Is Southwest Airlines a Low Cost or Budget Airline?

Southwest Airlines is new to you. You may be flying from Europe or Asia or haven't visited Southwest, where tickets may only be purchased on southwest.com. 

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Can Southwest Airlines levy luggage fees? Are seat selection fees? Does Southwest charge for carry-on luggage or airport check-in like European and Asian budget airlines?

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Southwest is not like a conventional European or Asian low-cost carrier, despite its history and name.

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Southwest does not allow pre-selection, thus seat selection is free. Southwest has an open seating policy like most intercity trains.

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How does Southwest choose who boards first considering when you board influences how many seats you have?

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Southwest provides each passenger a boarding slot with a letter (A, B, or C) and number at check-in. Online flight check-in is available 24 hours before departure.

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Earlier check-in. Southwest will automatically check you in ahead of time for $15. This usually gets you into the ‘A’ boarding group.

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Upgraded check-in. Southwest saves the first 15 boarding positions, A1-A15, for Business Select and elite frequent flyers. These first 15 slots at check-in can be purchased

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Southwest Airlines has wi-fi and TV on all flights, unlike Ryanair and EasyJet. A Southwest Wi-Fi pass costs $8 aboard and lasts all day.

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Southwest's jets don't have seatback entertainment screens, but smartphones, tablets, and laptops can play movies and free live TV over wi-fi.

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