Southwest finally caves, allows Google Flights access to prices

I use Google Flights to book my travel. It's always bugged my that Southwest refused to allow Google Flights (or other third party booking sites) from publishing its prices. It has even threatened legal action against sites that do so. But Southwest's recent financial troubles, coupled with Department of Transportation regulations mandating the display of ancillary fees, has forced the airline to rethink its approach. As of yesterday, Southwest schedule and price information is now available on Google Flights.

As reported in Thrifty Traveler:

By design, Southwest hasn't listed its fares from almost any flight search platform, from Google Flights to Expedia and Kayak and even smaller online travel agencies. The airline preferred to force customers to use every time, creating more customer loyalty while limiting the costs of distributing fares to those websites.

Previously, travelers searching for flights would only see Southwest route information – not the price, not a link to book directly with the airline, nor even display the airline's heart-shaped logo.

As reported in View From the Wing:

Southwest Airlines didn't like price comparisons with other carriers on third party websites because they were often more expensive, especially given their more bundled model – in addition to the added distribution costs selling through other systems.

New government rules will make those same Southwest tickets appear more competitive, and Southwest is willing to allow their fares to be displayed next to those of other airlines. And with the airline struggling they're willing to revisit past orthodoxies.

Previously: Woman caught hiding in Southwest overhead bin before takeoff (video)