Southwest Business Select

Credit Stephen M. Keller, Southwest Airlines

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.

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Benefits with Southwest Business Select:

  • Guaranteed A 1-15 boarding – So you would save on the $15 per way cost to pay for Early Bird, which also grants you earlier boarding, and be able to choose your Southwest seat earlier than those in A 16 through C boarding groups.
  • Relaxed Check-in – Because you are guaranteed the A 1-15 boarding group, you don’t have to worry about checking in on Southwest 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.
  • 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.
  • 1 Premium Drink per Flight (those of us who hold Southwest credit cards often get free drink coupons in the mail already!), which 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 Airlines app, to get your printable Southwest drink ticket on your Southwest Airlines boarding pass.
  • 12 Rapid Rewards points per dollar – This is instead of 3 points per dollar you earn on Southwest Wanna Get Away fares.

Is Business Select on Southwest Worth It or Is It a Scam?

Because there is no true business class on Southwest, meaning there are no perks in terms of seating (except early boarding) or service, to me, you’re essentially buying rewards points. My review is that is it rarely worth it to purchase or upgrade to Business Select due to the typical 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 :).

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