If you see Southwest Business Select as an option when booking a flight on Southwest Airlines, you may wonder how that’s different than the cheap Southwest Wanna Get Away fares.
Business Select is a fare class that offers a few benefits but at a steep cost compared with Wanna Get Away fares on Southwest.
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Benefits of Business Select on Southwest
There are a few perks of purchasing a Southwest Business Select ticket.
1. Guaranteed A 1-15 boarding
This saves you the $15 per way cost to pay for Early Bird, which ALSO grants you earlier boarding.
It also enables you to choose your Southwest seat earlier than those in A16 through C boarding groups.
2. Relaxed Check-in
Because you are guaranteed the A 1-15 boarding group, you don’t have to worry about Southwest check-in as soon as it’s available (24 hours ahead of your flight).
Instead, you can check-in online, on your phone or at the airport at your convenience since you’ve already been assigned your boarding order 36 hours in advance ahead of those checking in manually.
3. Fly By Lane Access
This is supposed to help you get through check-in and security lines more quickly, though if you have TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry, you should be set.
4. Premium Drink per Flight
Those of us who hold Southwest credit cards often get free drink coupons in the mail already, but when you book a Business Select fare, your free drink tickets will be printed on your Southwest boarding pass upon airport check-in.
Be sure to actually check-in at the airport, especially if you have just checked in online or via the Southwest app, to get your printable Southwest drink ticket on your Southwest Airlines boarding pass.
5. Earn 12 Rapid Rewards points per dollar
This DOUBLE the 6 points per dollar you earn on Southwest Wanna Get Away fares.
These fares also qualify toward earning Southwest A-List or A-List Preferred status.
Business Class vs First Class
Now, when we say Southwest Business Class, we don’t mean anything glamorous or luxurious.
Southwest Business Class vs. First Class on other airlines is an entirely different thing.
We have flown Aer Lingus Business Class for example, and there is no comparison.
There are no glasses of wine, personalized service, curtain to close or layback seats on Southwest.
You DO get a coupon for a free alcoholic drink and you DO get to board earlier than everyone else, but that’s about it folks…
Is business class first class on Southwest? Does Southwest have first class or is there such a thing as Southwest first class?
No, Southwest doesn’t have first class, unfortunately, and their business class is not the same as first class on other airlines.
Other airline business class options include…
- a380 Singapore airlines business class
- a380 Qantas business class
- 777 Emirates business class
- 777 Air France business class
- a380 British airways business class
- 747 Lufthansa business class
- a380 Airbus business class
- 787 business class United
- Acela business class
- 777 American airlines business class
Because there is no true business class on Southwest, meaning there are no perks in terms of seating (except early boarding) or service, and no first class Southwest seating at all, to me, you’re essentially buying rewards points.
My assessment is that is it rarely worth it to purchase or upgrade to Business Select due to the typically steep price increase.
I did purchase Business Select on one leg of a flight where the price increase was nominal ($30), the fare was for a business trip so could be expensed to my business, and the significantly more points earned made it worth it.
In general, the only time I would suggest purchasing Business Select Southwest or upgrading to Business Select is if your company is paying for it or you can expense it AND you can collect on 12 points per dollar for your own Rapid Rewards account :).
Southwest Credit Card: Business
Business flyers: Southwest DOES have TWO business credit cards.
You can use these Southwest business cards to earn points on your everyday spending to book FREE flights on Southwest AND earn the Southwest Companion Pass.
It’s important, however, to time the application of a Southwest Chase business card correctly, as there are rules around how often you can get the bonus points after signing up.
This is why we strongly recommend joining our Families Fly Free membership, so we can craft a personalized plan to maximize the timing of these cards to get you the MOST free flights in the simplest way possible.
You have two Southwest business cards as options…
- Chase Southwest Performance Business card (Small business: 80,000 points after a $5,000 minimum spend in 3 months; $199 annual fee)
- Chase Southwest Premier Business card (Small business: 60,000 points after a $3,000 minimum spend in 3 months; $99 annual fee)
Want more points for free flights on Southwest?
Check out the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa cards, which let you earn tens of thousands of points that you can use to book free flights on Southwest!
These points also qualify for the 135,000 you need to earn the Southwest Companion Pass, so one person can fly free with you for up to two years.
- Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card (Personal: Earn 50,000 points after a $1,000 minimum spend in 3 months)
- Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card (Personal: Earn 50,000 points after a $1,000 minimum spend in 3 months)
- Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card (Personal: Earn 50,000 points after a $1,000 minimum spend in 3 months)
- Chase Southwest Performance Business Credit Card (Small business: 80,000 points after a $5,000 minimum spend in 3 months; $199 annual fee)
- Chase Southwest Premier Business Credit Card (Small business: Earn up to 120,000 bonus points - 60,000 points after a $3,000 minimum spend in 3 months and an additional 60,000 points after a $15,000 minimum spend in 9 months; $99 annual fee)
Keep in mind you can only hold ONE personal Southwest card at a time, though you can hold two Southwest business cards.
To ensure you time these cards in the best way possible to easily ALWAYS have a Southwest Companion Pass, join hundreds of others inside our Families Fly Free membership, the simplest, most organized, most supportive system for flying your whole family for free.
To review or apply for any of the cards in this post, please use the links within this post or the CREDIT CARDS links in the main menu above (shown in the image below). This allows us to earn a commission—at no cost to you—to support our small business. Thanks so much for taking that step!
If you want to earn EVEN MORE Southwest points, Chase Sapphire Preferred, my FAVORITE travel credit card, offers 60,000 points upon meeting a $4,000 minimum spend in the first three months and a low $95 annual fee.
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- Flexible points transfer to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio instantly and are worth DOUBLE if you have a Southwest Companion Pass
- 3X points on dining
- 2X points on travel
- 10% points bonus annually on spending
- Primary car rental insurance
- Trip interruption and cancellation insurance
Please note, this card’s points DO NOT qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass but CAN be used to book FREE flights on Southwest.