What are Some Disadvantages of Southwest Airlines?

Southwest Airlines is a popular choice for many travelers, known for its affordable fares and friendly service. However, like any airline, it has its drawbacks. In this article, we’ll explore some of the disadvantages of flying with Southwest Airlines.

Disadvantages of Southwest Airlines

Booking Process of Southwest Airlines

Limited International Routes

One of the significant disadvantages of Southwest Airlines is its limited international route network. Unlike larger carriers, Southwest primarily serves domestic routes within the United States. While they do offer some international flights to destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean, these options are relatively limited compared to other major airlines. If you’re looking for extensive international travel options, Southwest may not be the best choice for you.

No Assigned Seats

Southwest Airlines is well-known for its unique open-seating policy. While this policy can have its advantages, such as avoiding the extra fees associated with seat selection, it can also be a disadvantage for some passengers. With no assigned seats, passengers must board the aircraft in the order they check-in or arrive at the gate, and seat availability is first-come, first-served. This can be particularly stressful for passengers who prefer to have a specific seat or sit with their travel companions. If you like the assurance of knowing exactly where you’ll be sitting on your flight, Southwest’s open seating might not be to your liking.

Southwest Airlines In-Flight Experience

No First-Class Cabin

Unlike many larger airlines that offer a first-class cabin with extra amenities and more spacious seating, Southwest Airlines operates on a single-class seating arrangement. While this helps keep fares low, it means that passengers looking for a more luxurious and comfortable in-flight experience won’t find it with Southwest. If you value a premium cabin with enhanced services, Southwest may not meet your expectations.

Limited In-Flight Entertainment

Southwest Airlines provides limited in-flight entertainment options compared to some of its larger competitors. While you can enjoy complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic beverages, you won’t find features like seatback screens with a wide range of movies and TV shows. Passengers are encouraged to bring their devices and download the Southwest app to access free in-flight entertainment. However, if you prefer a broader selection of entertainment without relying on your own devices, you might consider other airlines with more extensive offerings.

Baggage Policies of Southwest Airlines

Baggage Fees

Southwest Airlines is often praised for its transparent baggage policies, which include allowing two free checked bags per passenger. While this is undoubtedly a perk, it might not be as advantageous for passengers who only need to bring carry-on luggage. Other airlines may offer more flexibility by allowing a free carry-on bag in addition to a personal item. If you’re a light packer who prefers to travel with just a carry-on, you might find Southwest’s baggage policies less appealing.

No Baggage Tracking

Unlike some airlines that offer real-time baggage tracking, Southwest Airlines does not provide this service. If your luggage goes missing or is delayed, you won’t have access to immediate tracking information. While Southwest has a robust system for reuniting passengers with their lost items, not having real-time tracking can be inconvenient and frustrating for some travelers.

Know Here: Southwest Airlines Cancellation Policy.


While Southwest Airlines has its disadvantages, it’s essential to consider your priorities and preferences when choosing an airline. Despite these drawbacks, many passengers continue to appreciate Southwest for its affordability and friendly service. If the disadvantages mentioned here align with your travel needs and preferences, you might want to explore other airline options. However, if cost-effective domestic travel is your primary concern, Southwest Airlines remains a popular choice.