Southwest Airlines Competitors and Alternatives Analysis

Southwest Airlines is a low-cost American airline that operates within the United States. The airline is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and was founded in 1967 by Herb Kelleher and Rollin King. The airline has a fleet of over 700 Boeing 737 aircraft and flies to over 100 destinations across the United States.

Southwest Airlines is known for its low fares and its friendly customer service. The airline has a no-frills approach to flying and does not offer first-class or business-class seating. Instead, all seats on Southwest Airlines are economy class.

The airline is also known for its unique business model. Unlike most other airlines, Southwest Airlines does not have hub airports. Instead, the airline uses a point-to-point routing system. This means that Southwest Airlines flies directly from one city to another without stopping at a hub airport in between.

Southwest Airlines is a great choice for travelers looking for a low-cost airline with great customer service. Southwest Airlines is a member of the Air Transport Association of America and the International Air Transport Association.

Southwest began operating flights out of Love Field in 1971. In 1981, the airline expanded its service to include flights to Los Angeles, Phoenix, and San Diego. Today, Southwest is the largest operator of Boeing 737 aircraft worldwide and operates more than 4,000 daily flights to over 121 destinations across the United States and 10 additional countries.

Southwest Airlines transported 162.7 million passengers in 2019, generating $22.42 billion in revenue. The airline earned $9 billion in revenue in 2020 despite only transporting 67.8 million passengers.

CompanySouthwest Airlines Co.
Year founded2006
IndustrieseCommerce Company
FounderTobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, Scott Lake
HeadquartersOttawa, Canada
TypePublic
Areas servedNearly Worldwide
WebsiteVisit Website

Southwest Airlines’ business model utilizes the rolling hub concept. By doing this, the company can schedule back-to-back flights to various locations during peak hours. In addition to serving 107 airports across 40 states, the airline exclusively uses Boeing 737s, which reduces its maintenance costs.

Southwest is one of the largest airlines in the United States, employing 60,000 people and operating 718 Boeing 737s. Southwest Airlines aims to hire 8,000 more employees in 2022 after dealing with labor shortages for several months.

Southwest Airlines expanded its route network by six cities in 2020, adding stops in Hawaii, Mexico, Colorado, California, and Miami. On the other hand, Southwest is up against Delta, United, American, Spirit, JetBlue, and WestJet, all of which are formidable competitors.

An in-depth review of Southwest’s major competitors and alternative airlines is presented as follows:

Top 12 Southwest Airlines Competitors and Alternatives Analysis

Southwest Airlines flies to more than 100 destinations in the United States and ten other countries as one of the world’s largest airlines. Its head office is in Dallas, Texas, and it operates a fleet of more than 700 aircraft.

Although Southwest Airlines is one of the largest airlines in the world, it faces stiff competition from many other airlines. This blog post will look at 12 of Southwest Airlines’ top competitors.

1. American Airlines

American Airlines is the world’s largest airline. Founded in 1926, it flies to 350 destinations in more than 50 countries. American Airlines brings together some of the world’s biggest airlines to offer customers more choice and convenience.

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American Airlines offers a variety of domestic and international flights, as well as cargo and charter services. American Airlines is a member of the Oneworld alliance and has codeshare agreements with many other airlines, including Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Qantas, TAM, and United Airlines.

The airline has a modern fleet of more than 900 aircraft, including the latest Boeing 777s and 787s and Airbus A320s. American Airlines has one of the largest global route networks, with flights to major hubs like London, New York, Los Angeles, and Tokyo.

American Airlines has a long history, dating back to 1930 when it was founded as a Transcontinental & Western Air division. American Airlines was the first airline to fly the Douglas DC-3 and was also the first to offer in-flight movies and meals.

Today, American Airlines is one of the largest airlines in the United States, with a fleet of over 950 aircraft and serving more than 330 destinations in over 50 countries. 

As well as being a leading international carrier, American Airlines is one of the biggest domestic airlines in the US, flying to over 200 destinations across the country. American Airlines has a long customer service history and has been ranked the best airline worldwide for customer satisfaction for 20 consecutive years.

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American Airlines has a frequent flyer program called AAdvantage, which allows members to earn miles that can be redeemed for free or discounted travel on American Airlines and its partners.

2. Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines is an American airline headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline, along with its subsidiaries and regional affiliates, operates over 5,400 flights daily and serves an extensive domestic and international network that includes 325 destinations in 52 countries on six continents.

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Delta is one of the four founding members of the SkyTeam airline alliance and operates joint ventures with Air France-KLM, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin Australia. A total of eight affiliates operate regional services under the Delta Connection brand.

Delta ranked second in passenger traffic and first in scheduled passenger kilometers flown in 2018. It was the third-largest cargo carrier in the world. Delta is also one of the four founding members of the Global Airline Alliance, which has its headquarters at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Delta offers more than 15,000 daily flights with its alliance partners worldwide, including Amsterdam, Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, London Heathrow, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Minneapolis/St Paul, and New York-JFK. , Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City, and Seattle.

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Delta is the oldest continuously operating airline in the United States, founded in 1924. It is one of the largest airlines in the world in terms of passengers carried and fleet size. The airline’s regional service is the second largest in the world after American Airlines.

3. United Airlines

United Airlines is an American airline that offers domestic and international flights. The airline has a wide network of destinations, including many in the United States and Canada. United also flies to several international destinations, including Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

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United is one of the largest airlines in the world, with a fleet of over 700 aircraft. The airline employs over 86,000 people and carries over 140 million passengers annually. United is a member of the Star Alliance, the largest global airline alliance.

United Airlines is one of the major airlines in the United States. The airline has its headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. United Airlines operates a large domestic and international route network with an extensive presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

United Airlines is one of the oldest airlines in the world, with its roots tracing back to 1926. The airline was founded by William Boeing, who also founded the Boeing Company. 

United Airlines has since grown to become one of the largest airlines in the world, with a fleet of over 700 aircraft and a network of over 5,000 destinations in more than 200 countries.

United Airlines is a major competitor of Southwest Airlines. The two airlines operate a duopoly on many of the same routes, including transcontinental flights between the US east and west coasts. However, United Airlines has a much larger international route network than Southwest Airlines.

In terms of market share, United Airlines is the third largest airline in the United States, behind Delta Air Lines and American Airlines. United Airlines is also the largest airline in the world by revenue.

United Airlines is a great choice if you’re looking for an airline with a strong domestic and international presence. The airline has a long history and is a major competitor of Southwest Airlines.

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United competes with other major airlines such as American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Southwest Airlines. The airline has been ranked the second most valuable brand in the aviation industry.

4. Allegiant Air

Allegiant Air is an American low-cost airline that operates scheduled and charter flights. The airline is a subsidiary of Allegiant Travel Company. Allegiant Air is one of the largest airlines in the United States. The airline is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, and operates more than 1,000 flights per day to over 120 cities in the United States. 

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Allegiant Air has a fleet of over 100 aircraft and is a subsidiary of the Allegiant Travel Company. The company was founded in 1997 by Maury Gallagher and Mitch Allee and started operations in 1998.

Allegiant Air is known for its low-cost, no-frills approach to air travel. The airline offers low fares and few amenities. Allegiant Air does not have any first-class or business-class seating. The airline does not serve food or drinks on most flights. Allegiant Air does not have any in-flight entertainment.

Allegiant Air is one of the few airlines that does not belong to an airline alliance. The airline has a codeshare agreement with fellow low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines.

Most of Allegiant Air’s flights are to and from smaller secondary airports, offering lower landing fees and fewer delays. This has allowed the company to offer low fares in many markets where its competitors Southwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines, are not present.

Allegiant Air has been criticized for its safety record. In 2015, the airline was involved in two fatal accidents. The first occurred in February 2015, when an Allegiant Air flight from McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas to Boise, Idaho, crashed on approach to the airport, killing all four people on board.

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The second accident occurred in August 2015, when an Allegiant Air flight from Fresno Yosemite International Airport to Las Vegas crashed on landing, killing two people. In 2016, Allegiant Air was ranked the worst airline in the United States by Consumer Reports. 

5. Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines is an American low-cost carrier headquartered in Denver, Colorado. The eighth-largest commercial airline in the US, Frontier serves more than 100 destinations throughout the United States and five international destinations and employs more than 3,000 people nationwide.

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Frontier Airlines was founded in 1994 and began operations in 1995. The airline was created by a group of employees from Continental Airlines and other airlines. Frontier initially focused on providing low-fare service to smaller cities not served by the major airlines. In 2000, the airline began flying to major cities such as Los Angeles, New York City, and Chicago.

Frontier began as a regional airline serving the Rocky Mountain States. In July 2008, Frontier was purchased by Republic Airways Holdings and became a wholly-owned subsidiary. In 2013, Republic Airways Holdings was merged into Frontier’s parent company, Frontier Airlines Holdings.

In 2014, Frontier began to rebrand itself as an “ultra-low-cost carrier,” offering low fares and few frills. The airline offers a single class of service with no assigned seating. Passengers can purchase additional services such as seat assignments, baggage, and priority boarding if they choose.

Frontier’s fleet consists of Airbus and Boeing aircraft. The airline has orders for 100 Airbus A320neo and 100 Airbus A321neo aircraft. Frontier Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance and has codeshare agreements with several other airlines, including United Airlines, Air Canada, and Lufthansa.

Frontier is one of the few US airlines not to have a first-class cabin. Instead, the airline offers a “Plus” cabin with larger seats and more legroom than the standard cabin.

Frontier offers a variety of fares, including “Saver,” “Classic,” and “Stretch.” “Saver” fares are the lowest offered by the airline and are only available for purchase 21 days in advance. “Classic” fares are slightly higher than “Saver” fares and are available for purchase 14 days in advance. “Stretch” fares are the highest fares offered by Frontier and are available for purchase 7 days in advance.

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Frontier also offers a “Kids Fly Free” promotion, which allows children ages 14 and under to fly free on select flights. In recent years, Frontier has been aggressively expanding its route network. The airline now flies to many leisure destinations such as Orlando, Florida; Cancun, Mexico; and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

6. JetBlue Airways

JetBlue Airways is an American low-cost carrier and the 6th-largest airline in the United States. The airline mainly services the East Coast of the United States and parts of the Caribbean and Latin America. It is headquartered in the Long Island City neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.

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JetBlue Airways was founded in 1999 by veteran airline executives David Neeleman and John Owen. The airline began operations in February 2000, with its first flight from JFK International Airport to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. JetBlue has since added service to several other US cities, the Caribbean, and Latin America.

JetBlue is known for its low fares and friendly service. The airline has won several awards, including “Best Airline in the Caribbean” and “Best Low-Cost Airline in the US.”

JetBlue Airways is an American low-cost carrier and one of the main competitors of Southwest Airlines. The company is headquartered in the New York City borough of Queens. JetBlue Airways services 102 destinations in the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America.

The airline was founded in 1999 by David Neeleman. He had previously founded WestJet and Morris Air and worked for Continental Airlines and Ted. JetBlue started operations on February 11, 2000, with its first flight from JFK International Airport to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. 

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The airline has been profitable every year since 2004, except for 2008, when it had to cope with high fuel prices and the global economic recession. In 2011, JetBlue entered into a Codeshare agreement with American Airlines, which allowed American passengers to fly on JetBlue flights using their American Airlines tickets.

7. Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines is an American ultra-low-cost carrier headquartered in Miramar, Florida. The airline operates scheduled flights throughout the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America. 

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Southwest Airlines has been among the most popular airlines in the United States for many years. But in recent years, a new competitor has been giving them a run for their money: Spirit Airlines.

Spirit Airlines has been described as a “no-frills” airline. The airline offers low base fares but charges extra for many other services, including baggage, seat assignments, and onboard food and beverages.

Spirit Airlines is a low-cost carrier that has grown in popularity recently. Unlike Southwest, which offers a no-frills experience, Spirit offers a traditional airline experience with amenities like in-flight entertainment and complimentary snacks.

One thing that sets Spirit Airlines apart from its competitors is its pricing structure. Spirit offers a variety of fare options that allow passengers to save money on their travel expenses.

For example, Spirit offers a “Bare Fares” option that allows passengers to save money by not paying for extras like baggage fees or seat selections. Spirit also offers a “Big Front Seat” option for passengers who want more legroom. This option is perfect for families or groups of friends traveling together.

Spirit Airlines is one of the few airlines that does not participate in any major airline alliances. However, the airline has codeshare agreements with several other carriers, including Virgin Australia, WestJet, and Frontier Airlines.

Spirit Airlines’ business model is based on the low-cost carrier model, focusing on offering low fares and a no-frills experience. The airline offers reduced services and limited flight amenities to keep costs low.

 Spirit Airlines’ fares are often significantly lower than those of its competitors. The airline offers a variety of fare types, including “Bare Fares,” which do not include any frills or extras, and “Plus Fares,” which include additional services such as seat selection and baggage fees.

Spirit Airlines has been criticized for its “unbundling” of services, which has resulted in additional fees for passengers. The airline has also been criticized for its aggressive marketing tactics, which some passengers have found to be misleading.

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Spirit Airlines is a great option if you’re looking for a new airline. With its competitive prices and traditional airline experience, Spirit is a great choice for domestic travel.

8. Virgin America

Virgin America is one of the newest airlines in the United States, having only started flying in 2007. But in that short time, they’ve already made quite a name for themselves. They’re known for their innovative flying approach, top-notch customer service, and competitive fares.

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So what sets Virgin America apart from other airlines? For starters, they offer a unique flying experience. They have mood lighting in their planes that set the tone for your flight, offer in-seat entertainment with a wide variety of TV shows, movies, and games, and have power outlets and Wi-Fi at every seat.

In 2007, Virgin America began operating out of San Francisco International Airport to “make flying good again.” The airline has since become one of the most popular airlines in the United States and a major competitor to Southwest Airlines.

With its unique blend of low fares, high-quality service, and innovative amenities, Virgin America has something to offer everyone. From its spacious leather seats and power outlets at every seat to its award-winning in-flight entertainment system, Virgin America is changing how people fly.

They also have a strong commitment to customer service. They have a no-questions-asked refund policy, free checked bags for all passengers, and a flexible cancellation policy. You can always contact their flight attendants if you need assistance while flying.

Virgin America is also known for its competitive fares. They offer various fare options to fit any budget and often have sales and promotions that save you even more money.

Virgin America is a good choice if you’re looking for a cheap way to get across the country or an airline that will make your travel experience as pleasant as possible.

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So if you’re looking for a new flying experience, Virgin America is worth checking out. It may not be the biggest airline out there, but they’re certainly one of the most innovative and customer-friendly.

9. Air Canada

Air Canada is the national flag carrier and the largest airline in Canada. The airline, founded in 1937, provides scheduled and charter air transportation for passengers and cargo to 207 destinations worldwide. It is a founding member of the Star Alliance. 

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Air Canada’s corporate headquarters are in Montreal, Quebec, while its largest hub is at Toronto Pearson International Airport. The airline’s regional service is Air Canada Express.

Air Canada is the world’s tenth-largest passenger airline by fleet size and the second-largest in North America after American Airlines. The airline is a founding member of the Star Alliance, the world’s second-largest airline after SkyTeam. Air Canada was awarded four stars by Skytrax in 2019 and is a member of the Oneworld global airline alliance.

Air Canada is the largest provider of air transportation in Canada, serving over 38 million customers annually with its fleet of Boeing and Airbus aircraft. The airline flies to 64 domestic and 183 international destinations in 98 countries on six continents.

Air Canada is a founding member of the Star Alliance, which was formed in 1997. The airline has codeshare agreements with 21 airlines and joint ventures with Air China, Austrian Airlines, Avianca, Lufthansa, and United Airlines.

In 2019, Air Canada was ranked as the world’s seventh-best airline by AirlineRatings.com and eighth-best by TripAdvisor. The airline was also ranked ninth-best in North America by AirlineRatings.com and TripAdvisor.

Air Canada has recently been criticized for its customer service, baggage handling, and delays. In 2019, the airline was ranked as the second-worst in North America for customer satisfaction by J.D. Power and the third-worst by AirlineRatings.com.

Air Canada competes with several major airlines, including Southwest Airlines. The two airlines offer similar services but have some key differences. 

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Air Canada has a wider international network than Southwest and offers more premium services such as in-flight entertainment and meals. However, Southwest generally has lower fares than Air Canada, making it a popular choice for budget-conscious travelers.

10. WestJet

WestJet is an airline that is based in Canada. It is the second-largest airline in the country and operates on a low-cost carrier model. The airline flies to over 100 destinations in Canada, the United States, Europe, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

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WestJet was founded in 1996, and it began operations in February 1997. The airline was created by Clive Beddoe, Mark Hill, David Neeleman, and Tim Morgan. The airline was created to compete with other airlines in the Canadian market. WestJet’s first routes were between Calgary and Vancouver.

WestJet has a fleet of Boeing 737 Next-Generation and Bombardier Q400 aircraft. The airline has a codeshare agreement with Air France, KLM, and Delta Air Lines.

WestJet is a publicly traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The airline is a member of the Star Alliance. J.D. Power and Associates have ranked WestJet as the second-best airline in North America.

Flying with WestJet has many benefits. You can save money on travel expenses by flying with the airline. WestJet also has a loyalty program called WestJet Rewards. 

WestJet Rewards program allows you to earn points for every dollar you spend on WestJet flights, vacation packages, and more. You can then use your points to save on future travel expenses.

WestJet is also known for its great customer service. The airline has a team of friendly and helpful staff members who are always willing to help you with anything you need.

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WestJet is a great option for travelers looking for an affordable and convenient way to travel. If you’re looking for an airline that can save money and offer great service, then WestJet is the airline for you.

11. Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines is a major airline based in the United States, with its headquarters in Seattle, Washington. The airline was founded in 1932 as McGee Airways, and it was later renamed Alaska Airlines in 1944. 

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Alaska Airlines operates a large domestic route network, serving more than 115 destinations within the United States and nine international destinations in Canada, Mexico, and Costa Rica.

Alaska Airlines is a subsidiary of the Alaska Air Group and is the seventh-largest airline in the United States by fleet size. J.D. Power and Associates have ranked the airline as the highest in customer satisfaction among traditional airlines for 11 consecutive years from 2008 to 2018. Alaska Airlines is also a founding member of the Oneworld alliance.

The airline offers various flight services, including First Class, Business Class, and Economy Class. Alaska Airlines also offers a variety of loyalty programs, including the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, which allows members to earn and redeem miles on Alaska Airlines and its partner airlines.

Alaska Airlines is one of the few airlines in the United States that does not have a code-share agreement with any other airline. The airline has been a fierce competitor of Southwest Airlines, but the two airlines have since entered into a codeshare agreement.

Alaska Airlines is the seventh-largest airline in the United States and serves more than 100 cities across the country. Alaska Airlines has a strong reputation for safety and customer service. The airline has been ranked the most punctual airline in North America for nine years.

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Alaska Airlines is one of Southwest Airlines’ main competitors. The two airlines offer similar services and prices, but Alaska Airlines has a wider network of destinations. Alaska Airlines also offers a loyalty program, which gives customers points for every dollar they spend on tickets and other purchases.

12. Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines is an American airline headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii. The airline was founded in 1929 as Inter-Island Airways, later named Hawaiian Airlines. Hawaiian Airlines is the 8th largest commercial airline in the United States and is a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc.

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Hawaiian Airlines operates over 170 aircraft and services over 25 destinations in the Pacific region. The airline has a fleet of Boeing 717, 767, and Airbus A330 aircraft. Hawaiian Airlines is a member of the Oneworld airline alliance.

Hawaiian Airlines has been ranked the “Best Airline in the World” by Conde Nast Traveler magazine for six consecutive years, from 2013 to 2018. The airline was also ranked as the “Best Domestic Airline” by Conde Nast Traveler in 2017.

Hawaiian Airlines is one of the few airlines that does not have a code-share agreement with any other airline. The airline has a codeshare agreement with American Airlines, but only for flights between the Hawaiian Islands and Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Seattle.

Hawaiian Airlines has its main hub at Honolulu International Airport (HNL), with a secondary hub at Kahului Airport (OGG) on the island of Maui. The airline also has smaller hubs at Lihue Airport (LIH) on Kauai and Kona International Airport (KOA) on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Hawaiian Airlines offers both domestic and international flights. The airline’s domestic network consists of flights to and from Hawaii and destinations in the continental United States, Alaska, Canada, and Mexico.

Hawaiian Airlines’ international routes include flights to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, and China. The airline also offers flights to and from Tahiti, Samoa, and American Samoa.

Hawaiian Airlines has a loyalty program called HawaiianMiles, which allows members to earn and redeem miles on Hawaiian Airlines and its Oneworld partners. HawaiianMiles members also receive exclusive benefits and perks, such as priority check-in and boarding and complimentary upgrades to first class.

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Hawaiian Airlines is owned by Hawaiian Holdings, Inc., the parent company of Hawaiian Airlines Group, Inc., and is headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Final Words on Southwest Airlines Competitors and Alternatives Analysis

In conclusion, Southwest Airlines does have some formidable competitors, but it has been able to stay ahead of the curve by offering a unique product and customer experience. It consistently provides low fares, great customer service, and various flight options. 

Southwest Airlines’ focus on customer service and its efficient operations have allowed it to remain profitable and competitive in the face of rising fuel prices and other challenges. When choosing an airline, be sure to consider all of these factors.

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