As America’s largest domestic carrier, Southwest Airlines' international service is often overlooked, leaving many great deals for flyers to fall between the cracks. While its network isn't as extensive as some other US-based carriers, Southwest's foreign flight offerings regularly pave the way in competitive pricing on these routes. Since Southwest fares can only be searched on their own website, and of course listed here at Airfarewatchdog, you won't find any of Southwest's international options appearing on meta searches like Google Flights, Kayak, or Expedia.

Southwest Serves 14 International Destinations in 10 Countries Outside of America

Southwest has been in operation for nearly 50 years, but what most travelers don’t realize is that the airline’s international flight network only took off in 2014. Following the finalization of its merger with AirTran, Southwest inherited the slots, certificates, and reservation system that allowed it to expand its operation overseas.

Gun shy for decades to operate flights outside the States, the low-cost carrier has rapidly ramped its route map into the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America. Although the airline's latest push is expanding its market share in Hawaii, Southwest continues to bolster its international offerings by adding new destinations almost yearly. Here’s a look at a complete list of airports and countries that you can reach onboard one of Southwest’s 737s.

Belize

Aerial view of Tobacco Caye in Belize

Belize City (BZE)

A world-renowned scuba and snorkel paradise, Southwest added this destination to its network in 2015. Once dubbed British Honduras, Belize’s official language is English, and with U.S. dollars widely accepted, traveling around this hidden gem couldn’t be easier. Daily nonstop flights depart from FLL & HOU, and seasonal service from Denver (DEN) is available on Saturdays. United Airlines often plays monkey-see-monkey-do by matching Southwest’s price on the Houston route. Even though the price might be similar, United doesn’t match the free baggage allowance and departs from its hub at Houston-Intercontinental (IAH), not Hobby.

Nonstop from: Ft. Lauderdale (FLL), and Houston-Hobby (HOU)

Seasonal Nonstop: Denver (DEN)

Mexico

Chichen Itza temple in Yucatan Mexico Quintana Roo near Cancun

As the airline’s largest market outside of America, Southwest serves four different destinations in Mexico. Flights to top leisure destinations like Cancun (CUN), Los Cabos (SJD), Puerto Vallarta (PVR), and starting in 2020, Cozumel (CZM) are available to a huge swath of U.S. airports, both as year-round and seasonal options. Whether it's exploring Aztec or Mayan ruins to sipping a margarita poolside, Southwest's airfares to Mexican destinations usually set the bar in competitive pricing to the following spots South of the Border.

Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos (SJD)

Nonstop from: Baltimore (BWI), Chicago-Midway (MDW), Denver (DEN), Houston-Hobby (HOU), Los Angeles (LAX), Oakland (OAK), Santa Ana (SNA), Sacramento (SMF), San Jose (SJC), and San Diego (SAN)

Cancun (CUN)

Nonstop from: Atlanta (ATL), Austin (AUS), Nashville (BNA), Baltimore (BWI), Chicago-Midway (MDW), Denver (DEN), Ft. Lauderdale (FLL), Houston-Hobby (HOU), Los Angeles (LAX), and St. Louis (STL)

Seasonal Nonstop: Columbus (CMH), Indianapolis (IND), Pittsburgh (PIT), Milwaukee (MKE), and San Antonio (SAT)

Puerto Vallarta (PVR)

Nonstop from: Denver (DEN), Houston-Hobby (HOU), Los Angeles (LAX), Oakland (OAK), and San Diego (SAN)

Cozumel (CZM)

Nonstop from: Houston-Hobby (HOU)

Cayman Islands

Hammock on Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman (GCM)

One of the more recent destinations to be added to Southwest’s international roster, daily service from Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) to Grand Cayman (GCM) was added in the summer of 2017. Following the success of that route, Southwest introduced limited seasonal service to the western Caribbean island from its focus city in Houston (HOU), and more recently, from Baltimore (BWI). On the Ft. Lauderdale route, JetBlue often price matches Southwest fares that are usually priced around $215 roundtrip.

Nonstop from: Ft. Lauderdale (FLL)

Seasonal Nonstop: Houston-Hobby (HOU) and Baltimore (BWI)

Cuba

Colorful houses and car in Havana Cuba

Havana (HAV)

When air travel restrictions to Cuba dropped in 2016, Southwest, along with several other US airlines, had their sights set on the recently off-limit island. Initially launching service to three Cuban destinations, Southwest terminated service to Santa Clara (SNU) and Varadero (VRA) just shy of a year of service quoting the lack of tourism and passenger loads. Flights to Havana (HAV), however, are proving more successful with daily nonstop flights from two Floridian airports TPA and FLL with prices ranging from $215 to $240 roundtrip. JetBlue often matches prices on Ft. Lauderdale flights, but for Tampa based travelers, Southwest is the only game in town for nonstop service to the Cuban capital.

Nonstop from: Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) and Tampa (TPA)


Related: How to Fly Southwest Airlines (And Get the Seat You Want)


Costa Rica

Toucan in Costa Rica birdwatching

In 2015, Southwest Airlines added Costa Rica to its expanding roster of countries on its route map. This eco-tourism hotspot on many travelers' "to-visit" list has Stateside service to two of its international airports. Flights to the capital San Jose (SJO), not to be confused with the city in California that Southwest also operates flights from, is linked with daily nonstop options from Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) and Houston-Hobby (HOU). Liberia (LIR) in Northwestern Costa Rica has nonstop flights to HOU that, on average, total around $400 roundtrip. Baltimore (BWI) flights run on a limited seasonal basis to both Costa Rican airports.

Liberia (LIR)

Nonstop from: Houston-Hobby (HOU)

Seasonal Nonstop: Baltimore (BWI)

San Jose (SJO)

Nonstop from: Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) and Houston-Hobby (HOU)

Seasonal Nonstop: Baltimore (BWI)

Aruba

Divi Divi trees on Eagle Beach in Aruba

Aruba (AUA)

Aruba was one of Southwest's inaugural international destinations when the airline expanded its network overseas in 2014. This route acquired from AirTran served as a test market for Southwest's foray into service outside of US soil. The desirable Dutch Caribbean Island is a fixture for East Coast travelers and those looking for a sunny dose of Vitamin D during the bleak winter months. Unfortunately, departure taxes imposed by the airport on tickets tend to keep fares high. Ft. Lauderdale offers the best value to AUA with airfares falling in the $240-50 roundtrip range on most travel dates. While nonstop service is available from BWI and HOU, it's only available on Saturdays and tends to skew to the expensive side.

Nonstop from: Ft. Lauderdale (FLL)

Seasonal Nonstop: Baltimore (BWI) and Houston-Hobby (HOU)

Jamaica

Bamboo ride in blue lagoon in Jamaica

Montego Bay (MBJ)

Save on this annual Spring break hotspot with Southwest’s flight offerings to the “Rock” as the locals call it. Alongside Aruba and Bahamas, Jamaica was one of the first international countries the Texas-based airline put on sale when it launched service in 2014. As a popular holiday destination, Montego Bay flights can be costly, but when looking for a deal, your best bet is to check prices on Tuesdays when Southwest publishes most of its system-wide sales.

Nonstop from: Baltimore (BWI), Chicago-Midway (MDW), Ft. Lauderdale (FLL), Houston-Hobby (HOU)Orlando (MCO) and St. Louis (STL)


Related: Which Caribbean Airports Have the Lowest (and Highest) Ticket Taxes


Bahamas

Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas near Nassau

Nassau (NAS)

If you’re like me and prefer flying instead of sitting on a cruise ship, Southwest has you covered with air service to this sandy archipelago off the East Coast. While the network is limited, flyers in Baltimore and Ft. Lauderdale are offered a nonstop option to the Bahamian capital. While taxes make up the majority of the roundtrip prices to Nassau (NAS), nonstop departures from BWI are available on Saturdays and price out at the $345 RT range. If you are flexible with travel dates, daily service on the under an hour short hop from Ft. Lauderdale can be purchased for around $235 roundtrip.

Nonstop from: Baltimore (BWI) and Ft. Lauderdale (FLL)

Dominican Republic

Coconut drink on the beach in the Caribbean

Punta Cana (PUJ)

Service to this resort town on the Easternmost point of the Dominican Republic was added during Southwest’s second wave of international expansion in late 2014. As another route gained in the AirTran acquisition, those looking to save on this budget-friendly destination can also take advantage of the Southwest Vacations portal that often offers promo codes to save hundreds of dollars off flight+hotel packages. Which might be best for your wallet as the going rates for nonstop roundtrip flights from Atlanta (ATL) to Punta Cana (PUJ) tally over the $450 mark.

Nonstop from: Atlanta (ATL), Baltimore (BWI), Chicago-Midway (MDW)Ft. Lauderdale (FLL), Houston-Hobby (HOU), and St. Louis (STL)

Turks and Caicos

Beach chairs on Grace Bay in the Turks and Caicos Caribbean

Providenciales (PLS)

One of Southwest’s newest international destinations, the airline began its service from Ft. Lauderdale to Providenciales in 2017. Turks and Caicos became Southwest’s 11th country served and expanded its offerings from its South Florida gateway at FLL. Sale prices on this route usually dip below the $200 mark, and the average price when there is not an ongoing Southwest sale hover around $225 roundtrip. Imposed taxes and fees by the Turks and Caicos government are what handcuff this fare from dropping further. American Airlines often matches Southwest's sale prices on its nonstop offerings from Miami (MIA) to Providenciales (PLS), but it generally tickets into the basic economy bucket, which doesn't include free checked baggage. JetBlue also offers nonstop flights from Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) to Providenciales (PLS) and regularly matches Southwest’s price points.

Nonstop from: Ft. Lauderdale (FLL)

Seasonal nonstop: Baltimore (BWI)


Related: Who Flies Where? A Guide to Caribbean Route Coverage


Southwest Airlines International Destinations Quick List:

  • Aruba (AUA)
  • Belize City (BZE)
  • Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos (SJD)
  • Cancun (CUN)
  • Cozumel (CZM) - starts March 7, 2020
  • Grand Cayman (GCM)
  • Havana (HAV)
  • Liberia (LIR)
  • Montego Bay (MBJ)
  • Nassau (NAS)
  • Puerto Vallarta (PVR)
  • Punta Cana (PUJ)
  • San Jose, CR (SJO)
  • Turks and Caicos (PLS)

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Featured image: Ivan Krivenko / Shutterstock
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