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How Do You Like Southwest?  
User currently online747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3757 posts, RR: 2
Posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5729 times:

Well, it is not news, that SWA is one of the biggest airlines in the US, but I would like to know what do you think about this airline? Now I have to say, this is not your normal airline. Any airline that make a big deal out of Valentine's Day, and has F/A 's joking around with passengers, has to be a very laid back airline. I never flew on SWA, but like the type of airline that they are, a friendly and light hearted airline.

34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJMackey From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 294 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 5685 times:

If all you expect out of travel is competitive fares, friendly people, frequent flights, on time departures and an airline going easy on the ancillary fees, Southwest may be the airline for you.

A few folks that don't like the fact that they have to show up early to get a better seat may not agree. However, WN is noe even trying to cater to them, and make a little side $ with the Business Select program.

I am a big fan of them. If only they flew into FAT, I would fly them more often and probably even apply to work for them.



I love the smell of jet fuel in the morning
User currently offlineatrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5702 posts, RR: 52
Reply 2, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 5663 times:

Quoting JMackey (Reply 1):

A few folks that don't like the fact that they have to show up early to get a better seat may not agree. However, WN is noe even trying to cater to them, and make a little side $ with the Business Select program.

Oh Man, they have not had to do this since 2003. Ever since we came up with A, B and C, and online check in, just check in 24 hrs in advanced, and you have your boarding assignment in place for you!

I used to hate SWA, until I actually flew on them. Great service, great attitudes and Employees who cared. I was 14 when I first flew them, and walked off the plane saying I am going to work for this company. Soon enough I became a CSA for them in STL, and LUV'd every minute of it. It was a joy to work for them and still is.

WN is simple, and not everyone likes them but that is fine! It isn't catered to every one but WN sure likes to try!

Alex



Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
User currently offlineJMackey From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 294 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 5660 times:

Alex-

I can't tell you how much I envy you in your career with Southwest. I know there is likely never a chance to see WN in Fresno, but I would be the first one beating down the door. Could I use you as a reference in that case ?



I love the smell of jet fuel in the morning
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26150 posts, RR: 50
Reply 4, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 5652 times:

SWA probably has one of America's most solid and consistent airline offerings -- simple, affordable, friendly and reliable.

Sure JetBlue and Virgin America are great also in my book, however neither have the scope of operations or longevity that Southwest has been able to deliver in the market place to the American consumer.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 23
Reply 5, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 5633 times:

I have nothing but high accolades for WN/SWA. If they fly the route I am seeking, they are first choice (w/ or w/o luggage to check).
Despite 28 sectors flown with them, the number of negative experiences tend to 0 (one serious delay was to blame on wx-issues in the DAL / HOU-area that hit other carriers even harder).
Attention and service of CSAs left nothing to desire.
-HT



Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
User currently offlinePITIngres From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 1163 posts, RR: 13
Reply 6, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 5629 times:

I'll generally pay a bit extra, or take a less than ideal schedule, to fly WN.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 4):
SWA probably has one of America's most solid and consistent airline offerings -- simple, affordable, friendly and reliable.

  

And, as long as I can check-in 24 hours before, I actually prefer the WN way over assigned seating; I have a much better chance of getting the seat I want. On airlines with assigned seating, the desirable seats are often blocked off, or released late, or there is some other game going on that makes it hard to get my preferred seating.



Fly, you fools! Fly!
User currently offlineJMackey From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 294 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5577 times:

Quoting PITIngres (Reply 6):
I'll generally pay a bit extra, or take a less than ideal schedule, to fly WN

With more long-distance nonstops, the schedules seem a lot more user friendly than they did in the past.



I love the smell of jet fuel in the morning
User currently offlineTranspac787 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 3217 posts, RR: 16
Reply 8, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5561 times:

There are some things I like about them and some other things I'm not so much a fan of. I'll do a quick pro/con list:

Pros:
Employee esprit de corps
Excellent labor/management relations
Brilliant fleet choice (personal preference, haha)
Easy to nonrev on

Cons:
Employee arrogance/koolaiding
Propensity toward the status quo... the "we've always been profitable so why change?" mantra...
Intentionally ordering obsolete equipment (WN has the only 735's in existence with analog cockpits)
Ridiculous jumpseat policies


So, it's a toss-up for me. I just hitched a ride home on them LAX-DEN so I probably shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth  


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26150 posts, RR: 50
Reply 9, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5536 times:

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 8):
Employee arrogance/koolaiding


I've generally found a bunch of pleasant employees, that are rightfully proud of their company.

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 8):
Intentionally ordering obsolete equipment (WN has the only 735's in existence with analog cockpits)


Other carriers have old style 733 and 734 cockpits also, so dont see how SWA is any worse off.

Anyhow they purchased the type with steam gauges to keep things simple and common with other fleet types -- same as how 737NGs cockpit displays are modified to relfect old style guages.

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 8):
Propensity toward the status quo... the "we've always been profitable so why change?" mantra...


Why fix something that works great?

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 8):
Ridiculous jumpseat policies


I have not commuted on them for a couple years, but never found them to be an issue.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinekingFriday013 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 1304 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5535 times:

I've never flown them and I have yet to learn to like them. While they have some nice things for families with young children (i.e. singing flight attendants, funny safety commentary, joking announcements) and good things for everyone else (no bag fees, cheap fares, Boeing aircraft ), they're not for everyone.

I like to be able to have an assigned seat, especially if I'm traveling with someone who's not on the same itinerary as me (if they check in after I do, there's a good chance they won't be in the same boarding group as me and won't get the exit row seat next to me). Last time I flew on a flight with open seating was the Delta Shuttle; luckily the flights weren't too crowded and I was able to sit with my friends. However, if there were more people or if it weren't a MD-88 (i.e., a smaller E-175 -- although this was way before DL started using those), we would have ended up being scattered.

While the funny crew make for some good YouTube videos, I don't think the safety briefing is a time for joking around; some people who fly are really stupid, and if someone looks for quarters to insert for every minute of oxygen during a decompression before putting on that mask, they're good for dead. The briefing should be made clear to the passengers, not sung or rapped. I like to think that travel is more than getting from point A to B, but I don't need that to be sung to me. Just like the cabin lights are dimmed for reasons such as so some passengers can sleep (et al.), sometimes it's good to just be quiet. Professionalism looks really, really good (on my last two flights, DTW-JFK on NW and JFK-ROC on OH, the crews were some of the best I'd ever had -- they did their job efficiently and friendly, and looked good while doing it. The bar has indeed been raised).

I love the Boeing aircraft; I'd take it any day over a Dash 8 or CRJ -- if only they flew here to ROC. While they go a lot of places, there are a lot of other places they don't go.

Finally, there's the issue of miles. Come back to me when my WN miles will get me to SYD -- or FL, or B6 (although if they join Star, well... that's what US miles are for), or any other LCC. My DL SkyMiles can get me to SYD.

I may be picky. But I love to fly. And I expect to be treated well. LCCs may be friendly and fun to fly with. That's all nice and good, but I can have fun without their help. It's called the window, and that -- and a bloody mary mix -- is good enough for me.

-J.

P.S. I have never been on a B6 flight where there hasn't been at least one crying baby and/or wild kid. While it is a part of life, I haven't been on a legacy flight where I was bothered by such an issue. Maybe it's just me, but it seems to me that people are more well-behaved on legacies. Who knows?  

[Edited 2010-02-16 00:22:55]


Tho' I've belted you an' flayed you, By the livin' Gawd that made you, You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!
User currently offlinesoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5497 times:

Don't let the cute paint jobs and the Jerry Seinfeld style jokes fool you...It's all cute marketing stuff to get you to come back as travelling with them is a bit of an experience. I happen to like them, they run a tight ship...don't think I have ever seen any carrier kick more people off planes as WN has. Mostly for alcohol which by the way, they sell on board. Flying coast to coast is dreadful as you will probably fly three to four individual aircraft to get there. That's the hard part, your day is shot and at the end , so are you...however, if you like take off and landings...then WN is for you. I use them out of ISP frequently and I wouldn't have it any other way 'cept the coast to coast flights. They do fly nonstop to LAS from ISP, that has helped. Be ready to be treated like cattle...with a smile...but you will get too your destination...probably ahead of schedule...g

User currently offlinemauiman31 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 450 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 5492 times:
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For many years a love - hate relationship with WN. Fly them because I have to sometimes. They currently dominate MCI.

Hate the "line up" and no assigned seat. Better now with new boarding process and because you can pay for "Early Bird" or "Business Select" and ease that hassle a bit.

They are reliable - good on time performance. Generally - friendly ground and cabin crews.


User currently offlineTranspac787 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 3217 posts, RR: 16
Reply 13, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 5479 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 9):
I've generally found a bunch of pleasant employees, that are rightfully proud of their company.

Yes but it can go WAYY overboard. I don't think I've *ever* seen any other company pride bumper stickers other than these "LUV Pride" ones I see around DEN all the time. It's things like that I find a bit over the top. Like they say, it's important to separate your personal life and work life and it seems a lot of WN folks have difficulty drawing that distinction.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 9):
Other carriers have old style 733 and 734 cockpits also, so dont see how SWA is any worse off.

733 was launched in 1984 and 734 shortly after in 1985. So yes, they did of course have the old style steam gauge cockpits. The 735 came along in 1989 though when the 'glass' cockpits made their major debut. 747-400, MD11, A320, etc.

I'll never quite understand why they didn't order the newer/better panel design and train to the new equipment as opposed to train to the old equipment.

Even their 737NG's don't have VNAV, autothrottles, and some other major components. As such, the best WN can do is CAT-II. So when places like SEA or DEN frequently go down to CAT-III, WN is completely screwed.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 9):
Why fix something that works great?

Because it could work better.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 9):
I have not commuted on them for a couple years, but never found them to be an issue

Their jumpseat policy compared to other carriers, like DL or NW's old policy, is terrible. As I've been told by many-a-WN flight crew, WN feels that all crews should just live at base and if they want to commute, that is not the company's problem.

NW/DL, on the other hand, is WAYY more realistic about it and realizes that not everyone wants to live at base. As such, their jumpseat policies are much better and user-friendly for those crews that choose to commute and live away from base.


User currently offlineDesertAir From Mexico, joined Jan 2006, 1481 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 5443 times:

For the last 6 years I have flown WN just about every month. I find their level of service, assistance with difficulties, frequency of flights and connectivity all a major plus. They do not charge for bags or soft drinks. I am happy with their Rapid Rewards Credit Card and frequent flyer program. They have served my needs well.

User currently offlineJMackey From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 294 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 5434 times:

If we started a poll for most financially successful airlines ever, wouldn't they still be in everyone's top three ?


I love the smell of jet fuel in the morning
User currently offlinekingFriday013 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 1304 posts, RR: 10
Reply 16, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5403 times:

Quoting DesertAir (Reply 14):
soft drinks

Which airlines still charge for soft drinks? I can't think of any that do; US Airways hasn't charged since early last year.

-J.



Tho' I've belted you an' flayed you, By the livin' Gawd that made you, You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!
User currently offlinesoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 5362 times:

Quoting kingFriday013 (Reply 16):

Glasses of salt water are now free!...


User currently offlinekingFriday013 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 1304 posts, RR: 10
Reply 18, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 5354 times:

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 17):
Glasses of salt water are now free!...

I don't think I've ever been given a real glass to drink from on an airplane (although I've never been outside of Y). Once on CO, the f/a let me make ramen using the faucet in the galley and got me some *real* silverware from F. Stainless steel -- impressive!

-J.



Tho' I've belted you an' flayed you, By the livin' Gawd that made you, You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!
User currently offlinejamesjimlb From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1023 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (4 years 10 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5274 times:

Quoting atrude777 (Reply 2):
I used to hate SWA, until I actually flew on them.

I was under the same impression, but I flew them MCO-MDW-OMA and i was very impressed... I plan on taking them to OKC next September. They are very easy to fly with, check in 24 hours prior to departure (get on 24 hours and 5 minutes before and start clicking refresh  ) Get into "A" category, go straight to security, get on my flight, which was nice, VERY friendly crew!

Overall i'd rate WN a 9 out of 10

~Jamesjimlb



The sky is no longer the limit, but the mere minimum
User currently offlineacjflyer From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 427 posts, RR: 6
Reply 20, posted (4 years 10 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5237 times:

As a current employee for WN I can agree with atrude777 in saying that I was not a fan of WN in the beginning. I worked for a legacy carrier that did not treat us, the employees, well at all. I later left the legacy to go work for jetblue as a flight attendant and I still had a chip on my shoulder in regards to WN. I commuted from PHX-JFK for work and finally one day had to take WN from AUS-PHX to get home.

The flight attendants on that flight were so amazing that I decided to try commuting on WN whenever possible to get to work. I never had jumpseat issues with them, their employees were always helpful, and their operations were very simple. I enjoyed them so much that I eventually decided to come work for them and not a day has gone by that I don't love my job.

Don't get me wrong, there are long days and irregular operations, and everything is not peaches and creams but out of all of the airlines I have worked for I have never been treated better than I am being treated here at WN.

WN is not for everyone, but all in all they are a great airline with multiple frequencies, numerous destinations, and great on time performance. They are not immune from troubles and they are not the golden child, but they do wonders with what they have.

On a side note - if any of you ever have the chance to get to know atrude777 better - go for it. I dare to say there is no one that knows more about Southwest save Herb Keller himself.

Hi Alex!  


User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2302 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (4 years 10 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 5202 times:

Personally, Southwest is not my favorite airline.

However, I will say, I do not dislike them either; I've only flown WN once, on MDW-MCI, just before thanksgiving of last year. With the boarding zone of B, 30th in line of that zone, I almost missed out on a window seat, which I did not expect (and, mind you, I checked in more than 22 hours before departure--I thought I'd be higher on the list, but I guess not).

To me, it seems odd that WN offers the same base fare as DL every time I check... I don't check bags on domestic flights, and I don't care that I have to connect--in fact I'll take a connection to fly on an MD-90, DC-9, 757 or Embraer 170 rather than a good ol' 737. Sure, with taxes, it's a bit cheaper to fly WN (if you don't have to connect) than other airlines, but I'd rather select my seat ahead of time--I understand that's a hassle to many--to be sure to get the seat I want. Of course, if I'd want the a seat in the first row of coach, I'd be pissed with DL's system. However, if I don't have short connections, I'll take any window seat toward the back (just behind the wing), which I can easily get on any airline that assigns seats.

However, I would like to thank WN for bringing me low fares--even if I don't fly them. That's great to have--and it's a reason for which flying would be much more inconvenient without Southwest.


User currently offlinestratosphere From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1653 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (4 years 10 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 5199 times:

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 13):
Their jumpseat policy compared to other carriers, like DL or NW's old policy, is terrible. As I've been told by many-a-WN flight crew, WN feels that all crews should just live at base and if they want to commute, that is not the company's problem.

NW/DL, on the other hand, is WAYY more realistic about it and realizes that not everyone wants to live at base. As such, their jumpseat policies are much better and user-friendly for those crews that choose to commute and live away from base.

Well NW was smart in one respect..They got tired of pilots calling in sick when they couldn't make their commute so they came up with that call in honest program..But I have a lot of heartburn over the commute issue...The rest of us airline employees pretty much have no choice but to work in major cities or at the hubs...When airlines close or scale back outstations we are pretty much forced to sell our houses and move..Commuting is really not an option for 40 hr a week with 2 days off employees..Although there are a few crazys that try to do it. Add to that they do not have the option of a jumpseat if the a/c is full either. If you want to work as a pilot for an airline I think you should have to live at whatever base you are assigned and if you commute you do it at your own risk and if you miss a lot of flights or abuse sick time because you have a hard time commuting then you suffer the consequences. But back to topic I know SWA is not peaches and cream and they expect you to WORK and turn times are short. But after the abuse I suffered for 17 yrs at NW going to a company like SWA would be a godsend. Even though I work for a great company now, SWA would be the ONLY airline I would leave my current job for.



NWA THE TRUE EVIL EMPIRE
User currently offlineJMackey From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 294 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (4 years 10 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 5175 times:

I can't see that it has been mentioned already, but WN was the first airline to have such a drastic effect on the other carriers that serve their airports.

Alex, correct me if I am wrong, but isn't it WN that still holds the other airlines in check on what they can set for fares ?



I love the smell of jet fuel in the morning
User currently offlineatrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5702 posts, RR: 52
Reply 24, posted (4 years 10 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 5134 times:

Quoting JMackey (Reply 23):
I can't see that it has been mentioned already, but WN was the first airline to have such a drastic effect on the other carriers that serve their airports.

Alex, correct me if I am wrong, but isn't it WN that still holds the other airlines in check on what they can set for fares ?

In a way yes. For a very long time, WN set the fare standard, and others either had to match it or something. Something even DOT recognizes as "The Southwest Effect". WN enters an airport, lowers fares, more people come to the airport to fly WN AND other airlines, they also see an increase in travel on their planes too, not just WN.

Case in point--

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 21):
However, I would like to thank WN for bringing me low fares--even if I don't fly them. That's great to have--and it's a reason for which flying would be much more inconvenient without Southwest.

He isn't flying ON Southwest, but because of WN, he is able to fly cheaply, even on other airlines, and he has WN to thank for that.

There as an old ad released by WN that said something alone the lines of "Southwest and Airlines have a LUV/Hate relationship. They hate the way we have lowered our fares, but they'd LOVE to have you think it was their idea" Another one was along the lines of "We would LUV to match the other airline's "low fares" but that would mean we would have to raise ours!"

It used to be true for a long time, but it certainly won't stop other airlines lowering the fares and going lower than WN, which may force WN to lower theirs as well.

Very common in DEN right now and between SFO-LAX too.

Quoting acjflyer (Reply 20):
On a side note - if any of you ever have the chance to get to know atrude777 better - go for it. I dare to say there is no one that knows more about Southwest save Herb Keller himself.

Hi Alex!

Hi Buddy! It was great to meet you and I am so glad you are finally part of the LUV Airline! Enjoy it! Thanks for the humble shout-out, most appreciated!  

Alex



Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
25 Post contains images PHLBOS : I've flown WN many times, especially since they came to PHL in May 2004, and the only real issue (which wasn't much) I really had w/them was with havi
26 atrude777 : Still on a Leave. Hope to return this summer, based on openings and school out here haha. As for PHL, if you meant STL-PHL as CSA, no it started afte
27 71Zulu : Been flying WN since 1982 and for your basic friendly reliable no hassle transportation, they are hard to beat. The 737NG has VNAV and auothrottles. I
28 Flytravel : I think it's also the market and the routes. For example, WN's PHL-PIT and PHL-RDU has kept US in check for those routes. But, PHL-CLT (a market with
29 Transpac787 : And, again as I said earlier, at airports like DEN, SEA, or SFO that frequently go below 700 RVR, CAT-IIIa is useless. Which only reinforced the poin
30 Post contains images Yflyer : I think Southwest is fine, and I would likely fly with them if they were the most convenient option, like if I were going someplace like SAN or BUR. B
31 jeffry747 : I have always liked WN since I started flying with them in 2001. They usually have the best prices, so I go to them first when I need to book a flight
32 CanadianDC10 : I love this airline. They are no-frills and also have a huge seat pitch which is obviously wonderful! However, I do miss their barfy burrito coloured
33 n5014k : I fly them all the time out of BWI since they have so many non-stop destinations. In my experience they are almost always on time, I have no trouble r
34 jflchantha : They are a great airline! I flew the from JAX-BWI-MHT. They have great service all around using what little they have for entertainment (FA) and food
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