Dallas Fliers and the Southwest Airlines Acquisition of AirTran

Southwest Airlines, AirTran and Dallas

By now you’re aware of Southwest Airlines’ major announcement: that it has acquired one of its competitors – the low cost carrier AirTran.

For Southwest fliers in Dallas, this won’t mean much in the way of changes: although AirTran flies out of DFW, Southwest executives say they will stay put at their headquarters down the road at Love Field. These executives were then asked if they would make efforts to petition authorities to modify the 2006 Wright Amendment compromise to gain access to DFW, but they responded with a firm “no”.

Meanwhile, for AirTran employees, the Southwest acquisition will mean being assimilated into a like-minded corporate culture, which under Southwest has meant generally meant hard working employees who manage to have fun while building a reputation for taking very good care of their customers.

What this Means for Dallas Fliers

Dallas fliers who opt to fly Southwest will continue to enjoy relief from bag fees.

No Bag Fees – Of Course

AirTran currently charges $20 each-way for a first checked-bag fee, and $25 each-way for the second. Southwest’s longtime policy: two free bags per passenger. AirTran fliers who switch to Southwest (and who like to travel with two bags) would notice an immediate savings of $90 roundtrip on bag fees.

Southwest has no plans to change its extremely popular policy of “bags fly free” and the airline’s executives also said they plan to retain their classless open-seating arrangement (although fliers can cut ahead in line if they purchase Southwest’s $10 EarlyBird boarding fee).

Compare Airline Fees – Southwest vs. AirTran

(For more information, see Domestic Airline Fee Chart to compare all fees)





Checked Bag Fee free First bag $20 each-way
Second bag $25 each-way
Ticket Change Fees free $75 change fee
Phone Reservations free $15 when you book by phone
Overweight Bags 75 lb bag costs $50 75 lb bag costs $79

Find a Good Deal on a Flight from Dallas Now

More Fee Savings with Southwest

Other fees travelers will save on with Southwest – in contrast to AirTran – include itinerary change fees (AirTran charges for this service, while Southwest does not) and phone reservation fees (again, this is a free service on Southwest).

Meanwhile, the integration and regulatory approval process could take anywhere from a few months or as long as two years to complete.

In the meantime, the hard work of integrating employees begins, as Southwest awaits word on regulatory decisions.

Will Bags Fly Free when Southwest Moves Into These Cities?

Atlanta: Southwest adds business travelers and more from Hartsfield

Boston: With few overlapping routes, Boston is a coup for Southwest

Dallas: Find out – Will Southwest fans fly from DFW?

Washington, DC: Southwest’s acquisition of AirTran is certainly a smart move

New York: A growing footprint, Southwests adds more LaGuardia slots


Published: September 27, 2010