop flights out of Dallas Love Field, double points are back with Southwest!  Southwest regularly has double points promotions but you have to sign up first.  To sign up, log in to your Southwest Rapid Rewards Account, go to My Account -> My Rapid Rewards and click the promotion “Double Points are twice as nice”.   Click the Register button to sign up.  You can also try this link (it will make you log in when you click it).

After that, just book any flight with travel between April 28, 2015 and July 31, 2015.  The travel must be to or from the cities of Dallas or Austin.  That doesn’t mean flights between Dallas and Austin.  It just means that one of those cities has to be your departure location or destination.

This promotion may not be available to everyone so log in to your account and see.

The new year is the best time to get the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Visa Card

If you have been thinking about getting a Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Visa Card, now is the time to do it.  That’s because the clock has just reset on all of your qualifying points.  This card is the fastest way you can get earn a Companion Pass.  You’ll get 50,000 points after the first three months if you spend $2,000 dollars on the card.  That’s enough for two flights just about anywhere on Southwest.  With proper planning, you can get even more flifghts.l  Besides all of those flights you get, those points count towards your Companion Pass tier qualifier.  With 50k points, that puts you almost halfway towards the 110k that you need.

If you have been thinking about the Southwest Visa Card, take a look at it again.  The annual fee of $95 is waived for the first year too.  Plus there aren’t any fees when you make foreign transactions.

What happens when the latch to your tray table breaks?

You’re delayed a bit…

Yesterday, I was sitting aboard Southwest flight 1982 ready to come back home.  The plane was pretty full already when I got it, so I was sitting in one of my favorite seats 9D (I’ll tell you why some day).  As I was waiting for my wife to board behind me the flight attendant came up to talk to the passenger in front of me and hit the back of the seat.  To my surprise the latch popped out of the seat and the tray table was soon in my lap.  I tried to push the latch back in, but the flight attendant told me they would have to get someone from maintenance to look at it.

The flight was full and that meant if they couldn’t “fix it”, we were getting off the airplane.  That would have been unfortunate.  Although not having a working latch isn’t a big deal to us.  It’s a big deal to the FAA who thinks we are incapable of lifting a tray table to escape a burning airplane.  I suppose this makes sense, so it had to be fixed.

The maintenance guy showed up pretty quickly though with new parts in hand.  He asked to have a seat where my wife was now sitting.  She went up to the front of the plane while he worked.

Southwest maintenance technician repairing the tray table latch.

Southwest maintenance technician repairing the tray table latch.

While he was repairing the latch, I got to talking to him and had a good conversation.  It turns out this particular issue happens about once a day, especially on the older 737-300 and 737-500 series aircraft.  As much as I fly, I am surprised I have never seen it happen.  Before he worked for Southwest, he was a technician in the Air Force.

He quickly got our latch repaired and our tray table was no longer going to cause any harm.  Our shiny new latch worked great.

New tray table latch installed.

New tray table latch installed.

I thanked him for his service and we got on our way.  At this point, we were about 80 minutes late taking off.  It only took him 10 minutes or so to repair the issue though.

Lesson to be learned.  If the tray table in front of you breaks.  Make sure no one sees it or you’re going to be late.  Just be prepared to lift it up in an emergency situation. :)

Egencia and Southwest are working to resolve TSA PreCheck Issue

A while back, I posted about an issue with booking Southwest flights through Egencia and TSA PreCheck.  I inquired about it on twitter this week and got a response back from Egencia stating that the issue was with Southwest and they are working to correct it on their ends.

I got a follow-up and they expect the issue wi

If you do a lot of travel on Southwest through Egencia, you’ll have to sit tight a bit longer.

Southwest Airlines Companion Pass Guide

The day I reached companion pass was quite exciting.  Achieving this particular status takes a lot of travel.  More importantly though, it means, when I go on a business trip, my wife can come with me.  You see when you have a companion pass, you get to designate one person that can come with you for next to free. The only thing you have to pay is the $2.50 per flight TSA 911 Security Fee.  This is quite the deal.

As some of you might be approaching companion pass, you might be wondering what the experience looks like. We’ll start by talking about what it takes to get Companion Pass, what happens once you have it, booking, and finally traveling with your companion.

 Getting Companion Pass Status

Earning companion pass requires a massive 110,000 Companion Pass Qualifying Points (or CPQP) or 100 flights.  That may sound like a lot but it’s actually easier than you think.  This holds especially true if you have the Southwest Visa Signature card as all of the dollars you spend there turn into CPQP.   Points double for most travel purchases. For example, if you spend $400 on a ticket with your Southwest card, you’ll get an additional 800 points when you pay your bill.  When you first sign up for the card and get your 25k or 50k bonus points, it makes it quite easy to hit Companion Pass status.

 When Companion Pass has been achieved…

When you achieve companion pass, you may or may not receive a notification.  However, if you have been tracking it on, you will see it there as soon as you achieve it.  As a reminder, all points earned show up the day after you complete your return flight.  Once you achieve your new status, you will see a new button on in the Rapid Rewards section.

Rapid Rewards widget on with Companion Pass enabled.

Rapid Rewards widget on with Companion Pass enabled.

Here you will be prompted to enter the information about your companion.  Be sure and get this information right when you add it.  If you need to make a change, Southwest only lets you change it three times a year and it is going to require a phone call.  That means, if you are the type that goes through significant others rather rapidly in one year, Companion Pass may not work very well for you. :)

Rapid Rewards screen showing Companion Pass at 100%.

Rapid Rewards screen showing Companion Pass at 100%.

Eventually, you will get a new Rapid Rewards membership card indicating your new status.  It will have you and your companion’s name.  Now, if you read the details of the program, it says that you and your companion need to have this on you when you board, but I have never been asked for it.

Booking a Companion Pass flight

When you are ready to take your first trip with your companion, book your trip normally whether you are paying with your credit card, booking through your travel system at work, or using Rapid Rewards points.  That’s right, you can book a flight using Rapid Rewards points and your companion can come with you for practically free.  The benefit is amazing.

After you book your flight, look for a new link on the My Travel page that says Add a Companion.  Click through the steps and pay the $2.50 per flight TSA 911 security fees and your companion will soon be on the plane with you.

The link to add a companion is displayed.

The link to add a companion is displayed.

After you have booked your travel, you will be able to view you and your companion’s reservation.  I’ve removed all of my confirmation numbers from the example images.

Travel booked with companion.

Travel booked with companion.

Checking In

Your companion has his or her own itinerary.  That means he or she needs to check in 24 hours before your flight just like you do.  Since they have a separate confirmation number, they won’t show up on your itinerary when you check in.  If your companion doesn’t have status, this means that they will likely have a boarding position way after yours.


One you arrive at the airport, check in (if you haven’t already) as normal.  I have found that I can get away with bringing my companion through the fly-by security line even though she doesn’t have A-List status yet most of the time.  I can usually bring her through the priority line at the counter as well.  You then both need to line up in your appropriate boarding positions and board the plane.  If your companion doesn’t have status, you will likely have the arduous task of keeping the seat next to you free while you are waiting for he or she to board.  Be strong and hopefully you and your companion will be seated together.

With Companion Pass, both of you have to travel on the same flight.  If for some reason, you don’t make it on the flight but your companion does, your companion is going to have to pay up.  According to the terms, they may not catch it at the time of flight, so if you knowingly violate the policy, you are at risk of having your companion pass revoked.  I’m not exactly sure how Southwest will handle all of these exception scenarios, so be sure and ask if you think there is going to be an issue.


If you are getting close to Companion Pass level or have just achieved it, I hope you find this guide useful.