Is Southwest better than Delta?

If you need help deciding which airline to fly on your next trip or want to learn more, this Delta vs. Southwest comparison have you covered.

Is it also possible to consider Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines to be competitors? Is Southwest better than Delta? After all, Southwest is one of the country's first low-cost airlines, and Delta has always prided itself on being a full-service carrier that caters to the needs of premium travellers.

Seats on Delta Airlines

  • Delta Airlines has been updating the interiors of its entire fleet of aircraft on a massive scale over the last few years. Like Southwest Airlines, Delta is working to ensure that its product offerings are consistent for all aircraft types they fly.
  • On Delta, it used to be that flying in one aircraft type over another gave you a different experience, but that is no longer the case.
  • The basic economy seat on Delta Airlines is very comfortable. As previously mentioned, it has a huge and sensitive personal video screen with a large library of TV shows and images. Plus, there's music!
  • The Delta Air Lines economy seat has large video screens with a variety of TV shows and movies to choose from. Plus, if you're really tall, you'll be able to watch many items at once.
  • The seats are also attractive, with a soft synthetic blue leather-like material that will keep you in place as you travel through bumpy air.

Seats in the Southwest

Southwest Airlines still has a comfortable seat. It's not as luxurious as a Delta economy seat, but very comfortable and attractive. The fact that there are no personal video screens is, of course, the greatest disadvantage. Furthermore, no power outlets are available to charge your personal electronic devices. Is Southwest the safest airline?  It's worth noting that Southwest seems to be constantly upgrading and improving its planes, so it's not always a guarantee that you'll get to sit in the most up-to-date seats.

Onboard entertainment

Southwest and Delta also have in-flight entertainment options (Wi-Fi). While Delta's offering is much more generous, you won't be bored on Southwest.

Delta's onboard entertainment

Every seat on Delta comes with a personal video screen. Delta Studio is the brand name for its in-flight video service, which offers hundreds of on-demand movies and TV shows. Many planes have Wi-Fi, as well as Southwest Airlines' in-flight entertainment.

Both movies and TV shows are available, just like Delta. It is, however, a streaming service (rather than a video screen at each seat), and you can only access it using your own laptop.

Meal Facility

For most flights, Delta Airlines has a comprehensive menu of things you can order (for an exorbitant amount).

Southwest, on the other hand, has a limited selection. Their drink menu is decent, but compared to Delta, they don't have nearly as many snacks or substantial meals.

Delta Airlines cuisine

Delta will also be able to serve you from their in-flight menu an incredibly costly and insubstantial snack, though I commend them for providing this service. On a side note, using your American Express Platinum Card to pay for menu items can save money. One of the benefits of this card is a $200 annual credit that can be used for in-flight purchases, including food. You will get Delta food for free this way, but you will have to pay for it via the annual card subscription fee. It is, however, well worth it if you travel frequently. It's worth noting that Delta's first-class meals on domestic flights are fine (and even better food on international flights).

Food on Southwest Airlines

Southwest, like Delta, can provide you with a complimentary snack and drink. Alcohol is available for purchase at an additional cost. Southwest does not sell a food-for-purchase scheme on any flights at the time of writing. 

The Delta and Southwest frequent flyer services are compared.

Airlines' frequent-flier services, in my view, are becoming less and less important with each passing year. When it comes to devaluing rewards and benefits, airlines seem to be in a sprint to the bottom, and it doesn't seem to be enough to entice me in any longer. That said, if you want to commit to flying one of these two airlines more than the other, you can look into their membership programs.

SkyMiles are a program offered by Delta Airlines.

Within the United States, redemption rates for economy-class flights are far fairer. Delta SkyMiles may be a good fit if that's what you need from an airline points program.

One of the best aspects of Delta SkyMiles is that they never expire. If you don't fly, you'll never lose any points you've earned.

One of the worst aspects of the SkyMiles program is how convoluted and complicated it is. For example, there are four main tiers: Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond.

Rapid Rewards from Southwest

Compared to Delta SkyMiles, the Southwest Airlines frequent-flier program (officially known as Rapid Rewards) is a welcome change of pace. It's straightforward, just like everything else about Southwest Airlines, with perks like:

There are no restrictions on the number of seats available as a

  • There are no blackout times.
  • Points don't have an expiration date.
  • Rapids Rewards membership is divided into three categories. They're all decent jobs with good benefits. Most notably, they're all pretty straightforward, with a few exceptions:
  • A-List members receive priority boarding, check-in, security lane access, and a 25% bonus on earnings.
  • Priority boarding, check-in, security lane access, a 100 percent earning bonus, and free in-flight WI-FI are all available to A-List Preferred members.
  • Companion Pass: After flying 100 qualifying segments (or winning 125,000 qualifying points) in a calendar year, you'll get a free companion ticket.

Is Southwest Airlines better than Delta?


  • If you're an international traveler looking for a carrier that can take you anywhere, Delta is the airline to choose.
  • You're a high-end business traveler whose employer would cover the cost of domestic first-class travel.
  • You're a frequent traveler who wants to earn status and points with a major airline alliance.
  • You can't bear the thought of not being able to watch television or movies on a large screen while flying.
  • You want to be able to reserve a particular seat while making your reservation.
  • You'd like more food choices.


  • If you're looking for a good deal, go with Southwest.
  • You're a budget traveler who is always on the lookout for the best deal. Southwest isn't always the cheapest choice, but it's usually less expensive than Delta.
  • You don't want to deal with the hassle of flying through a large airport. Southwest is mostly a point-to-point airline, which means you'll be less likely to change planes at a big airport.
  • You like the concept of being able to choose every seat on the plane as you board.
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