Southwest Airlines

The vision for Southwest Airlines was sketched out on a cocktail napkin. After many legal hurdles were cleared, Southwest began service in 1971. Passengers responded positively to the airline and its $20 fares. Routes expanded from Texas, reaching the coast in the 1980s. Growth continued in the decades following, with destinations spanning the United States from coast to coast.

Southwest is known for its 737 fleet, low fares, quick turns and corporate culture. Today, the airline serves approximately 100 communities in North America.

2022 Southwest Airlines Performance

Overall AQR Rank
Baggage Service
On-Time Arrivals
Fewest Denied Boardings
Customer Satisfaction

Data for all criteria is drawn from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s monthly Air Travel Consumer Report.

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Reminder: Customer Reactions do not factor into the Airline Quality Rating report.