Standard Operating Procedures

By joining vSouthwest and using our website and flight systems, you agree to adhere to all policies and procedures within the Standard Operating Procedures. If you have questions, please contact a member of the staff or visit the Pilot Forums.

1. Welcome

vSouthwest is a new virtual airline community that simulates the real-world operations of Southwest Airlines. We put our primary focus on fun while striving for high levels of realism and immerison.

vSouthwest has more than 700 aircraft in its fleet, all flying a total of more than 10,000 unique routes! And thanks to our friends at VA Schedules, our databases are frequently updated to mimic the current timetables of Southwest Airlines.

We understand there are other virtual airlines out there to choose from, and some of them are well-established and have similar operations as vSouthwest, but we are confident you will enjoy your tenure with our airline, and we look forward to flying with you in the virutal skies!

2. Legal

vSouthwest is a virtual airline created by virtual aviation enthusiasts by virtual aviation enthusiasts enthusiasts. All of the content on is intended for simulation purposes only and should never be used for real world operations.

vSouthwest and its members are not affiliated in any way with Southwest Airlines or any other real world operation. If you have any questions or comments, please contact us or visit Southwest.

3. Before You Apply

4. Onboarding

After your pilot application has been accepted, you will be issued a unique Pilot ID. Each Pilot ID will consist of the Southwest Airlines ICAO code followed by three numbers (Example: SWA101).

To sign into the vSouthwest Pilot Center and ACARS system, you will need to enter your full Pilot ID and password. Access to secondary systems, like the pilot forums and Discord, will require a separate sign-up and may have different credentials.

Should a pilot forget their password, a reminder can be sent via email by filling out the Forgot Password form.

5. Staying Active

We strive to maintain an active and growing community. We ask all pilots to file one automated Pilot Report using the Live ACARS system at least one time in a 30-day period. Pilots who do not meet this requirement risk account suspension and/or removal from the pilot roster. This includes forefiting your Pilot ID.

If you know that you cannot meet this requirement and want to avoid penalty, please notify the Direcor of Operations for your hub. Pilots who are placed on a Leave of Absence may remain on the roster and retain their credentials.

6. Pilot Ranks

7. Filing PIREPS & Using ACARS

vSouthwest utilizes an automated pilot reporting system known as Live ACARS to track and report all flight operations. Upon completion of each flight, Live ACARS will file the report with the airline and will be visible on the recent flights list and your profile.

Live ACARS also gives a performance score for each flight based on the safety and efficiency of your flight. You can learn more about how the program calculates your score in the pilot forums.

When flying, pilots should not use slew mode or pause their simulator excessively. Pilots should also use proper departure and arrival procedures when appropriate and avoid flying direct routes. Additionally, your departure and arrival airports should always match what your booked flight specifies. Failure to follow these guidelines may result in the removal of your flight from the database.

As an added convenience, Live ACARS automatically populates information from your booked flight. Weather for your departure and arrival airports is also displayed, and pilots are able to track their flight on a map in real-time (as well as flights of other pilots on the network). In addition to these handy tools, a chat feature is integrated to allow you to communicate with other online pilots.

Manual PIREPs can be filed ONLY in the event of a software failure, but proof of your flight will need to be provided. Linking to your VATSIM activity is a great way to verify a manual PIREP.

Live ACARS is compatible with Microsoft Flight Simulator, Prepar3d, and X-Plane.

8. Online Operations

We encourage you to fly online, but do not require it for any normal operation. Networks such as VATSIM provide an additional level of realism for simulation purposes.

Pilots who choose to fly online should remember to conduct themselves professionally at all times. You are a representative of our virtual airline, and our rules and regulations apply any time you fly our routes.

We prefer you to use your Flight Number for your callsign when flying online during normal operations. When flying online during events scheduled by vSouthwest, use of your Pilot ID is appropriate.

Your callsign is SOUTHWEST and is displayed as SWA###.

9. Schedules

Thanks to our friends at VA Systems, we are able to easily update our schedules to reflect the actual operations of our real world counterpart. During our launch, vSouthwest will feature more than 10,000 routes for our pilots to fly.

10. Fleet

Our schedules feature a few varieties of the Boeing 737 airliner, the most popular passenger jet operation. While we encourage our pilots to fly the aircraft type listed in the flight briefing, use of any Boeing 737 type aircraft is allowed. For example, if your route calls for the Boeing 737-700 but you choose to complete the flight with a B738 instead, that is perfectly acceptable.

11. Corporate Staff