Snapshot: A Look at Southwest Airlines, by the Numbers

Aug 28, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Southwest Airlines bridges the gap between the USA’s traditional legacy carriers and those that began flying after deregulation. Now, as it nears its 50th year of service, Southwest has not only outlasted most of its post-deregulation challengers, but has carved out a key position for domestic travelers.

It’s the largest airline domestic travelers flying within the US. And, though it started out competing with suggestive ads, it’s known today as a particularly laid-back and family-friendly company.

Southwest may be a low-cost carrier at heart, but its rapid growth this century has moved it closer to the legacy carriers it has battled over the years. In 2010, Southwest flexed its increasingly powerful muscles by announcing a deal to buy AirTran, a rapidly-growing budget carrier based in Atlanta that had begun to challenge major carriers along the East Coast. The deal closed in 2011, finally bringing Southwest into Atlanta and paving the way for it to launch international service for the first time in its history.

Here’s what else you need to know about Southwest:

Headquarters: Dallas

CEO: Gary Kelly

Destinations: 101 in 10 countries

Related: The Best Southwest Airlines Credit Card for Family Travelers

Hubs: Southwest famously does not designate cities as hubs, instead touting the power of its “point-to-point” network. Despite that, a number of Southwest’s airports function largely as hubs, facilitating connections for thousands of passengers flying between others cities. Among the most prominent to fit that bill for Southwest are Chicago Midway, Baltimore, Las Vegas and Denver. Many of Southwest’s mid-sized airports — such as St. Louis and Nashville — also facilitate a large number of connecting passengers.

Daily Departures: About 4,000

Frequent-flier Program: Rapid Rewards

Busiest Airports by Number of Southwest Passengers in 2018

  1. Chicago Midway (20.45 million)
  2. Denver (18.70 million)
  3. Baltimore-Washington (18.09 million)
  4. Las Vegas (17.95 million)
  5. Phoenix (15.36 million)
  6. Dallas Love Field (14.98 million)
  7. Houston Hobby (13.59 million)
  8. Orlando (11.14 million)
  9. Atlanta (10.36 million)
  10. Los Angeles (10.13 million)

Source: Diio by Cirium 

Related: Southwest’s ‘Second Wave’ of Hawaii Expansion Is Now Underway

 

Busiest Airports by Average Daily Southwest Departures in 2018

  1. Chicago Midway (223)
  2. Las Vegas (199)
  3. Baltimore-Washington (198)
  4.  Denver (190)
  5. Dallas Love Field (171)
  6.  Phoenix (169)
  7. Houston Hobby (154)
  8.  Los Angeles (118)
  9. Orlando (116)
  10. Atlanta (115)

Source: Diio by Cirium 

Planes in Southwest’s Fleet

  • Boeing 737 (753, including different variants of the plane)

Source: Southwest Airlines fact sheet, as of June 30, 2019

Featured photo by Jim Watson/AFP.

Related: Why the Last Row on Southwest Is the Best Place to Fly

 

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.