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Southwest® & AirTran® Network Connectivity

About the Acquisition

About the Acquisition

In 2011, Southwest® Airlines acquired AirTran® Airways. Since then, we have been hard at work integrating our two airlines to provide a top-notch, seamless travel experience for our valued Customers. By continuing to add destinations to our combined route map and working tirelessly to refine our business processes while keeping Customer Service a top priority, we’re making great strides every day toward becoming one airline.

Though AirTran Airways is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southwest Airlines and the two are still operating as separate carriers, the bulk of our integration efforts to date have been behind the scenes. However, we are excited to have connected our flight networks, allowing you the ability to purchase flights across both Southwest® and AirTran® networks in a single itinerary. 

All AirTran planes will eventually integrate into the Southwest brand forming a single network, reservation system, and loyalty program. Combined, Southwest and AirTran serve 97 destinations in the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Our plan is to have AirTran completely integrated into Southwest Airlines by the end of 2014.

New to Southwest? Discover The Southwest Experience.

Destination Information

Now, you can go more places than ever with Southwest and AirTran. Combined, Southwest and AirTran serve 97 destinations in the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean. View all of the destinations that we serve on our Combined Route Map.

Connecting Our Networks

We are excited to have connected the combined Southwest and AirTran flight networks. This effort launched with a test in a small number of markets at the end of January 2013. After successful results, additional cities and flights are being added using a phased approach.

Please note a few of the key differences you will experience when purchasing a shared itinerary that includes both a Southwest and an AirTran segment, or an AirTran-only itinerary sold via Southwest booking channels, such as

Boarding & Seating

One difference you will encounter as you travel on both airlines involves boarding and seating. Southwest and AirTran have different policies and procedures.  Southwest has open seating, while AirTran has assigned seating in two classes (Business Class and Coach). Customers will follow the existing boarding procedures for the carrier operating their flight (the Operating Carrier).

Learn more about Southwest Airlines' boarding procedures.

Policies & Fees

When you purchase your itinerary through Southwest booking channels (such as, Southwest is the Marketing Carrier, therefore Southwest’s policies will apply to your reservation. If you purchase your itinerary through AirTran booking channels (such as, AirTran is the Marketing Carrier and AirTran’s policies will apply to your reservation.

Any itinerary with a Southwest-operated segment or that was purchased through Southwest booking channels will not have bag fees for the 1st and 2nd checked bags (though weight and size restrictions will still apply).

Learn more about Policies & Fees specific to shared itineraries. 

Loyalty Programs

The loyalty currency you will earn will be determined by where you book your flight (the Marketing Carrier), regardless of which carrier operates your flight (the Operating Carrier). Therefore, if you book through a Southwest channel, you will earn Rapid Rewards® Points. If you book through an AirTran channel you will earn A+ Rewards® Credits. That said, you should be enrolled in Rapid Rewards to earn Rapid Rewards Points for all purchases and enrolled in A+ Rewards to earn A+ Rewards Credits for all and online travel agency purchases.

Additionally, loyalty program currencies (Rapid Rewards Points or A+ Rewards Credits) will continue to be redeemed with the specific Marketing Carrier from which they are earned. You will also continue to have the ability through the Rewards Conversion process to transfer your currency between the two programs to redeem for reward travel.

The last day to earn or redeem A+ Rewards credits for travel booked through AirTran will be November 1, 2014. After that time, the program will end. All remaining A+ Rewards accounts will be converted to the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Program, and your remaining credits will be converted to Rapid Rewards Points. Once the conversion occurs, all terms and conditions of the Rapid Rewards Program will apply. Full conversion details are available at If you’re not already a Member of Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, join today.

Learn more about transferring frequent flyer currency between the two loyalty programs.

More Details & Additional Topics

Visit Frequently Asked Questions for further information and an expanded list of help topics.

City Conversions

To better serve you, we have streamlined operations in select cities by moving them closer together. In those airports you will see co-branded Southwest Airlines/AirTran Airways ticket counters and gate areas. This movement occurred to simplify the check in process for Customers and allows us to better connect our two flight networks in the background. Additionally, as AirTran planes transition to the Southwest brand, you will see Southwest take over service at airports previously served by AirTran. See below for an updated list of airports at which Southwest has recently taken over service and those where Southwest will begin service soon.


Converted Cities/Airports:

City Date
Memphis, TN (MEM) November 3, 2013
Richmond, VA (RIC)* November 3, 2013
Pensacola, FL (PNS) November 3, 2013
Grand Rapids, MI (GRR) August 11, 2013
Wichita, KS (ICT) June 2, 2013
Charlotte, NC (CLT) April 14, 2013
Flint, MI (FNT) April 14, 2013
Portland, ME (PWM) April 14, 2013
Rochester, NY (ROC) April 14, 2013
San Juan, PR (SJU) April 14, 2013
Branson, MO (BKG) March 9, 2013
Phoenix, AZ (PHX) January 4, 2013
Key West, FL (EYW) November 4, 2012
Des Moines, IA (DSM) September 30, 2012
Seattle, WA (SEA) September 4, 2012
Akron/Canton, OH (CAK)* August 12, 2012
Dayton, OH (DAY)* August 12, 2012
Washington, DC (DCA)* July 8, 2012

*Southwest begins service on date noted, yet AirTran will continue to operate flights to/from this airport as well.

New to Southwest? Discover The Southwest Experience.

International Travel

We're charting new territory! Southwest will begin operating flights to international destinations in The Caribbean beginning July 1, 2014. AirTran will continue to serve select destinations as well through the end of 2014.

You can book international travel at both and

Southwest and AirTran serve the following international destinations:


  • Cancun (CUN)
  • Mexico City (MEX)
  • Cabo/Los Cabos (SJD)
  • Mexico City (MEX)

The Caribbean

  • Aruba (AUA)
  • Montego Bay (MBJ)
  • Nassau/Paradise Island (NAS)
  • Punta Cana (PUJ)
  • San Jose, Costa Rica (SJO)

View all Southwest & AirTran destinations on our combined route map.

Why Fly Southwest

Why Fly Southwest

Two words. Low Fares.

Saving Customers money on air travel has always been paramount to who we are, and remains a top priority. Not only do we offer wallet-friendly fares at, but we stand by our policies to not charge extra fees like "the other guys". First and second checked bags still fly free1 on Southwest, plus we don't charge change fees.2

We Fly Lots of Places

We fly tons of places.

Together with AirTran, we serve 97 destinations in 41 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and six near-international countries. Combined, we operate over 3,800 flights a day including over 500 roundtrip markets. Check out our Route Map to see where we fly.

Our Travel Experience: Simple, Comfortable & Convenient.

Our Travel Experience: Simple, Comfortable & Convenient.

We're a pioneer in the airline industry for finding the most efficient, Customer-friendly ways of doing business. We board a little differently (it's easy, we promise). We allow you to pick any available seat once you enter the newly remodeled cabins of our spacious, Boeing 737 aircraft (that's right, only big planes). It's our goal to get you to your destination with ease, and a little fun along the way.

You’ll earn points for travel that can really take you places.

You'll earn points for travel that can really take you places.

Our award-winning frequent flyer program, Rapid Rewards®, allows you to earn reward flights faster and easier than ever before. With unlimited reward seats, no blackout dates, and points that don't expire3, you’ll be planning your next getaway in no time. Not a member? Join Today

We'll treat you like family.

We'll treat you like family.

Customer Service is the name of our game. Across our system, we have over 45,000+ fun-loving Employees waiting in the wings to help make your travel experience a memorable one (in a good way!). From the time you book a seat, to the moment that you deplane, it’s our mission to make you feel at home.


Every booking on is entitled to:

 Freedom to Fly: Available with Every Booking

1  1st & 2nd checked bags. Weight & size limits apply.
2  Fare differences may apply.
3  Points don't expire as long as you have flight or Partner earning activity every 24 months. Benefits apply to points transactions. All Rapid Rewards Rules and Regulations apply.


Rapid Rewards Last Activity Date

Rapid Rewards accounts will remain active and points won’t expire as long as you earn Rapid Rewards Points from flights or Partners every 24 months.

Learn More