Does Southwest Fly to Canada: Flight Schedules Explained

Does Southwest Fly to Canada

Does Southwest fly to Canada? The airline headquartered in Dallas, Southwest Airlines, expanded at an alarming rate during the pandemic. 

They continued this trend by announcing two additional destinations and several new and returning flights.

While the airline primarily operates domestic routes, it also serves several international destinations. Within the United States, Southwest offers over a hundred distinct flight options. 

To reach any significant city in the United States, Southwest will transport you. Occasionally, Southwest also visits lesser locales.

Southwest Airlines is among the United States’ most prominent airlines. It travels to over a hundred destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. This article provides a comprehensive summary where Southwest flies.

Does Southwest Fly to Canada

No, Southwest doesn’t fly to Canada at the moment. However, several alternative airlines also provide service to Canadian destinations. Southwest Airlines flies to various parts, including the Caribbean, Mexico, and domestically.

Despite operating a vast domestic network, Southwest Airlines has yet to commence service to Canada. Consider the following widely recognized alternatives to the Great White North country:

a. Partner Airlines

Southwest Airlines partners with various international airlines. This indicates that the airline has interline or code-share agreements with other carriers, allowing passengers to schedule flights that connect to flights to Canada. 

Customers can utilize the same ticket for multiple airlines due to these transactions.  

Although your entire journey to Canada may not be aboard a Southwest Airlines aircraft, reserving a flight with the airline and connecting to a partner airline is still possible.

b. Delta Airlines

Major airline Delta operates numerous routes in both the United States and Canada. Multiple Canadian destinations are serviced by their air travel system, facilitating border crossings.

c. Air Canada

The largest airline in Canada operates specific routes dedicated to the United States among its many domestic and international routes. Various locations in Canada are accessible via their extensive network.

Why Southwest Doesn’t Fly To Canada

Southwest Airlines has expressed deliberation regarding the possibility of its operations expanding to Canada. 

According to a Business Insider article, its CEO Gary Kelly reportedly stated in April 2021 that the organization has identified five to seven up-and-coming regions.

According to communication from CEO Gary Kelly at the 2018 annual meeting of the company’s shareholders, the airline intends to begin service to Canada from Baltimore.

Since the Baltimore airport is a gateway to Europe, Kelly’s rumor that Southwest may partner with another airline to operate transatlantic routes from there seems ideal. He did state that Hawaii is the airline’s foremost concern, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

The same holds in 2021, according to Business Insider. Kelly added they are adjusting their planning system to accommodate Canadian currencies which was an additional obstacle.

Fly Southwest to get closer to Canada from the following regions:

  • Bellingham, Washington
  • Detroit
  • Buffalo, New York

Kelly reports, “Southwest is eyeing a host of expansion opportunities within the next 25 years, with as many as 50 additional North and South American route expansions under consideration.”

Adaptability issues For Southwest Airlines?

There’s a substantial influx of leisure travelers across the border to the United States, particularly Southwest’s home region. 

However, the airline remains the most significant American carrier that does not operate flights to the Great White North.

During the latest earnings call, Southwest’s executives responded to JP Morgan analyst Jamie Baker’s question regarding the airline’s lack of service to Canada. It seems like the main issue is a lack of technology, not a lack of prospective clients.

According to Tom Nealon, the president of Southwest, the ability to sell is crucial to influence Canada’s behavior effectively. This impacts the leisure and business sectors alike. 

Tickets would require Canadian dollars for purchase, which is contrary to the operational framework of Southwest Airlines. 

Southwest has not prioritized the issue over other matters, such as setting up its Boeing 737 Max fleet for flights to Hawaii, despite Nealon’s assertion that it is not insurmountable.

Based on CEO Gary Kelly’s assessment, Southwest has identified five, six, or seven exceptionally favorable markets in Canada. 

With the cessation of the frontier between the United States and Canada, the company has been concentrating on its recent expansion in the United States.

“I don’t know if we would have planes to enter those new markets, even if we solved that technological issue,” Kelly stated at a recent earnings conference.

Southwest Airlines operates flights from several U.S. border cities to Canada, including Bellingham, Washington, Buffalo, New York, and Detroit, Michigan.

Although isolated from the Canadian-American border, all three municipalities cater to diverse clients from both nations.

Canada benefited from serving significant cities along the US-Canada border amidst the pandemic. 

To avoid a prohibition that applied to air travelers to Canada, Canadians returning home had been flying to Buffalo and then crossing the land border.

JetBlue Airways is flying to Canada from the north of the United States for the first time, after the airways resolved its issue with Canada. 

American Airlines has formed a new partnership to enable service between New York and Boston to Vancouver. The membership of this organization is known as the “Northeast Alliance.”

Alaska Airlines, which operates flights to Canadian cities such as Calgary, Vancouver, and Victoria, would also be more competitive with Southwest. 

People must seek other airlines because Southwest does not offer international flights to the north and has no airline partners willing to assist it.

Flying to Canada is likely to be further postponed as Southwest concentrates on developing new markets within the United States. 

The pandemic significantly altered Southwest’s route network. CEO Gary Kelly has stated that these are the new objectives before contemplating a global expansion, as seventeen recent locations have been established since March 2020.

Southwest Airlines Fines For Meltdown

In 2022, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) levied an unprecedented sanction of $140 million (£110 million) against Southwest Airlines for ceasing operations.

According to the agency, the fine was 30 times greater than any other sanction the DOT has imposed for actions that harm consumers. 

The government has assessed Southwest $35 million, which the company plans to remit in installments over three years.

Future passengers whose flights were canceled due to circumstances beyond the airline’s control were to be compensated from a fund established by Southwest. 

By awarding frequent flier points to customers who were forced to wait due to the issue, the airline also received $33 million in reimbursement.

Southwest Airlines rendered millions of individuals destitute by canceling over 16,900 flights during last winter’s peak holiday travel week. 

The extent “sends a clear message” and establishes a new benchmark, according to the United States government.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said: “We will employ every available means to ensure that airlines address the concerns of their customers.”

According to the DOT, Southwest failed to expedite flight change notifications or provide adequate customer service amidst the chaos.

An evaluation of the process by the DOT revealed that the airline also failed to provide timely refunds or reimbursements.

The airlines anticipated a severe winter storm that cost the company over $1 billion and stranded two million passengers. Southwest was forced to cancel approximately 17,000 flights over the previous year’s holidays. In reimbursements and rebates, customers received over $600 million back.

In a published news release, Southwest Airlines expressed its satisfaction with this agreement with US officials.

To improve its customer service, the organization stated that it had implemented modifications in response to the trip calamity of the previous year.

Regarding the travel delays, the Department of Transportation announced it would terminate its inquiry into whether Southwest’s impractical flight schedule was the cause. It cited an inability to reach a definitive conclusion.

Southwest has declared its intention to assist in the investigation, which begun in January.

“I cannot emphasize how crucial that is.” CEO Bob Jordan admitted to CNBC then, “We made a mistake.” 

Jordan stated just days before the hectic holiday travel season that the holiday crisis of the previous year would never happen again at a meeting of business executives in New York.

The carrier’s executive has advocated for significant enhancements to prevent a recurrence of last year’s events.

Southwest could not reschedule pilots and flight attendants in time for last year’s disruptions. This was despite its investments in improved crew scheduling systems and additional de-icing equipment.

“We have focused the past year on enhancing the customer experience. With significant investments and initiatives accelerating operational resiliency, we will enhance cross-team collaboration and bolster overall preparedness for winter operations,” Jordan expressed in a press release.


Does Southwest fly to Canada? There are currently no direct flights offered by Southwest Airlines to Canada. Many other airlines, nonetheless, provide service to and from Canada. 

A dream excursion to Canada can be realized with partner and U.S. airlines such as Air Canada and Delta Air Lines.

Ensure you constantly search for the most economical option among various airlines, itineraries, and reservations. Consistently verify pertinent details regarding routes, schedules, and other relevant information regarding your journey by contacting the company. Safe travels.


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