Southwest Airlines, the largest US low-cost carrier, does not always provide the lowest airfare option, according to a recent study by airfare audit firm, Topaz International.
The study in November 2012 compared Southwest’s airfares on 100 routes with those of eight other major competing airlines and found that Southwest offered lowest airfares only 40 percent of the time when checked bags were not included in the fare. When one checked bag was included, Southwest’s fares were lowest in 60 percent of the studied cases.
However, when two checked bags were included Southwest was found to offer the lowest fares in 88 percent of the cases.
Southwest currently does not charge baggage fees for two checked bags in any fare class, but there have been rumors this policy may change in 2013.