It basically depends on the airline, and the search engine you are using.
Elwood64151 is correct about Orbitz.com being owned by the majors, but if you do a search, you will find a selection of flights besides just the owners.
I punched in FLL
just now 'cause that's a typical route for me.
, US, UA
"Multiple Carriers" and F9
were the responses for this particular search.
obviously subscribe to be on Orbitz.
Now I know that WN
flies this route, but they did not appear. Jet Blue also does, if you want to connect in JFK
. They don't appear either. The reason for this is simple, they don't subscribe to Orbitz, or any other search site for that matter.
Want to fly Southwest? Go to http://www.southwest.com
The reasons that they don't are many, but the added costs are a factor as well as the fact that WN
is fiercely independent, and likes to control the way their operations are handled.
Also, in the past, Southwest was a subscriber to one of the flight reservations systems (Could have been Sabre, I don't have the info in front of me) One day, the major players decided they could do without the competition and Southwest magically disappeared from the system. Travel Agents used these systems, (back before all the internet sites) and suddenly they could not book Southwest, or for that matter, even know they existed.
Southwest said screw this, and has booked independently ever since.
The best way to find the best fare on Southwest is to look on southwest.com Compare "Internet One Way" to "Promotional Fares" the prices sometimes flip flop by a few $. If you get hopelessly stuck, call the 800 number, every reservations agent I have ever spoken too has always gone out of their way to help me. But you can't book "Internet One Way" over the phone.
I also know that B6
promise that their lowest fares will be on their websites.
Southwest Airlines "A Symbol of Freedom"