Same Perks, New Airline: Southwest Is Leaving Newark, But Alternative Options Exist
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With the news that Southwest is ending flights out of Newark airport in November, many New Jerseyites are wondering about alternative airline options. This was definitely a surprise and I’m sure many Newark-based Southwest fliers are not thrilled. The airline offers many perks that are hard to find at other carriers. From flying BOGO (Buy One, Get One) with the Southwest Companion Pass to bags fly free to no change/cancellation fees, flying Southwest has many benefits that are hard to give up.
Flying out of LaGuardia, Islip and Philadelphia might not be an option due to the further distance, increased traffic and lack of public transportation options. If you are one of the many travelers affected by Southwest’s decision to exit Newark, here are some alternatives to get you some of the same benefits.
You Can Still Fly BOGO
One of the best perks of Southwest Airlines is its Companion Pass. Of course it has to be earned, but once you are a Companion Pass holder, it allows another passenger to fly with you for free (plus taxes) an unlimited number of times during the life of the pass.
- United Explorer Card: First checked bag is free for the primary cardholder and one companion on the same reservation
- United Explorer Business Card: First checked bag is free for the primary cardholder and one companion on the same reservation
- United Club Infinite Card: Two checked bags are free for the primary cardholder and one companion on the same reservation
- United Club Business Card: Two checked bags are free for the primary cardholder and one companion on the same reservation
To receive your complimentary checked bag, you must purchase your ticket with your United credit card. On top of that, the credit card must also be open at the time of check-in for your flight.
The information for the United Club Business has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
There are four American Airlines credit cards that will grant you a free checked bag:
- AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard: First checked bag is free on domestic flights for the primary cardholder and up to four traveling companions on the same reservation
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®: First checked bag is free on domestic flights for the primary cardholder and up to four traveling companions on the same reservation
- CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®: First checked bag is free on domestic flights for the primary cardholder and up to four traveling companions on the same reservation
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®: First checked bag is free on domestic flights for the primary cardholder and up to eight traveling companions on the same reservation
The information for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum card and CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Unlike United Airlines, you do not actually have to use your American Airlines cobranded credit card to pay for your ticket. However, your account must be open with your AAdvantage number attached to your reservation at least seven days prior to travel.
Delta Air Lines
Delta offers six credit cards that extend the free checked bag benefit. All its cards have the exact same policy: The first checked bag is free for the cardholder and up to eight traveling companions on the same reservation:
- Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express
- Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express
- Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express
- Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express
- Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express
- Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card
JetBlue has two different credit cards that offer free checked bags. Both allow you to check your first bag for free and the first bag for up to three traveling companions on the same reservation.
- JetBlue Plus Card
- JetBlue Business Card
Similar to American Airlines, you’ll need to make sure to have your TrueBlue number attached to the reservation at least seven days prior to your departure. And similar to United, you technically need to use your JetBlue credit card to pay for your reservation, although many data points show that it is actually not a requirement.
Alaska Airlines offers both a personal and business credit card that offer a free checked bag benefit. The first checked bag fee is waived for the cardmember and up to six other guests on the same reservation.
Just make sure your MileagePlum number has been entered into your reservation.
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