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Is Southwest looking to change course and partner with other airlines?

June 03, 2022
3 min read
southwest plane
Is Southwest looking to change course and partner with other airlines?
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Is Southwest Airlines about to form alliances or partnerships with other carriers for the first time in recent decades? A new job posting suggests that might be on the table.

The airline posted a new opening for a senior manager of "airline partnerships" role based out of its Dallas headquarters.

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Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst and founder of Atmosphere Research, first spotted the listing. It wasn't immediately clear when the job was first posted.

In the posting, the carrier suggests it's looking to initiate partnerships with other airlines, including interline and codeshare agreements, with the goal of "deliver[ing] incremental revenue to Southwest and enhance Southwest’s Customer proposition while aligning with Southwest’s Commercial priorities."

The manager in the new role would "[m]anage the development, communication, and execution of Southwest’s entry into airline partnerships and develop and maintain relationships with potential partner carriers so that Southwest can successfully launch and build strong partnerships," according to the job summary.

"Collaborate across both Commercial and Operational Divisions to ensure smooth entry and implementation of agreements and working with partner carriers to ensure a smooth journey for all Customers," the summary reads.

The listing did not give a timeline for any potential partnerships, and Southwest declined to comment when TPG reached out.

It's not clear what potential partnerships might look like. This movement could involve interlining with foreign carriers to enable Southwest to serve connecting passengers from abroad; it could also involve partnering with another U.S. airline, similar to the Northeast Alliance between American Airlines and JetBlue. It could also mean something else entirely.

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One potential option could be a joint venture like the one between Allegiant and Mexican low-cost airline Viva Aerobus, in which the airlines essentially distribute each other's flights but don't offer connecting or overlapping flights on any routes.

Such a partnership could also help Southwest begin to effectively sell tickets to foreign-originating travelers; thus far, the airline has been unable to make sales in a foreign currency. For instance, Southwest can't profitably serve an international market like Canada without accepting ticket purchases in Canadian dollars.

This job posting suggests Southwest is serious about the prospect of partnering with other airlines, but it's likely still early in the process.

Featured image by A Southwest plane taxis at Dallas Love Field (DAL) in June, 2021. (Photo by David Slotnick/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees