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What Is Southwest Business Select?

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

Southwest business select

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There are a few perks of purchasing a Southwest Business Select ticket.

They include…

1. Guaranteed A 1-15 boarding

Southwest check-in

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

Southwest business select

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

Southwest business select

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

Southwest cocktail

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?

Southwest business select

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



737 Boeing MAX 8 Southwest

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

southwest premier 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…



Want more points for free flights on Southwest?

Southwest Priority Card 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 125,000 points you need to earn the Southwest Companion Pass, so one person can fly free with you for up to two years. These include... 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, where we'll show you our proprietary Fly Free process and map out a step-by-step plan personal to your family.


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!

My Favorite Travel Credit Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred

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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Chase Sapphire Preferred

  • 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.

Read my full review of this card.



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7 thoughts on “What Is Southwest Business Select?”

  1. There is currently a ‘targeted’ promotion of 2X points on Business and Anytime select fares. But only if you’ve been targeted.
    I received the promotion on SW phone app and am registered.
    Double dipped by booking through the SW credit card.
    So hopefully, 26 points per dollar earned. (fingers crossed)

  2. Edit: Conditions include that you had to sign up before purchasing/flying. So I may not qualify for bonus points.
    For others, cancel and re-book if you are targeted.

    Also, bonus points do not qualify for Companion Pass status

  3. I recently had to book last minute flights for my wife and I. Because there were no Wanna Get Away flights available, I elected the Business Select over the Anytime fares + Early Bird. For literally $10 per ticket more, we received better seating options when we got on the plane as well as additional points, and drink tickets.

    • Great tip! I’ve also noticed that sometimes Senior Fares (for those 65 & older) are also sometimes only $10 or so more but are completely refundable so a great option if you’re paying in cash.

  4. You should always upgrade if the difference is not too much. I have been my husband’s free companion for the past few years. This year we made it quicker( February thru July) by upgrading. Make decisions on price and points possible.


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