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How Is Southwest?  
User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4779 times:

I've never flown them before and I'm flying them out to LA from EWR for a job interview (via DEN outbound and MDW on the way back.) Have to admit, I'm not thrilled about not having IFE for a transcon but I hear they have excellent staff. Can anybody comment of how they are on transcons?


"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17051 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4759 times:

Quoting tommy767 (Thread starter):
I'm not thrilled about not having IFE for a transcon

Just a question, did you pick the cheapest option?



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlinesteex From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 1606 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4753 times:

Quoting tommy767 (Thread starter):
I've never flown them before and I'm flying them out to LA from EWR for a job interview (via DEN outbound and MDW on the way back.) Have to admit, I'm not thrilled about not having IFE for a transcon but I hear they have excellent staff. Can anybody comment of how they are on transcons?

They're pretty much the same as anybody else would be for the routes you're taking. To be fair, you aren't flying transcons, so it's not reasonable to compare WN's offering to transcon service. WN's EWR-DEN-LAX isn't going to compare to what you'd have gotten on a JFK-LAX premium transcon service, but it's also not going to be much all that much different than what you'd get flying UA EWR-DEN-LAX, AA EWR-DFW-LAX, DL EWR-DTW-LAX, etc.


User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2269 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4748 times:

Quoting steex (Reply 2):
They're pretty much the same as anybody else would be for the routes you're taking. To be fair, you aren't flying transcons, so it's not reasonable to compare WN's offering to transcon service. WN's EWR-DEN-LAX isn't going to compare to what you'd have gotten on a JFK-LAX premium transcon service, but it's also not going to be much all that much different than what you'd get flying UA EWR-DEN-LAX, AA EWR-DFW-LAX, DL EWR-DTW-LAX, etc.

Pretty much agreed on all counts.

I generally don't fly WN, but I hear they're better than average for an American airline.


User currently offlinePITingres From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 1121 posts, RR: 13
Reply 4, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4705 times:

Good seat pitch. I actually like the non-assigned seating better than assigned seats since I'm more likely to get what I want. FA's don't seem to be as goofy in general as they used to be (and I'm not sure if that is good or bad), but in my experience they are uniformly pleasant and efficient. Bring your own entertainment, or hope for a clear day out the window.

Overall, I agree that the experience isn't really all that different from any other airline, except maybe slightly better.



Fly, you fools! Fly!
User currently offlineWROORD From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 946 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4703 times:

You usually get a new or relatively new aircraft with leather seats. FA who do a stand up comedy over pa, free soft drinks and free bags. Boarding is much better when they started assigning numbers. No seats assigned. On time arrivals most of the time.

User currently offlinePI4EVER From United States of America, joined May 2009, 640 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4701 times:
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Tommy, this is a good airline, with good people to serve you. I understand you may be concerned about flying WN on a transcon in relation to time and distance. As noted by others, it is certainly no worse than most other US airlines you could fly in some fashion and routing to LAX. Just do a bit of homework and prep to smooth your journey....take adequate reading material and/or music to pass the time. Buy "Early Bird Check-in" to get priority boarding likely in the A group to choose your seat of choice.....and think ahead where do you want to sit....aisle or window? Westbound sit on the right hand side to avoid direct sunlight....left hand side on your return home. WN will offer you complimentary beverages and snacks (cookies and crackers not sandwiches) and consider purchasing a food item in the terminal based on time of day traveling. Their beer is cold and wine good for $5 a serving so plan on a "beverage of your choice" to highlight your brought on board food item. Seats are leather and pitch is generally 32" so a comfortable ride.
WN crews make the experience. Pilots have a tendency to be "jet jockeys" who will fly you safely and as on-time as operations permit. F/A's tend to be friendly and sometimes fun and wacky, but consistently very pleasant and professional. You may not be WOW'd or starstruck with their awesome performance, but they're great people who treat their customers well. Fellow passengers even seem to be a bit laid back and comfortable enjoying the flight as well so overall I feel from my experiences you'll be fine and really enjoy their style of service. I have flown direct "long haul" flights on WN from SEA-BNA-TPA, SFO-LAS-MCO and SAN-PHX-TPA in addition to routine 1 to 3 hour nonstops and their flights and service are equally comfortable as to most legacy airlines.
I like WN for one main reason. They consistenly deliver a friendly, on-time safe operation and I feel my business is appreciated. I have a lot to compare.....I am a Platinum on DL and fly enough to make a fair appraisal of any airline service. My airlines of choice are DL, WN and FL in that order.
You'll be treated well on WN. Good Luck and Best Wishes on your interview.
Thomas



watch what you want. you may get it.
User currently offlineAlnessW From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 618 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 4700 times:

My answer to the OP's question of "How is Southwest" is this: It depends on who you ask.

Yes, WN offers open seating, goofy flight crews, and a folksy business model. Some say it's great and/or fun, others say it's annoying and/or unprofessional. It's really a matter of "To each their own."

I personally don't care for the WN product but that's no reason for others not to appreciate it. By all means, fly the airline you love! For me it's not WN.

Quoting WROORD (Reply 5):
Boarding is much better when they started assigning numbers. No seats assigned.

I've always found the process a bit silly. Come on, you'll assign me a place in LINE, but not onboard the aircraft?

Just my   
Good luck with the interview!


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22715 posts, RR: 20
Reply 8, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4686 times:

One thing I'll add is that WN staff, almost without exception, will go out of their way to help you if you need it - it doesn't matter if you're a first time WN flier or a companion pass holder. Their business model has an employee empowerment and responsibility aspect to it that probably isn't discussed as often as it should be.

Quoting AlnessW (Reply 7):
goofy flight crews

How so? WN flight crews are probably more informative on average than, say, DL's, but I don't know that the number of bad jokes is appreciably different.

Quoting AlnessW (Reply 7):
a folksy business model. Some

What in the world does that mean?



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineAlnessW From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 618 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4678 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 8):
One thing I'll add is that WN staff, almost without exception, will go out of their way to help you if you need it - it doesn't matter if you're a first time WN flier or a companion pass holder. Their business model has an employee empowerment and responsibility aspect to it that probably isn't discussed as often as it should be.

Interesting to know.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 8):
How so? WN flight crews are probably more informative on average than, say, DL's, but I don't know that the number of bad jokes is appreciably different.

Does singing, dancing, and comedy routines not qualify as "goofy" to you?

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 8):
What in the world does that mean?

Take a look at Merriam Webster's definition and let me know if you agree:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/folksy

"Informal, casual, or familiar in manner or style."


User currently offlineaklrno From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 920 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4648 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 8):
One thing I'll add is that WN staff, almost without exception, will go out of their way to help you if you need it - it doesn't matter if you're a first time WN flier or a companion pass holder. Their business model has an employee empowerment and responsibility aspect to it that probably isn't discussed as often as it should be.

My experience is that WN promises very little and delivers more than you expect, a recipe for happiness. I think they are the best US airline at resolving problems cheerfully and without trying to hit you for extra charges.

When I fly transcon on WN I take my iPad preloaded with a good book , the economist, crossword puzzles, and some TV shows ripped from a CD or DVD. That's the best IFE there is, the things I want to see or do.

EIther the night before or on the way to the airport I stop at a good supermarket or deli (Whole Foods is on my way to RNO) and pick up a sandwich, chips, fruit salad and whatever else looks good, then munch my way across the country. My food is usually better than a legacy carriers first class meal for a typical cost of $15 or 20 for the day. WN supplies the drinks and peanuts.

My brother in law has a great trick for avoiding a center seat passenger you might want to try. I presume you buy early bird boarding and get your favorite window or aisle seat. When someone you don't like the looks of eyes the center seat, start coughing. Nothing like some simulated lung disease to move them to the next row. I apparently look mean enough they just avoid me anyway.


User currently offlinePITingres From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 1121 posts, RR: 13
Reply 11, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 4621 times:

Quoting AlnessW (Reply 7):
Come on, you'll assign me a place in LINE, but not onboard the aircraft?

Exactly how I want it, I get to pick my seat, and the line assignment avoids the whole cattle call / rush to stand in line foolishness that used to happen.

Some people of course prefer a specific seat assignment and that's perfectly OK too. It's up to you.



Fly, you fools! Fly!
User currently offlinen92r03 From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 334 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 4594 times:

Southwest is just fine. Charge your electronics ahead of time and buy a sandwich at the terminal. Like others have posted, the goofiness of the cabin crew has not been as prevalent in recent years. Personally, I'm not into the comedy routines, but that is just me. Most of the FA's are nice, but like anywhere you can run into the prima-donna every now and then.

You will most likely find the same "class" of people you will find traveling on any flight these days from the business professionals to the hygienically challenged.

Re seat choice, if I can't get the bulkhead or exit row, I usually head towards the back of the plane and then hope to get an open middle seat. However most flights recently have been packed.

Good luck on your interview.


User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Reply 13, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 4592 times:

Thank you for all your responses. Some great advice here. One more question, how is their change flight policy? They have me flying back from LAX at 6:30am and I was wondering if they do something like DL with same day confirmed for $50 bucks or is it like United which is $150.

Quoting B747forever (Reply 1):

They actually paid for the flight. There were cheaper options as well, but somehow they picked WN for the journey. Round trips out of JFK on United and Delta were $380 round trip. The one really good thing is since I'm flying out of EWR, I can leave my place in Warren and park at the airport for the day. No mass transit to LGA or JFK involved.

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 6):
Just do a bit of homework and prep to smooth your journey....take adequate reading material and/or music to pass the time. Buy "Early Bird Check-in" to get priority boarding likely in the A group to choose your seat of choice.....and think ahead where do you want to sit....aisle or window?

A good friend of mine lived in Arkansas for a while (now back in NJ) and is an avid WN flier. He told me check in 24 hours before the flight so you can get priority in the group boarding. Is this true?

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 6):
Their beer is cold and wine good for $5 a serving so plan on a "beverage of your choice" to highlight your brought on board food item. Seats are leather and pitch is generally 32" so a comfortable ride.

That same friend gave me 4 comp drink vouchers for my flight. I bought him a beer and told him if we'd ever fly DL together I'll get him into the sky club for $25 (plat AMEX card.)


Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 6):
I like WN for one main reason. They consistenly deliver a friendly, on-time safe operation and I feel my business is appreciated. I have a lot to compare.....I am a Platinum on DL and fly enough to make a fair appraisal of any airline service. My airlines of choice are DL, WN and FL in that order.
You'll be treated well on WN. Good Luck and Best Wishes on your interview.

Thank you very much Thomas. I hope it goes well and thanks for your insight. It will be fun to compare this experience to my recent Delta and United ones (the two airlines I fly most currently.)

Quoting aklrno (Reply 10):
When someone you don't like the looks of eyes the center seat, start coughing. Nothing like some simulated lung disease to move them to the next row. I apparently look mean enough they just avoid me anyway.

HAHA good trick! I'll remember this! Thanks!



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlineRamblinMan From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 1138 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4585 times:

They don't take themselves too seriously or pretend you're enjoying the horror of modern domestic air travel. They get you there, as quickly as possible, so you can get on with your life.

The beer is cold and cheaper than on other airlines, and there are no RJs. 'nuff said.


User currently offlinejetblueguy22 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 2752 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4580 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

They're a pretty good airline. Comfortable seats for coach, no bag fees, free pop can. Not too shabby. Don't expect Emirates First. There is nothing that stands out that makes me love em or hate em.
Blue



You push down on that yoke, the houses get bigger, you pull back on the yoke, the houses get bigger- Ken Foltz
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22715 posts, RR: 20
Reply 16, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4580 times:

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 13):
He told me check in 24 hours before the flight so you can get priority in the group boarding. Is this true?

Yes, or just buy early bird and forget about it. If you check in online at 24 hours, you'll probably be in A for your second flight, perhaps not for your first.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 13):
One more question, how is their change flight policy?

Are you on a Wanna Get Away ticket or Anytime? On anytime, you can change for free. With Wanna Get Away, you'll pay the fare difference (which will be the difference between what you paid and an Anytime fare).

Quoting AlnessW (Reply 9):
Does singing, dancing, and comedy routines not qualify as "goofy" to you?

I've seen WN flight attendants do those things, but never flight crews.

Quoting AlnessW (Reply 9):
Take a look at Merriam Webster's definition and let me know if you agree:

If you're referring to employee dress code, I agree. I fly WN often and am not sure I can agree with respect to anything else.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineAlnessW From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 618 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4563 times:

Quoting aklrno (Reply 10):
promises very little and delivers more than you expect


I disagree. At least in my experience, they promise very little and you get very little.

Quoting PITingres (Reply 11):
I get to pick my seat


... Which I prefer to reserve in advance:

Quoting PITingres (Reply 11):
Some people of course prefer a specific seat assignment and that's perfectly OK too. It's up to you.


  

Quoting n92r03 (Reply 12):
You will most likely find the same "class" of people you will find traveling on any flight these days from the business professionals to the hygienically challenged.


Really? I've noticed that WN flights are typically filled with backpackers, students, and families traveling on tight budgets.

Quoting RamblinMan (Reply 14):
They don't take themselves too seriously


   Which is why I don't like WN.

Quoting RamblinMan (Reply 14):
or pretend you're enjoying the horror of modern domestic air travel.


What is this supposed to mean?

Quoting RamblinMan (Reply 14):
They get you there, as quickly as possible


   Some describe WN as a "Greyhound bus" for this exact reason. But some folks just want a little more.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 16):
I've seen WN flight attendants do those things, but never flight crews.


Yes, sorry, I didn't specify correctly there. I meant to say FAs.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 16):
If you're referring to employee dress code, I agree. I fly WN often and am not sure I can agree with respect to anything else.


No, I'm referring to their business model.


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22715 posts, RR: 20
Reply 18, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4551 times:

Quoting AlnessW (Reply 17):
Really? I've noticed that WN flights are typically filled with backpackers, students, and families traveling on tight budgets.

You must be flying WN to Florida or Vegas. Try a route like MDW-BWI or BNA-HOU.

Quoting AlnessW (Reply 17):
No, I'm referring to their business model.

Then you'll need to explain.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineWROORD From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 946 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4495 times:

Quoting AlnessW (Reply 7):
Quoting WROORD (Reply 5):Boarding is much better when they started assigning numbers. No seats assigned.
I've always found the process a bit silly. Come on, you'll assign me a place in LINE, but not onboard the aircraft?

This is why my wife refuses to fly with them.


User currently offlineAlnessW From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 618 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 4479 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 18):
You must be flying WN to Florida or Vegas. Try a route like MDW-BWI or BNA-HOU.

Perhaps, one flight in particular that I remember was OAK-PDX...

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 18):
Then you'll need to explain.

Isn't it obvious? What about WN isn't folksy? I've already stated my opinion on WN's business model:

Quoting AlnessW (Reply 7):
WN offers open seating, goofy flight crews, and a folksy business model.

I fail to see how singing and dancing FAs along with unreserved seating could not be seen as folksy. They don't even take themselves seriously.


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22715 posts, RR: 20
Reply 21, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 4444 times:

Quoting AlnessW (Reply 20):
They don't even take themselves seriously.

It seems to me that you are trying to imply something more about safety or operational integrity.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Reply 22, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 4419 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 16):

Flight confirmation says "wanna get away" fares so yeah to adjust I'd imagine I'd have to cough up some bucks.



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlinePacNWJet From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 957 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 4405 times:

I flew Southwest for the first time in March after years of avoiding it (I am 49 years old which shows you how long it took me to get around to flying Southwest). My main fear was that the airline would be, as some people have described it, an inter-city bus with wings (my uncle has long described Southwest as "Cheap Charlie Airlines").

I must say, I was very pleasantly surprised. My flights were PDX-SMF-ONT and ONT-SJC-PDX on return. The trip was for business so my ticket was paid for, but I ponied up the extra money for Early-Bird Check-In which in my opinion is a bargain even if you pay for the entire ticket yourself. Online check-in was a breeze. On the outbound sector the gate area in PDX was full but serene. People queued up when called in an orderly fashion and the flight boarded with no incident. Given my Early-Bird status I got my window seat of choice. Other passengers were well-behaved. The flight to SMF seemed routine; drinks and peanuts and no drama. In Sacramento I walked a short distance to my connecting flight gate and again boarding was efficient. The flight to Ontario also was perfectly fine; again I got my preferred window seat. Legroom, by the way, is just as generous as any other domestic coach flight in the U.S., probably even better. Arrival in Ontario was on-time.

On the return flight everything was pretty much the same. The connection in San Jose was hassle-free and the flight itself from SJC to PDX was not full so there were plenty of empty middle seats (including the one in my row).

Honestly, I don't understand some people's hostility towards Southwest, including my own prior to my flights in March. Obviously Southwest does not offer first or business class service and coach service is bare-bones (no food aside from peanuts and pretzels and no in-flight entertainment aside from the airline magazine). But on short flights such as the ones I took the experience is straightforward and efficient. Maybe I just got lucky, but based on my own first time on Southwest I would definitely fly the airline again.


User currently offlinenws2002 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 883 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 4369 times:

Quoting aklrno (Reply 10):
My brother in law has a great trick for avoiding a center seat passenger you might want to try. I presume you buy early bird boarding and get your favorite window or aisle seat. When someone you don't like the looks of eyes the center seat, start coughing. Nothing like some simulated lung disease to move them to the next row. I apparently look mean enough they just avoid me anyway.

I usually pickup a newspaper and place it folded in the middle seat. If the FAs make an announce that it is a full flight I will move it, or if someone asks if the seat is open I will move it.

One time I had an open middle seat in the exit row because I was by the window and put my newspaper in the middle seat. When the aisle passenger arrived, he put his briefcase in the middle seat.


25 elbandgeek : I have never had a bad experience on Southwest. For what they lack in frills like IFE and meals, they make up for in consistent, friendly (if a bit go
26 CairnterriAIR : I've taken many Southwest flights and have never had a problem. Nice crews, clean planes, no charge for baggage, and an excellent schedule. Like what
27 aklrno : I've always wondered why the people who don't like WN get hung up on the board-by-number process. I can understand that the original process which ha
28 Post contains images AlnessW : No, not at all. Hit the nail on the head! I've already explained why. I don't like their culture and I don't like how they run their airline. Good id
29 BD338 : You just pay the difference between the fare you paid and the best available fare on the day (typically Anytime fare) there is no change fee. That's
30 debonair : Hi to you all, nice to see this discussion... I have one problem, I will have to fly to Denver- on my selected route WN and F9 are offering both the s
31 Cubsrule : I'm probably one of the big WN supporters on here, but I don't see how you can argue that WN's product is better than F9's, especially if comparing f
32 AlnessW : Is it true that F9 seats don't recline? I bet you'd get better service on F9, however...
33 777fan : Depends on the length of the flight but if you're looking for IFE and the chance to snag some additional legroom (albeit for a price), the F9 is the
34 Post contains images AlnessW : Well then let me try to explain my point here: This goes under the "to each their own" category. I'll agree with you there. My least favorite type of
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