Travel News

Southwest, the “Nothing to Hide” Airline, Is Still Hiding Their Website From Many Countries

Written by Charlie

Southwest is famous for their very customer-friendly policies and deals and saying they have “nothing to hide” when it comes to their fares. But, they continue to “hide” their website from people in many countries. This Southwest website “Access Denied” problem is still a problem for many.

Not a week goes by that I don’t hear from many, many frustrated flyers who are trying to either check-in for a Southwest flight or book a Southwest ticket and they are unable to access the Southwest website.

The Southwest Website “Access Denied” Problem Is Still Alive – And Many Customers Are Mad

Well, except their website from some countries!

What makes them different from the millions of other Southwest customers? They happen to be in one of several countries around the world that Southwest continues to block from accessing the Southwest website. This is not countries like North Korea either (though I would imagine that it is blocked from there since North Korea has their own web!) – it is many countries that include some popular tourist destinations.

Why the Southwest Access Denied Issue is a Problem

This is a huge problem for many of these customers because they are trying to check in for their flight that will connect them from their arrival in the US to their final destination. Southwest is a popular choice for these flyers because they get the 2 bags for free and they can change or cancel their flights for free. But, to make sure they can get a decent seat or sit together, they need to check in at the T-24 hour mark to get a good boarding zone.

Except… they cannot access the Southwest website or app to check-in! This is a bad thing for these customers and I get the angry messages from many of them (somehow, some of them think I am Southwest???).

I first wrote about this a couple of years ago and nothing has changed since then (even though the Twitter team said they are looking into it). Since then, I have compiled a list of the countries it appears that Southwest has blocked:

  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Guatemala
  • Hong Kong
  • Indonesia
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Russia
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Vietnam
  • UK (intermittently)
How to Access the Southwest Website When “Access Denied”?

There are two ways that absolutely work to help you get around this “Access Denied” message from the Southwest website.

You can access the website by using a VPN (like NordVPN) or by using a phone with a US-based SIM card (like T-Mobile or Google Fi)

If you use either of those methods, you can access the Southwest website. This is one more reason to use Google Fi when traveling! 🙂

As I said, I have heard from thousands of people who have flown Southwest before but the problems in trying to access the website while abroad on a trip have really soured them on the Southwest experience.

Yes, it is Southwest’s choice to do this and their right. But I wish I would stop being told that it is “being looked into” or “it will be fixed soon” and that they would just come right out and be honest with their customers.

Have you had problems accessing the Southwest website from a country not on the above list?

Featured image Courtesy of TFoxFoto-Shutterstock.com_

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • Yes, it’s annoying. I’m based in SIN and I do need a VPN just to access…

  • Portugal just last week. Do they not think their customers consist of global travelers that need to book airfare while out of the country? Yes, VPNs are easy, but Geesh.