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Google Flights Can Now Finally Show Prices for Southwest Airlines

News Airports + Flying
by Matador Creators May 23, 2024

In a change that’s likely to make budget-conscious travelers very happy, Google Flights recently added Southwest Airlines to its flight comparison tool.

Now, travelers can see Southwest Airlines side-by-side with rates for other airlines. Southwest Airlines was not included in Google Flights prior to late May of this year, and travelers would have to run a separate search via to find flight costs. It’s not clear exactly why the airline was excluded from search results, though it’s long been speculated that it was a decision by Southwest to retain as much profit as possible, rather than paying a small share of each booking to Google.

However, there’s a catch: It may not be a permanent change. Southwest Airlines told multiple news sources that it’s only a pilot program, and flights can still only be booked through, rather than via any other airfare retailer. As for why the airline finally partnered with Google after 12 years (Google Flights launched in 2011), it’s anyone’s guess. But multiple theories have been proposed, including the idea that Southwest’s lack of checked bag and seat selection fees may make its rates look more favorable in comparison to other airlines, especially since the Department of Transportation recently mandated that airlines must disclose all additional fees upfront.

Southwest has also toyed with additional business changes in public recently, saying it’s considering moves like offering assigned seating or creating different tiers of service.

Current Southwest deals for summer 2024

Southwest is regularly one of the lowest-priced airlines among the major US-based carriers, but as of May 2024, it has some extra-juicy deals for upcoming summer travel. Remember that the cheapest rates are usually only offered on specific days, so if you can fly midweek, you’re more likely to find a great deal. Southwest has this useful flight-searching tool where you can see the lowest-priced fair to various destinations, based on your home airport. You may need to run a few different searches on different days to find the best deal, as Southwest frequently runs sales that last only a few days.

San Diego, California

southwest on google flights - balboa park

Photo: Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

If you’re hoping to plan a trip to the beaches of San Diego, you’re in luck. Flights from San Francisco or Los Angeles to San Diego start at $70 each way. From Seattle, WA, it’s $129 each way to San Diego, and just $118 each way from Denver, CO. Even East Coasters can get to San Diego fairly cheaply, with reasonably priced one-way flights from Atlanta, GA, and Washington, DC ($149), and Hartford, CT (at $199). In San Diego, visitors can see wild seals and sea lions, stay in a Hobbit-themed Airbnb, sightsee at national monuments and art galleries, or just chill out at airy Airbnbs on the beach for a few days.

Cancún, Mexico

southwest flights on google flights - cancun site

The el Rey archeological site near Cancún MX. Photo: Mardoz/Shutterstock

If you like your beach vacations with a side of archaeology, excellent food, and even scuba diving with sharks, you may want to book a cheap flight to Cancún this summer. From Chicago, IL, or Houston, TX, one-way flights are as low as $111, and only a few bucks more from cities like Phoenix, AZ ($180) or New Orleans, LA ($169). In Cancún, travelers can snorkel or scuba dive through an underwater art museum, try some of the best mezcal in the country, or splurge for a luxury beachfront hotel with private cabanas and all manner of inclusive beach adventures.

Honolulu, Hawai’i

southwest on google flights - oahu beach

Photo: KarlosXII/Shutterstock

While it’s a bit of a haul for East Coast-based travelers, anyone who lives toward the western part of the US can probably find a screaming deal on flights to Honolulu, on the island of Oahu. This summer, one-way flights to Honolulu are as low as $183 from Oakland, CA; $215 from Phoenix, AZ, and Las Vegas, NV; or $161 from Los Angeles, CA. In Honolulu, visitors can check out family-friendly tropical hikes, learn to surf on world-famous waves, or rent a beachfront Airbnb in Waikīkī and work with views of the Pacific Ocean for a few days of living the high life.

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