The Southwest Affiliate Program

Andrey Novoselov Andrey Novoselov
Reading time:  4  min.

Southwest Airlines is the largest low-cost airline in the United States in terms of carried passengers and daily operated flights. Currently, Southwest Airlines operates more than 4,000 flights a day and, by joining the Southwest Airlines affiliate program, you can earn on each one of them.

About Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines was founded in 1967 and initially only flew within Texas. Over time, the company grew and began to serve flights throughout America. Today, it also offers international flights.

Southwest’s base airport is Dallas Love Field Airport. The company’s headquarters are also located there. The carrier’s operations are primarily focused on destinations within the United States and North America, such as various US cities as well as destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean.

Southwest Airlines is one of the most progressive airlines. It was one the first airlines in the world to switch to e-ticketing. This transition process was finally completed in 2004, allowing passengers to check-in for flights on the airline’s website. Today, everything is the same and passengers can solve most of their issues online.

Since Southwest Airlines’ founding, it has only used Boeing aircrafts. Today, the carrier’s fleet consists of Boeing-737s of various modifications. However, due to the ban on the new Boeing 737 MAX in 2019, the airline’s management announced the possible use of other brands of aircrafts.

Southwest is the only airline in the world that does not charge travelers to change tickets. If a traveler needs to change the date of their trip, they will only have to pay the price difference (if any). On the company’s advertising banners, you can see the following inscription: “At Southwest, fees are a four-letter word.” This is one of the most frequently mentioned advantages that customers include in their reviews of the airline.

How the Southwest Affiliate Program Works

The Southwest affiliate program allows affiliates to earn money by selling airline tickets. Southwest shares 2% of the cost of each ticket that was sold thanks to you. To earn on tickets, you should follow the steps:

  • Sign up for Southwest through one of the affiliate networks
  • Receive affiliate tools
  • Place tools on your website or share them with your audience

After that, every time your audience buys a Southwest flight, you earn a commission. The airline does not pay for ad impressions, clicks, or anything other than actual ticket sales.

There are two ways to earn money on Southwest flights:

  • Join the airline’s affiliate program
  • Join the affiliate programs of flight engines or airline aggregators

Since Southwest is featured on most aggregators, such as WayAway, the easiest way to connect with the program is through the aggregator’s affiliate program.

Southwest’s in-house affiliate program is suitable for affiliates whose traffic is highly related to the brand. For example, if your audience is looking for coupons for Southwest flights or simply looking for cheap tickets (for example, from the USA to Mexico), then it is typically more profitable to offer tools for comparing prices for all airlines and not just Southwest. In this case, working through an aggregator may be the more profitable approach.

Terms of the Affiliate Program

Cookie Lifetime30 days

A fixed commission for the sale of flight tickets is not common, but nevertheless exists on the Cheaptickets and Airfordable affiliate programs.

The Southwest affiliate program is only available through affiliate networks such as Flex Offers and others. Payouts are made, as a rule, within one month after reaching the minimum amount, which depends on the specific affiliate network.

Southwest receives traffic from all over the world, but the airline’s key market is the US. Therefore, partners with traffic from this location are a priority for the brand.

Among the permitted types of traffic, there are a number of sources in addition to travel blogs. However, the brand prohibits certain types of paid advertising and other marketing activities. Therefore, before connecting, study the current traffic rules.

Benefits of Joining the Southwest Affiliate Program

  • Southwest is one of the most recognizable travel brands in the US, which is a big advantage for you. You can offer tickets for Southwest flights to your audience through the official website and feel confident that most of your visitors will be familiar with the company.
  • The brand accepts traffic from different regions and different traffic sources. Therefore, even if you do not have a travel blog or your traffic is not from the United States, you can still join the affiliate program. However, your audience must be interested in US flights. Otherwise, it will be nearly impossible to earn money on Southwest’s flights, as the brand only offers commissions for purchases. 
  • 2% is a fair commission rate for a low-cost airline. Some low-cost competitors do not pay a commission at all, since it is not included in the cost of airline tickets.
  • Southwest’s airfare is starting to become lower than its competitors and its flight coverage is broad enough to appeal to a wide audience.

Review of the Southwest Affiliate Program

In reviews of the Southwest Airlines affiliate program, partners often note that it is rare for a low-cost airline to share its income with partners. Thus, Southwest is a pleasant exception. Even considering that 2% is just an average rate, the presence of any commission for a low-cost carrier is already a great benefit of the program.

The Southwest affiliate program is suitable for a limited number of partners, as it limits the audience to flights from only one brand. Your audience will probably be able to find the best tickets by comparing prices across different airlines. It is rare for a customer to be satisfied with a price comparison from only one carrier, which is why offering solely Southwest flights may be the wrong marketing strategy.

Considering that prices for Southwest flights in aggregators are often exactly the same as on the official website, working with Southwest through an aggregator may be more profitable for both you and your audience. Your audience will receive a tool to compare the costs of different airlines and you will surely see a higher conversion.

You can earn on Southwest flights by joining the WayAway affiliate program. Your audience will be able to compare prices across dozens of airlines, including Southwest, and book tickets with cashback. WayAway shares 50% of their profits from each ticket, which is comparable to the commission provided by the Southwest Airlines affiliate program.

50% revenue share
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$10 per sale of WayAway Plus
The WayAway Partner Program
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