Why Is Southwest So Expensive? (9 Reasons Why) 

Photo of author
Yasmin Fisher

Yasmin Fisher is a fashion-loving shopaholic who has spent the last 10 years in customer service. She loves finding great deals, and thrifting is one of her favorite weekend activities.

Southwest is one of the largest commercial airlines in the United States by market share, and they offer some of the cheapest rates when it comes to airfare. 

Southwest Airlines has experienced some recent price increases and has become more expensive. This article will outline 9 reasons why Southwest is so expensive.

Why Is Southwest So Expensive?

1. Early Check-in

Southwest has always been upfront about its policy for early check-in. Early check-in allows passengers to check into their flight in advance and avoid long lines at the ticket counter. 

However, this comes with a price tag. The technology to make early check-in possible adds to the cost of tickets.

Passengers can conveniently download their boarding passes and do not have to waste time at the airport ticket counter. However, with convenience, there are additional costs.

Southwest Airlines is so expensive because they offer their customers the convenience of early check-in.

2. In-Flight Amenities

Southwest Airlines is one of the most affordable airlines in the United States. However, their prices can be a bit high compared to other airlines.

One reason for this high cost is that Southwest Airlines offers some of the best in-flight amenities.

Some of these amenities include:

  • Free drinks and snacks
  • Free checked bags and carry-on bags
  • in-flight secure wifi
  • Headphone jacks and power outlets

In-flight amenities make a flight more comfortable, and flying Southwest will give you those in-flight comforts. Expect to pay more, though, if you add on options not included in ticket prices.

Southwest Airlines is a great option if you’re looking for an airline that offers excellent amenities, but consider that these amenities make Southwest so expensive.

Read More:  Why Are Pawn Shops Closed On Sundays? (5 Reasons Why)

3. Priority Boarding

Southwest Airlines is more expensive because they offer priority boarding, which allows passengers to board first and get their seats more quickly. 

The cost of priority boarding varies depending on the airline but typically costs more than standard boarding.

Southwest does not always provide assigned seating, so priority boarding is the next best thing to getting the seat you want.

Some airlines, such as Delta Air Lines, give priority boarding to all passengers without a choice. Southwest gives the option to the customer.

Skip the lines and board the plane before everyone else with Southwest’s priority boarding. However, this perk does come with a cost making Southwest a bit more expensive.

4. Checked Luggage Fees

Southwest Airlines is known for its low prices, but they still have luggage fees when checking more than one bag per passenger.

The fee for checking a bag on Southwest Airlines ranges from $35 to $50, depending on the weight and size of the bag.

Checked baggage fees make flying with Southwest more expensive than other budget airlines and carriers.

Expect to pay more for heavy luggage when flying Southwest. Plan and don’t try to bring back too much from your vacation.

5. Upgrades


Southwest Airlines offers some upgrades when booking flights. This might include additional drinks, meals, or luggage.

Adding upgrades to your flight will increase the price per ticket and make the flight more expensive.

Southwest Airlines has a high price point because they charge for extra upgrades like additional checked bags and priority boarding.

This is a reason why Southwest is so expensive. They offer their customers upgrades during their ticket purchase leading to more expensive ticket prices.

Read More:  Why Is The DMV So Slow? (11 Reasons Why)

6. Passenger Health And Safety 

Southwest Airlines has had a long and successful history of passenger health and safety. With the spread of the Corona Virus, Southwest prioritized passenger health and safety.

Southwest invested more into their health and safety measures to protect customers. Unfortunately, this has led to increased ticket prices.

For example, Southwest invested in better cleaning measures inside their planes’ cabins to ensure their passengers’ health.

They take time to clean and disinfect the cabin before and after each flight. Unfortunately, this additional cleaning has led to increased costs.

Passing the cost for health and safety onto the customer, Southwest has become more expensive as a result.

7. Quality Customer Service

Southwest Airlines is known for its high-quality customer service. But, unfortunately, their top-rated customer service makes them more expensive.

From the moment you step onto their plane, Southwest employees are dedicated to making your travel experience as smooth as possible. Southwest’s staff is always available to help.

 If your flight is delayed, they will do everything in their power to ensure you can reach your destination on time. 

Southwest’s customer service department is happy to assist you if you have any questions or concerns about your reservation.

8. Refundable Tickets

Southwest Airlines is known for its low prices, but some are steep for some passengers. One reason for this is that Southwest offers refundable tickets.

Refundable tickets allow passengers to get a refund if they cannot use their ticket for some reason. However, these tickets can be expensive to buy.

Read More:  Why Did My FedEx Package Go Farther Away? (7 Reasons Why)

Non-refundable tickets are always cheaper than those that are refundable. If you are looking for more affordable flights, look for non-refundable options with other budget airlines.

Southwest’s refundable tickets provided added security in knowing you can cancel your ticket and get another flight if needed. Unfortunately, this is why Southwest is so expensive.

9. Inflation

There are a few reasons why Southwest Airlines is so expensive. One reason is outside of their control – inflation.

The cost of fuel has gone up, as well as the cost of food and supplies for flights. As a result, inflation has led many companies to raise their prices.

Airlines around the world are raising prices due to inflation. Southwest is not immune to changes in economic conditions. 

Southwest Airlines seems so expensive because inflation has led them to raise their airfare and luggage prices.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why Spirit Airlines is so cheap, why Alaska Airlines is so cheap, and why Frontier is so cheap.


Southwest Airlines flies to more cities in the United States than other budget airlines. Once known for their cheap airfare, they have become more expensive.

There are a few factors that have led Southwest to raise its prices. Add-ons and in-flight amenities contribute to making Southwest so expensive. 


  • Yasmin Fisher

    Yasmin Fisher is a fashion-loving shopaholic who has spent the last 10 years in customer service. She loves finding great deals, and thrifting is one of her favorite weekend activities.

Leave a Comment