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Topic: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: MSS658
Posted 2011-12-18 14:24:41 and read 15293 times.

Losing my Southwest Virginity





Past reports in this trip report series:
1. Au-revoir Continental! (by MSS658 Dec 5 2011 in Trip Reports)

Background:
May 2011, bad need to get plans and bookings started for the upcoming summer season. As it is not the most well kept secret to most of you anymore. Continental has been and still will be my favourite airline for many reasons. As the merger with United is already in progress, and rumours where going around that Continental’s Newark-Brussels flight would be going over to United metal. This summer would be one of the last chances to fly Continental, so I started looking to all kind of fares and combinations. After a while I found myself booked on Continental’s daily direct flight from Brussels to Newark and connecting trough to Greenville/Spartanburg International Airport. The aircraft combination would be a Boeing 777-200 for the long sector and the Embrear 145 from Expressjet on the short haul service to Greenville (See Part I)

After the long haul sector was booked it was time to look at some domestic sectors! Southwest airlines, a famous US-low cost carrier started flying into my regional airport of Greenville/Spartanburg international airport in March 2011 with quite a bit of advertising in the area. This is quite good news for the area since Greenville/Spartanburg is one of the most expensive airports in the US resulting in people rather driving +2hours to Atlanta or Charlotte. Well, since we are here. Time to book, I booked a flight from Greenville/Spartanburg to Fort Lauderdale stopping in Orlando Muncipal International Airport on their 737-700’s.


Pre-departure:
When booking this trip I noticed immediately the loose and informal way of communication, which as European I found quite nice to read. About a month before this flight I got an email from Southwest who where glad to help me remind that I had a flight to Fort Lauderdale to come up. Off course I would have known it without that email, but still fun to receive. It made me even more exiting for my upcoming maiden voyage with Southwest Airlines! I was originally due to fly on August 9th. But due to deciding on making a last-minute sidetrip I wanted to change my ticket to August 4th, quite difficult since I had bought a Wanna get away fare (cheapest available) (Southwest Airlines offers 3 different fare classes Business select, Anytime and Wanna get away). No problem on Southwest, just a 10 dollar price difference and I was set to go. I added the 10 dollar early-bird check in for this trip as well. Another fact that made me excited about the trip was the fact that Southwest Airlines operates a 650 strong 737-fleet without having any major complaints….Fast forward to end July. After a week in the Hot southeast of the USA (temperatures up to 40 degrees celcius) enjoying some late-evening cookouts


And watching some Carolina football teams


August 3rd approached quickly and I was expecting anytime the email to invite me to check in.. despite already been 22 hours before departure. Would it be the first negative aspect of the airline. I went online to notice I have already been checked in. Hah! Early bird check in means automatic check in. Since there is an open-seating policy on Southwest Airlines I got a boarding pass securing my boarding position just behind the Business select passengers, so A20 it was. The next morning it was an early 7.00 start-up for me. But before heading up to Greenville/Spartanburg, why don’t we get some gas first on the way


Now we can hit the road


Traffic was not to bad on this August morning, giving me an arrival of 7.45 in Greenville. After saying goodbye it was in the terminal towards a new adventure.

Leaving Greenville/Spartanburg international airport
When I arrived at the airport there where not to much people there. Greenville/Spartanburg is a typical regional airport with almost each major US carriers’ regional partner flying from and to their respective hub. Seen on the pic here one can find American Eagle, Continental Express and US Airways Express check in.


A bit further was the Southwest Airlines check in where I was to arrive quite early. It’s maybe the conservative part in me, but I was not trusting the automatic check in and the open seating procedure! Thankfully, I was proved wrong when Southwest Airlines still granted me boarding position ‘A20’. More on what A20 means later. My bag would be all the way checked in to Fort Lauderdale and I was informed about the stopover in Orlando and that I could stay on the aircraft. Hey, Where did the extra fee goe? Well, Southwest Airlines does not bribe you to check in a bag! Nice what low-cost carriers can offer you, what some full service ‘US’ carriers can’t. The ground agent wished me a pleasant flight and I was on my way. By now it was 8.00, still 2 hours and a half before my departure.
The first thing I went to is get some breakfast in the airport restaurant, While waiting on my order I found I still had something on my bag! Hey! Maybe this was a better fit in my previous report


In the restaurant I could order anything more original than a Belgian waffle. Well it was a bit bigger and the taste was not so good. But still enjoyable


In the background you can find an American Airlines ERJ. This plane would go in a few hours as AA 2738 to Dallas Ft-Worth.
Another part of Southwest’s marketing strategy here in Greenville/Spartanburg is that they are the only ones to fly ‘bigger’ jets here (well.. bigger than the usual ERJ/CRJ mix found here). Tough this statement is not completely true. Delta occasionally flies DC9’s, 737s and 319s from Atlanta, Don’t forget about the leisure carrier Allegiant air who operates MD80’s to various destinations in Florida. A quick check to the FIDS shows me that my upcoming flight will be on time. Notice how Southwest is displayed as SW and not as WN


Southwest Airlines 909 actually operates a flight from Boston to Ft Lauderdale stopping on it’s way in Baltimore, Greenville/Spartanburg and Orlando Muncipal. Quite interesting routing, I guess that’s the best way to keep those 737’s full. At this time my aircraft would be departing Baltimore on it’s way here. Greenville/Spartanburg airport is split in 2 concourses named A and B. Most airlines except for American Airlines and Delta Air Lines use concourse A, so for me it was up to A. By 8.40 I was cleared and in the A-concourse awaiting for my flight. Gate A3 would be used for my flight today, here you can find the old-style GIDS


Another cool feature here in the airport is the flight map where you can find out the position of all incoming and outgoing flights. My flight would be flying overhead Virginia now


According to the FIDS my plane would be a bit early on the ground with an arrival time of 9.30 (iso 9.50).
Now let’s do some spotting. The first sight would be a Delta/Atlantic Southeast Airlines CRJ 200 registred N8532G which had just landed from Detroit as DL5403.


Another sight at the far end was N401NV, an Allegiant Air MD-88 pushing back on it’s way to Punta Gorda, FL as G4 614


Another site was N824AS, another Atlantic Southeast Airlines CRJ-200 operating for United Express. Just arrived as UA 5765 from Washington Dulles. I did not knew ASA flew for United as well.


The remainder of the flight I used the free wifi to catch up on some work! By 9.30 the ground activity came to a roll


Soon I noticed a blue plane taxi in, this plane would be N424WN arriving as flight WN909 from Boston and Baltimore



Quite a bit of people disembarked here in Greenville, I would suspect the majority of the passengers. With not that much left to do I decided to already get settled in my boarding position, here you can find where and how I could queue I stood myself at the 3rd visible pole since I had position 20 in the A group


Soon 9.50 Approached and the boarding began for Business select fare passengers (A1-A15 today). Soon at 9.55 I was ready to board my maiden Southwest flight.

Southwest Airlines flight WN 0909 from Greenville/Spartanburg to Orlando MCO
Thursday, August 4 2011
Greenville/Spartanburg (GSP/KGSP)- Orlando Muncipal (MCO/KMCO)
Southwest Airlines 0909
Boeing 737-7H4 N424WN Economy 12F.
Built and delivered to Southwest Airlines on 22 March 2002
10.20-10.17 (Gate A03; wheels up on runway 22 at 10.25)
11.35-11.38 (Gate 124; wheels down on runway 18R at 11.30)
Est flying time: 1 hour 8 minutes
Cruising Altitude: FL 410
Load factor: 100% in Y
Routing: SOUTH-IRQ-J85-AMG-BUGUT1-KMCO

Personal statistics
146th flight registered
7th flight in 2011
1st flight on Southwest Airlines
13th flight on the Boeing 737
3rd flight on the Boeing 737NG series
1st flight on the Boeing 737-700
1st flight on N424WN

When I boarded I was greeted by an older flight attendant in her late 40s. The cabin was rather empty, my suspicion that most passengers on the earlier segments of this flight did disembark here in Greenville/Spartanburg go. On this flight I went for the exit row, not the most spotter friendly seat. But still nice not having to be elite or paying extra to get this seat. Once settled down in my seat my 2 neighbours arrived. Two middle-aged American businessman, we started a conversation and adding about all the good aspects about Southwest Airlines. When peeking trough the window I could notice N16951, a Continental Express ERJ who just had landed as CO 2332 from Newark


Soon everybody boarded, during the boarding process there where still a few people not familiar with the open-seating policy here on Southwest Airlines. Soon the door was closed, the safety demo commenced and we where ready to rock and roll as announced by the flight attendants. We pushed back at 10.17 just a few minutes prior to schedule



On our way out I noticed N914EV sitting at the Delta terminal, I spotted her as well when I came in from Newark a week prior. Today she had just landed as DL5403 from Atlanta.


Soon I noticed an American-Eagle jet on a weird spot far away from the terminal. It was N603AE who had suffered 4 blown tires the day prior when landing from Dallas-Ft Worth.
http://avherald.com/h?article=440c3872&opt=0


The Flight Attendants prepared the cabin for takeoff, and at 10.25 we spooled up towards the already 34 degrees South Carolina skies
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JV0lpzFfCkU
We made a turn towards the South while climbing rapidly
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6igjnBIKVZk



This time I’m not forgetting it, as you can see a ton of legroom here.


Note the hat up front is not mine.


In flight entertainment was non-existant on this flight, however there is an internet connection available which I did not use due to the short flight duration. However, on longer flights I would be glad to pay for the service. Thank goodness we as plane spotters and trip reporters have other things which can be called ‘in flight entertainment’.
For example, the engine


Or the winglet…


Soon the flight attendant came by to take our orders. Wow, I’m still flying Economy on low cost carrier while flying short haul. Right? Our crew today where friendly, tough not the large sense of humour and joking as you usually here about Southwest. Not that it was a big deal, I guess not everybody can be wide awake and joking when they have to start before 6.00 (This crew started duty in Boston where the flight originated).
Soon my order arrived with peanuts


Southwest Airlines, your official carrier of LUV.. (as would be announced later on)


I noticed the menu card in the seatback pocket. I found a huge beverage choice but no choices to eat. Not that it minded on this flight, but would be a factor on longer flights that these jets fly. Before realizing, We where halfway the maiden Southwest voyage
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAkVrqaohtQ


The remainder of the cruise I was out in the cabin talking with the flight attendants and giving them some chocolates as a thank you for this enjoyable ride. After a long talk I went to the lavatory before returning to my seat. By now it was 11.15

When returning to my seat I felt the decent had already begun. One of the flight attendants made the announcement that decent had started mistakingly in West Palm Beach instead of Orlando. The F/A and I had quite a laughter about it, since this was my final destination and we where talking quite a bit about it. After that she quickly confirmed we where indeed bound for Orlando. In the meanwile the speed brakes where already helping us descending N424WN quickly
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAkVrqaohtQ

Quite a bit of the approach was against sunlight, so not such a good opportunity for picturetaking. However the rest of the approach went quite quickly. Finally at 11.25 the bright sunlight disappeared and we where already on final approach into Orlando


Just before landing we passed another interesting swamp/lake



At 11.30 we touched down in Sunny Florida
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IN9IrH1HTe8
At the end the flight attendant was telling people heading on to Fort Lauderdale to stay on board and wishing the leaving people a great onward journey. She also advised which rides you can’t miss when visiting Disneyworld here in Florida which I found a nice touch.
Hey big brother? Where are you heading off to today?


Clearly who dominates this part of the terminal


At 11.38 we came to a full stop at gate 125, besides us was sistership N952WN. She was being prepared for flight 429 back to Greenville/Spartanburg. As we, Southwest Airlines 429 has quite an interesting route as well. It runs from Ft Lauderdale to Houston via Orlando, Greenville/Spartanburg and Nashville, TN. Interesting way to fill up these 737’s.


I whished my 2 neighbours, who where leaving the aircraft here goodbye. While waiting on everybody to disembark, I found another nice opportunity to make a great shot!

Transferring in Orlando Muncipal Airport
Most Passengers disembarked in Orlando, only 20 passengers (including me) where confirmed on the next leg of our flight down to Fort Lauderdale. All Passengers where asked to remain their seats until the final count was made. In the meanwhile ground staff where busy cleaning the aircraft. Well we did not have to much time because we are expecting to be on our way again in 30 minutes to Ft Lauderdale. After the final count it was time to make some pictures of the cabin, knowing the fact I would probably not leave my seat on the next leg.



A new crew took over, all quite senior and one ununiformed F/A boarded the plane. I quickly gave them a gift and talked a little bit. They where operating the remaining sectors of our aircraft today (Orlando-Ft Lauderdale-Buffalo-Austin). After that it was time to change my seat. The lead flight attendant declared me crazy for giving up my exit row! But for the better views, I’m happy to give away my seat. This time I sat myself in seat 4F. Soon the next group started to board, announced as ‘Passenger boarding begins by a man in a nice suit’. In the meanwhile N952WN had already left back towards Greenville and we could see another 737 parked next to us

I must say I was quite impressed by the quick and seamless turnaround procedure. I had a feeling it would have been more hectic. Soon my neighbours got settled in, the aisle was taken by an older woman while the middle seat was taken my a middle-aged latin-american man. After saying our hellos boarding was soon complete and we where ready to go as.


Southwest Airlines flight WN0909 from Orlando MCO to Ft Lauderdale
Thursday, August 4 2011
Orlando Muncipal (MCO/KMCO) – Ft Lauderdale (FLL/KFLL)
Southwest Airlines 0909
Boeing 737-7H4 N424WN Economy 4F.
Built and delivered to Southwest Airlines on 22 March 2002
12.15-12.13 (Gate 124; wheels up on runway 18L at 12.22)
13.10-13.04 (Gate B01; wheels down on runway 9L at 13.01)
Est flying time: 40 minutes
Cruising Altitude: FL 230
Load factor: 100% in Y
Routing: VALLA-MLB-FISEL2


Map is not 100% accurate as we did fly over the coast for a while!
Personal statistics
147th flight registered
8th flight in 2011
2nd flight on Southwest Airlines
14th flight on the Boeing 737
4rd flight on the Boeing 737NG series
2nd flight on the Boeing 737-700
2nd flight on N424WN


Pushback was, just as on my flight from Greenville/Spartanburg a few minutes before schedule. The manual safety demo was showed, off course only half paying attention due to some spotting. The flight attendant caught me after saying ‘We need everybody’s attention, you to Marc..’ After some laughter the normal way of business kept on.
Pushing back towards new adventures

Taxing away from the terminal it was not very subtle who owns that part of the airport


Finally after 50 minutes on the ground I could spot the first non Southwest aircraft. N981DL an MD-88 from Delta was giving us clearance to pass by


Soon we passed by the Delta terminal with a wingletted 757 at rest


Before making it on to the runway I could see this US Airways plane


Soon we turned back onto runway 18 and back we where into the Florida skies at 12.22.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENXi8QnA1GM

After takeoff we turned away towards the coast line.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmhwawu-RV0



Once we climbed above 10.000ft the flight attendants got away from there jumpseat. Being familiar with any US airline I was not expecting any term of service, however… This flight was a bit different. The crew immediately started to take drink orders from everybody, in the meantime we had reached our cruising altitude and where already above the ocean.

About 20 minutes into the flight I received my beverage choice and snack by hand
Pretzels:Fly more for less, a statement I don’t disagree with


And some orange juice


Seeming to get a bit more on the south side
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5ykcUenfNM

Another amazing point of this flight that is worth mentioning is by-hand service was done and completed for a fully loaded Boeing 737. Now that is what I call amazing inflight service, sure it was just some pretzels and juice. But are there other carriers that offer by-hand service to a fully loaded 737 on just a 45 minute hop. I don’t think so…

While completing the service our decent had already began into the Fort Lauderdale area! To rush us in a discrete way the F/A made the announcement over the P/A: If you are enjoying your drink, stop enjoying and start drinking
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOrSpUrE_kI
Turning back towards land


West Palm Beach area, where I will end today’s travels


Nearing land again

Oops! Almost forgot again, the obligatory legroom shot. As you can see, legroom was no complaint in a normal row of this 737 again


Back over land


To approach 9L we fly a bit over land before making a U-turn to line up.


Soon at 13.00 we where established on final


Miami in the distance


At 13.01, 39 minutes after taking off. This intrastate flight came to an end. This is my second intra-state flight. I flew back in 2008 from Miami to Jacksonville on American Eagle’s ATR 72
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iawntw-oxe4
Soon we made our turn to terminal 1, the B-wing is mostly dominated by Southwest Airlines. Can you spot the strange duck in here? Viking airlines from Louisville in the far background


Another surprise when taxing in at terminal 1 was a Continental Boeing 767-200 who would be operating as CO 1808 to Newark, It would have been a nice picture If it wouldn’t caught my attention to late. At 13.04 we came to a full stop at gate B1 next to N250WN.


Soon the doors where opened and everybody was on it’s way out. Before exiting I was allowed to make one more traditional pic


I thanked the crew and I was on my way back to the concourse

Arrival in Ft Lauderdale intl Airport
First stop was the gate area where I could take a final glimpse of N424WN, the 737 who had just brought me down from Greenville and Orlando. Now turning around for flight WN 2787 with service to Buffalo. Here she is


Not to much problems expected here in Ft Lauderdale this afternoon. Terminal 1 concourse B is mostly occupied by Southwest airlines. Except the Viking airlines and Frontier. Other airlines such as Continental Airlines and Airtran Airways use concourse C in terminal 1.


Now it was up to baggage claim where carroussel 1 was assigned for out flight. Only the Greenville/Spartenburg-Orlando-Ft Lauderdale sectors. I guess there are many more ways to get faster from Boston or Balitmore here than flying directly on Southwest Airlines 909.



I was outside the terminal by 13.30. Next stop a bus to the train station. Once arrived I’m in for an hour ride towards West Palm Beach. I arrived there at 15.15, and was at my mothers house by 15.30. Exactly 8,5 hours after leaving home in Anderson, South Carolina

Overall verdict

I have heard many good things about Southwest Airlines and was always willing to try them out. Just their route map kept me from booking the airline, with Southwest’s arrival into Greenville/Spartanburg International airport I had an excellent chance to try them out and I did not regret it at all. From not having to pay the usual bribe for bags to the early bird check in. Allowing you to be one of the first on board and choose what you find the best seat. Comfortable seating, nice flight attendants with a little informal touch. The highlight of this trip was the service provided on the Orlando to Ft Lauderdale hop by serving a full Boeing 737 by hand. A master piece in costumer service if you ask me. Will I choose Southwest Airlines for future travel? No doubt.. However, due to the lack of BOB I might think twice on longer flights when booking. Maybe a BOB would be useful on longer legs.


Overall Remarks.

Southwest Airlines 0909 from Greenville/Spartanburg to Orlando MCO (Total score is 83%):

Departure: 80% (Smooth, was surprised about the seamless boarding procedure with open seating)
Aircraft cleanliness : 70% (kept clean)
Seat Comfort: 100% (Comfortable, plus an advantage for being in an exit row)
Crew: 90% (Friendly, giving advice. No jokes (not that that is a big matter))
Catering: 80% (Orange juice served by hand)
Arrival: 80% (On-time and smooth)

Southwest Airlines 0909 from Orlando MCO to Ft. Lauderdale (Total score is 87%):

Departure: 90% (Smooth transfer process while being kept on the plane)
Aircraft cleanliness : 80% (Aircraft was clean en kept clean even during these stops)
Seat Comfort: 80% (decent legroom for a low-cost carrier)
Crew: 90% (Charming, joking, using your name,..)
Catering: 100% (service by hand to a full 737 on a 40 minute flight)
Arrival: 80% (Smooth and well signed)


As a bonus I would like to give a list of regs I spotted in Greenville/Spartanburg, Orlando MCO and Ft Lauderdale

Greenville/Spartanburg
N8532Q
N401NV
N262JQ
N824AS
N424WN
N914EV
N16951
C-FCJR
N603AE

Orlando MCO
N424WN
N609WN
N952WN
N409WN
N981DL


Ft Lauderdale
N23118
N914FR
N250WN
N424WN

Total facts in this trip report
1 New Airline (Southwest Airlines)
1 New airport (Orlando MCO)
1 New type (B737-700)
1 New registration (N424WN)

Facts in the trip report series:
1 New Airline (Southwest Airlines)
1 New airport (Orlando MCO)
1 New type (B737-700)
3 New registrations (N78017, N11181 and N424WN)


Thanks for reading and viewing this trip report, I hope you enjoyed reading it. As usual, comments and feedback are always welcome

Stay tuned for my next trip report:
A trip on a classic silverjet and some trains!

Past trip reports
Au-revoir Continental! (by MSS658 Dec 5 2011 in Trip Reports)
SATA, The Azores And The A310 Part II (by MSS658 Nov 13 2011 in Trip Reports)
SATA, The Azores And The A310! Part I (by MSS658 Oct 16 2011 in Trip Reports)
Sun, Snow, Rain And ... Lufthansa! (by MSS658 Sep 4 2011 in Trip Reports)
Propping Around The Upstate! (by MSS658 Aug 7 2011 in Trip Reports)
US Airways And Irregular Operations! (by MSS658 Jul 17 2011 in Trip Reports)
Lufthansa, There Is No Better Way To Fly! (by MSS658 Jul 5 2011 in Trip Reports)
A Short Hop On A Big Bird! (by MSS658 Feb 27 2011 in Trip Reports)
A West Side Flight On The East Side! (by MSS658 Jan 9 2011 in Trip Reports)
Wifi And Condensation On US Airways! (by MSS658 Dec 10 2010 in Trip Reports)
Air Canada, North America's Hidden Jewel? (by MSS658 Nov 6 2010 in Trip Reports)
A Ride With A Rare Blue Bird! (by MSS658 Oct 31 2010 in Trip Reports)
US Airways A333's.Are They Really That Bad? Part 2 (by MSS658 Oct 23 2010 in Trip Reports)
US Airways A330-300's. Are They Really That Bad? (by MSS658 Oct 16 2010 in Trip Reports)

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: deltamartin
Posted 2011-12-18 14:56:43 and read 15179 times.

Hi Marc!

Great tripreport!
For sure a great read about this low cost carrier on the other side of the pond.
WN really impressed me through your report, would love to try them some day.

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):

Another cool feature here in the airport is the flight map where you can find out the position of all incoming and outgoing flights. My flight would be flying overhead Virginia now

Wow, a great feature.

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
Don%u2019t forget about the leisure carrier Allegiant air who operates MD80%u2019s to various destinations in Florida.

Ah yes, those have bought alot of SK's MD80's.

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
It was N603AE who had suffered 4 blown tires the day prior when landing from Dallas-Ft Worth.

Ouch!

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
Note the hat up front is not mine.

So you're not a hat-person like another certain member of these forums?  

Martin

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: reifel
Posted 2011-12-18 15:12:14 and read 15118 times.

Hi there,

I had my first Southwest Experience in September, flying from Raleigh to Newark with a plane change in Baltimore. The first plane would be flying Raleigh-Baltimore-Buffalo and the second Baltimore-Newark-somewhere else. Surprisingly I had the same crew on both flights, so the crew connected the same way as I did   I'm not sure if they do that to fill the planes, maybe they're just in lack of flight numbers... It's a common problem in the US, there was a thread about this here not so long ago. Most people wouldn't stay for more than 2 segments on the plane anyway.

Apart from that from an european sight of view this airline has nothing low cost. New planes, full service, free bags, no rebooking fee (you just need to pay the difference), staffed service desks airside... The only thing they do have low cost is the no assigned seat policy, but I don't understand what our american friends find low cost with this airline  
Actually I found them providing more service than what the classic airlines do, all charging for bags, rebookings etc. Except from that, service on board is exactly the same...

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: aflyingkiwi
Posted 2011-12-18 15:13:34 and read 15117 times.

Hi MSS658

Great report.

I'm very impressed by the service WN offered to you. It is quite ironic that nowadays, the LCC's (WN, B6, VX) in the USA probably offer better service than the traditional legacy carriers.

Thanks for sharing

Regards,
aflyingkiwi

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: Tigerguy
Posted 2011-12-18 15:30:46 and read 15074 times.

Hello again; good to see that you had a pleasant first experience with Southwest. They aren't usually my first choice in airlines, but I have nothing terrible to say about them for the few flights I've had with them. I certainly give them credit for those things they do well.

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
The highlight of this trip was the service provided on the Orlando to Ft Lauderdale hop by serving a full Boeing 737 by hand. A master piece in costumer service if you ask me.

I'd agree here; sounds like a few of my AA jogs between OKC and DFW on a full MD-80.

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: LGWflyer
Posted 2011-12-18 16:04:31 and read 14987 times.

Hey MSS658! I must say another fantastic trip report here, I really enjoyed it! Southwest seems a really good airline, alot better than I would have thought. Those WN aircraft get around quite alot, the pilots get alot of take-off and landings to practise haha. Anyway I loved all the pics and information, I look forward to the next TR.     

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: LH4116
Posted 2011-12-18 18:44:49 and read 14721 times.

Hey Marc, nice report.

Seems like you had some great flights on Southwest, service is excellent for being a LCC, as long as there are free drinks I'd be happy too. Suppose that's the nice things with US carriers, consistent service on the domestic routes.

Thanks for sharing!
//Jonas

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: stipica
Posted 2011-12-19 11:29:17 and read 13989 times.

Hi Marc ! ...
Congratulations ... and for me this is first Southwest too ...ehheheh as a reader   ...stipica

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: sultanils
Posted 2011-12-19 12:38:51 and read 13894 times.

Hello MSS658,

Thanks for nice report. A nice trip all in all on the US' largest LCC. From your story I feel there's not much overlap with the way the biggest European LCC Ryanair works. Correct me if I'm wrong. One big point of overlap however is the ugly livery, but that's my personal opinion.

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
Another fact that made me excited about the trip was the fact that Southwest Airlines operates a 650 strong 737-fleet without having any major complaints…

650? That's very impressive but what do you mean with 'without any major complaints'?

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
A quick check to the FIDS shows me that my upcoming flight will be on time.

Such a small airport with so many flights!

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
here you can find where and how I could queue I stood myself at the 3rd visible pole since I had position 20 in the A group

Is this how it's done in this airport or everywhere in the US?

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
Note the hat up front is not mine.

Maybe it is Petteri's?

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
I found another nice opportunity to make a great shot!

A nice shot indeed!

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
I arrived there at 15.15, and was at my mothers house by 15.30.

So your mother lives in the US? That explains it all  

Sultanils

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: xaapb
Posted 2011-12-19 17:40:56 and read 13620 times.

Hey Marc! Great trip report, I flew with SWA last december from HRL to RNO via HOU and LAX and was a great experience really enjoy flying with SWA!!

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
In the restaurant I could order anything more original than a Belgian waffle. Well it was a bit bigger and the taste was not so good. But still enjoyable

That Belgian waffle looks terrific!! I want to have one!!

Greetings
Jorge

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: LH4532
Posted 2011-12-20 06:19:56 and read 13316 times.

Hello Marc ,

Good to see this nice domestic Trip Report . I enjoyed reading it . In my opinion Southwest Airlines is one of the best LCC´s . It isn´t like Ryanair or Easyjet or so . Good job on this one , Marc !!!  


Daniel ( LH4532 )

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-12-20 10:46:34 and read 13155 times.

Hi Marc,

nice report about WN! It's such a great airline, many legacy carriers could learn from it. I still remember my first WN experience in 1997 (ONT-LAS-ONT). I had a nice chat with an older FA on a mostly empty plane - and in the end she gave me a large plastic bag full of peanuts and other stuff.

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
Another fact that made me excited about the trip was the fact that Southwest Airlines operates a 650 strong 737-fleet without having any major complaints….

562 planes are currently in service - but that's a lot, too!

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
Note the hat up front is not mine.

Are you sure FlyingFinn wasn't on that plane?  


PH

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: FlyingFinn76
Posted 2011-12-20 11:35:34 and read 13106 times.

Hi MS,

Very nice report, good to read an European's view on Southwest. It is quite an interesting carrier, and indeed it does things quite differently than many of the traditional ones, with more LUV  

I flew WN just once, SFO-SAN with a 737-700. That was a fun if a short flight, I think that plane continued to STL or MDW, somewhere in the mid west anyway. That plane had beige seats unlike yours that had blue ones, do they have two different designs?

I love those multistop flights, would love to go and do some nice milk runs across the vast American continent.

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
Note the hat up front is not mine.

Oh, for a moment I thought I had a follower!

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: akhmad
Posted 2011-12-20 12:41:31 and read 13036 times.

Hi Marc,

You make me eager to fly Southwest with your report. Thanks for capturing all little but sweet details about the airline, especially the cabin crew service. I love it!

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
I went online to notice I have already been checked in. Hah! Early bird check in means automatic check in.

Nice gesture!

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
In the restaurant I could order anything more original than a Belgian waffle.

You were home sick. Admit it! 


Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
On this flight I went for the exit row, not the most spotter friendly seat.

But a wise decision.

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
I quickly gave them a gift and talked a little bit.

How sweet of you. First Burj, then P. and now you, no doubt more fellows will follow the example.

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
The flight attendant caught me after saying ‘We need everybody’s attention, you to Marc..’

So sweet!

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
But are there other carriers that offer by-hand service to a fully loaded 737 on just a 45 minute hop. I don’t think so…

If you are talking about US based airlines, I have to agree with you based on what I learnt from other fellows’ experiences.


Thanks for sharing.

Best wishes,
Suryo

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: FLIEGER67
Posted 2011-12-20 13:10:39 and read 13003 times.

Hi, Marc,
really good to follow you´re Southwest story, well done and also nice pictures.
Good level flying, so it seems.
Pretty interesting for me with the same final destination on schedule, but not on Sothwest, next month.
Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: CaptainRed
Posted 2011-12-20 13:31:45 and read 12989 times.

Hi Marc,

interesting trip report. Good to read something about Southwest, an airline I was quite curious about. Have seen them a lot during my trips to the US some years ago (that was in a time when they still had the golden livery), but never had a chance to fly with them. Quite impressed by their service, pretty good for a LCC.

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
With not that much left to do I decided to already get settled in my boarding position, here you can find where and how I could queue I stood myself at the 3rd visible pole since I had position 20 in the A group

Interesting system with the poles, did the boarding process was more orderly with them, and did they actually enforce the rules there? I guess that in most (especially southern) European airports people wouldn't care much about such a system.

Greetings
CaptainRed

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: MSS658
Posted 2011-12-20 15:13:19 and read 12937 times.

HI

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 1):
Hi Marc!

Great tripreport!
For sure a great read about this low cost carrier on the other side of the pond.
WN really impressed me through your report, would love to try them some day.

Hey Martin, Thanks  
Quoting deltamartin (Reply 1):
Wow, a great feature.

The best entertainment there is  
Quoting deltamartin (Reply 1):
So you're not a hat-person like another certain member of these forums?

Martin

If I would do that, I would steal copyright

Quoting reifel (Reply 2):
Hi there,

I had my first Southwest Experience in September, flying from Raleigh to Newark with a plane change in Baltimore. The first plane would be flying Raleigh-Baltimore-Buffalo and the second Baltimore-Newark-somewhere else. Surprisingly I had the same crew on both flights, so the crew connected the same way as I did I'm not sure if they do that to fill the planes, maybe they're just in lack of flight numbers... It's a common problem in the US, there was a thread about this here not so long ago. Most people wouldn't stay for more than 2 segments on the plane anyway.

Hi refeil, thanks for commenting!
I think it depends from flight to flight.

Quoting reifel (Reply 2):
Apart from that from an european sight of view this airline has nothing low cost. New planes, full service, free bags, no rebooking fee (you just need to pay the difference), staffed service desks airside... The only thing they do have low cost is the no assigned seat policy, but I don't understand what our american friends find low cost with this airline
Actually I found them providing more service than what the classic airlines do, all charging for bags, rebookings etc. Except from that, service on board is exactly the same...

WN does operates pretty different compared to European LCC's such as FR,U2,...

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 3):
Hi MSS658

Great report.

I'm very impressed by the service WN offered to you. It is quite ironic that nowadays, the LCC's (WN, B6, VX) in the USA probably offer better service than the traditional legacy carriers.

Thanks for sharing

Regards,
aflyingkiwi

Hi aflyingkiwi

Thanks for commenting, glad you enjoyed it! Yes, I'm surprised about WN. Some 'US' carriers could learn (especially that CLT, PHX en PHL based one)...

Quoting Tigerguy (Reply 4):
Hello again; good to see that you had a pleasant first experience with Southwest. They aren't usually my first choice in airlines, but I have nothing terrible to say about them for the few flights I've had with them. I certainly give them credit for those things they do well.

HI Tigerguy. Thanks for commenting. Glad you enjoyed it

Quoting Tigerguy (Reply 4):
I'd agree here; sounds like a few of my AA jogs between OKC and DFW on a full MD-80.

Does AA actually do that?

Quoting LGWflyer (Reply 5):
Hey MSS658! I must say another fantastic trip report here, I really enjoyed it! Southwest seems a really good airline, alot better than I would have thought. Those WN aircraft get around quite alot, the pilots get alot of take-off and landings to practise haha. Anyway I loved all the pics and information, I look forward to the next TR.

Hi LGWflyer

Thanks for commenting, Glad you enjoyed it. Those planes do get alot of flying, knowing that my plane did BOS-BWI-GSP-MCO-FLL-BUF-AUS in one day.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 6):
Hey Marc, nice report.

Seems like you had some great flights on Southwest, service is excellent for being a LCC, as long as there are free drinks I'd be happy too. Suppose that's the nice things with US carriers, consistent service on the domestic routes.

Thanks for sharing!
//Jonas

Hi Jonas
Thanks for commenting! Glad you enjoyed it
Glad to see we value the same opinon on at least one carrier (unlike a bunch of the European carriers)  
Quoting stipica (Reply 7):
Hi Marc ! ...
Congratulations ... and for me this is first Southwest too ...ehheheh as a reader ...stipica

Hi Stipica

Thanks! Glad this report learned someting new

Quoting sultanils (Reply 8):
Hello MSS658,

Thanks for nice report. A nice trip all in all on the US' largest LCC. From your story I feel there's not much overlap with the way the biggest European LCC Ryanair works. Correct me if I'm wrong. One big point of overlap however is the ugly livery, but that's my personal opinion.

Hi Nils
Thanks for commenting, glad you liked it
The logic between the FCC carriers and LCC carriers is indeed on that side of the globe a bit different than on this side!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 8):
650? That's very impressive but what do you mean with 'without any major complaints'?

You almost never hear people bashing about this airline! Even 2 businessman on my GSP-FLL flight where bragging about WN for at least 15 minutes

Quoting sultanils (Reply 8):
Such a small airport with so many flights!

I guess with BMW's factory, 2 great college-football teams (similar to first class soccer over here), and being at least 2 hours from the first major airport brings in alot of traffic

Quoting sultanils (Reply 8):
Is this how it's done in this airport or everywhere in the US?

This is the regular WN system it provides at all airports!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 8):
Maybe it is Petteri's?

If the owner would be taking at least as much pictures as me I would think it was him  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 8):
A nice shot indeed!

Thanks 
Quoting sultanils (Reply 8):
So your mother lives in the US? That explains it all

Sultanils

You did not know that yet?

Quoting xaapb (Reply 9):
Hey Marc! Great trip report, I flew with SWA last december from HRL to RNO via HOU and LAX and was a great experience really enjoy flying with SWA!!

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
In the restaurant I could order anything more original than a Belgian waffle. Well it was a bit bigger and the taste was not so good. But still enjoyable

That Belgian waffle looks terrific!! I want to have one!!

Greetings
Jorge

Hi xaapb
Thanks for commenting, glad you enjoyed it!

Quoting LH4532 (Reply 10):
Hello Marc ,

Good to see this nice domestic Trip Report . I enjoyed reading it . In my opinion Southwest Airlines is one of the best LCC´s . It isn´t like Ryanair or Easyjet or so . Good job on this one , Marc !!!


Daniel ( LH4532 )

Hi Daniel
Thanks dor commenting, glad you enjoyed it. Southwest does stand indeed way ahead of it's competitors.
Greetings
Marc

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 11):
Hi Marc,

nice report about WN! It's such a great airline, many legacy carriers could learn from it. I still remember my first WN experience in 1997 (ONT-LAS-ONT). I had a nice chat with an older FA on a mostly empty plane - and in the end she gave me a large plastic bag full of peanuts and other stuff.

Hi Planehunter

Thanks for commenting, glad you enjoyed it. I remember our conversation about WN back in FRA past july. Made me more interested to try them out. The main surprise for me was the full service on the MCO-FLL sector
Thanks for the correction in the fleet number

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
Hi Marc,

You make me eager to fly Southwest with your report. Thanks for capturing all little but sweet details about the airline, especially the cabin crew service. I love it!

Hi Suryo
Thanks, glad you liked it

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
Nice gesture!

It was inviting to begin a trip this way!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
You were home sick. Admit it!

Ok, I admit  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
But a wise decision.

 
Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
How sweet of you. First Burj, then P. and now you, no doubt more fellows will follow the example.

the start of a new tradition after the legroom shots and meal pics  . Just bought some chocolate truffels for the next trip back down to Atlanta.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
So sweet!

It made me laugh instantly

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
If you are talking about US based airlines, I have to agree with you based on what I learnt from other fellows’ experiences.

correct

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 14):
Hi, Marc,
really good to follow you´re Southwest story, well done and also nice pictures.
Good level flying, so it seems.
Pretty interesting for me with the same final destination on schedule, but not on Sothwest, next month.
Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)

Hi Markus
Thanks for commenting, glad you enjoyed it.
WN does beat many of it's US couterparts (and actually in my personal rating they have got the highest score)
Have fun on Delta to Ft Lauderdale.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 15):
Hi Marc,

interesting trip report. Good to read something about Southwest, an airline I was quite curious about. Have seen them a lot during my trips to the US some years ago (that was in a time when they still had the golden livery), but never had a chance to fly with them. Quite impressed by their service, pretty good for a LCC.

Hi Marco
Thanks, glad you liked it. WN does beat many other LCC's worldwide (and even some FCC's in the US)

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 15):
Interesting system with the poles, did the boarding process was more orderly with them, and did they actually enforce the rules there? I guess that in most (especially southern) European airports people wouldn't care much about such a system.

Greetings
CaptainRed

They where enforced pretty well in GSP, no idea about MCO tough. But have seen in other airports such as PBI and JAX that they where enforced as well

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 12):
Hi MS,

Very nice report, good to read an European's view on Southwest. It is quite an interesting carrier, and indeed it does things quite differently than many of the traditional ones, with more LUV

I flew WN just once, SFO-SAN with a 737-700. That was a fun if a short flight, I think that plane continued to STL or MDW, somewhere in the mid west anyway. That plane had beige seats unlike yours that had blue ones, do they have two different designs?

I love those multistop flights, would love to go and do some nice milk runs across the vast American continent.

Hi Petteri
Thanks for commenting, glad you liked it. I believe the beige seats where the old interior colors. Was this flight recently? Would love to see one of those reports on WN from you

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 12):
Oh, for a moment I thought I had a follower!

haha.. as said If i'd be flying with a hat like that, I would steal copyright  


Greetings
Marc

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: Tigerguy
Posted 2011-12-20 17:28:33 and read 12885 times.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 16):
Quoting Tigerguy (Reply 4):
I'd agree here; sounds like a few of my AA jogs between OKC and DFW on a full MD-80.

Does AA actually do that?

Oh yes. It's drinks only, and the choices are usually restricted to water, orange juice, apple juice, or coffee (or something like that). When full, the MD-82/83 is comparable to the WN 733/73G: 140 pax vs. 137. From takeoff to touchdown, the OKC-DFW run takes an average of 34 minutes (according to the BTS). When the winds are out of the south, it can be as little as 30 minutes.

I've not flown WN to Dallas, so I couldn't speak to their service on the route. I can't imagine it being too different from what you experienced, though. (Hmm, sounds like an opportunity for me to investigate...)

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: MSS658
Posted 2011-12-20 23:16:58 and read 12720 times.

Quoting Tigerguy (Reply 17):
I've not flown WN to Dallas, so I couldn't speak to their service on the route. I can't imagine it being too different from what you experienced, though. (Hmm, sounds like an opportunity for me to investigate...)

Hi

If you decide to fly WN to DAL/DFW/ Keep me updated! Would be interesting to compare as well!

Greetings
Marc

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: FlyingFinn76
Posted 2011-12-21 00:48:59 and read 12685 times.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 16):
I believe the beige seats where the old interior colors. Was this flight recently? Would love to see one of those reports on WN from you

Not really, that was in March 2009, before I started doing Trip Reports. Actually I did take tons of pictures with the idea that maybe I'll make a report, but didn't bother in the end. The whole routing was HEL-MAN-ORD-SEA-SFO-SAN-SFO-LAX-JFK-MXP-HEL with AY/AA/AS/WN/VX and all apart from the Southwest and Virgin America sector done on my back then employer's dime  .

Maybe I'll do a retrospective report when I'm having a slow trip report season...

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: 717Flyer
Posted 2011-12-21 10:16:13 and read 12485 times.

Hi Marc!
Thanks for this great trip report, really enjoyable to read about Southwest Airlines! I've heard so much about them - yet before now I knew almost nothing about their onboard products, so thanks for this insight!

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
August 3rd approached quickly and I was expecting anytime the email to invite me to check in.

Funny, some hours ago I was waiting for an email of that very same kind for my flight tomorrow!

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
I added the 10 dollar early-bird check in for this trip as well

What exactly is early-bird check in?

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
By now it was 8.00, still 2 hours and a half before my departure.

Wow, that's early!

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
Southwest Airlines 909 actually operates a flight from Boston to Ft Lauderdale stopping on it’s way in Baltimore, Greenville/Spartanburg and Orlando Muncipal.

Now that's a milk run! (Yet it is nothing if you compare with the hops you can do with Wideroe in Northern Norway - some days ago when looking for some flights for next summer I found a flight with seven stops enroute! There really is something special about such flights!

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
This time I’m not forgetting it, as you can see a ton of legroom here.

Hmm, that hat reminds me of a certain A.net member!

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
‘We need everybody’s attention, you to Marc..’ After some laughter the normal way of business kept on.

What a jolly set of cabin crew on your flight!  
Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
Stay tuned for my next trip report:
A trip on a classic silverjet and some trains!

Hmm, sounds interesting, looking forward to it!

Regards,
717Flyer

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: Ps76
Posted 2011-12-21 11:58:14 and read 12420 times.

Hi!

Many thanks for the trip report. Southwest airlines definitely seem like one of the more classy low cost airlines and I wouldn't mind flying them one day. I was actually in Greenville airport a year or so ago to meet someone. The flights to Greenville were so expensive that I flew to Charlotte for a lot less and drove to Greenville to stay with him. Good to see things are changing.

Enjoy your time in the USA and Florida!

Many thanks,

Pierre

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: MSS658
Posted 2011-12-26 05:53:17 and read 11829 times.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 19):

Not really, that was in March 2009, before I started doing Trip Reports. Actually I did take tons of pictures with the idea that maybe I'll make a report, but didn't bother in the end. The whole routing was HEL-MAN-ORD-SEA-SFO-SAN-SFO-LAX-JFK-MXP-HEL with AY/AA/AS/WN/VX and all apart from the Southwest and Virgin America sector done on my back then employer's dime .

Maybe I'll do a retrospective report when I'm having a slow trip report season..

Hmmm... thats interesting! Maybe they actually do have 2 seat colorings!

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 20):
Hi Marc!
Thanks for this great trip report, really enjoyable to read about Southwest Airlines! I've heard so much about them - yet before now I knew almost nothing about their onboard products, so thanks for this insight!

Hi 717flyer
Thanks for commenting, glad you liked it.  
Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 20):
What exactly is early-bird check in?

Automated check in 24hrs before departure

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 20):
Wow, that's early!

I know, I guess the conservative part of me not trusting the open-seating policy and early bird check in..

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 20):
ow that's a milk run! (Yet it is nothing if you compare with the hops you can do with Wideroe in Northern Norway - some days ago when looking for some flights for next summer I found a flight with seven stops enroute! There really is something special about such flights!

Interesting to know...

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 20):
Hmm, that hat reminds me of a certain A.net member!

I'm actually starting to think he was on that flight as well  
Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 20):
What a jolly set of cabin crew on your flight!

one of the best crews...

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 20):
Hmm, sounds interesting, looking forward to it!

Stay tuned...

Quoting Ps76 (Reply 21):
Hi!

Many thanks for the trip report. Southwest airlines definitely seem like one of the more classy low cost airlines and I wouldn't mind flying them one day. I was actually in Greenville airport a year or so ago to meet someone. The flights to Greenville were so expensive that I flew to Charlotte for a lot less and drove to Greenville to stay with him. Good to see things are changing.

Enjoy your time in the USA and Florida!

Many thanks,

Pierre

Hi Pierre

Thanks for commenting, WN is indeed not like FR, U2 or DY in any aspect. I know the fare problem in Greenville as well, being from Anderson (just a town further down the highway). ATL and CLT is to be more preffered as well fare-wise!

Greetings
Marc

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: signol
Posted 2012-01-03 19:14:21 and read 11161 times.

Hi Marc,

nice to read about Southwest from a European perspective! Seems like a nice flight, and free drinks is a bonus!

Thanks for the report!

signol

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: MSS658
Posted 2012-01-04 06:22:24 and read 11047 times.

Quoting signol (Reply 23):
Hi Marc,

nice to read about Southwest from a European perspective! Seems like a nice flight, and free drinks is a bonus!

Thanks for the report!

signol

Hi signol

Thanks for commenting, glad you enjoyed it. Did have a pretty enjoyable trip with them, Nothing compared against the European LCC"s or even some US full service carriers.

Greetings
Marc

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: GSPflyer
Posted 2012-01-15 21:57:23 and read 10348 times.

Hey Marc!

As you can tell from my username, I live near GSP, actually right next door! The day after your flight, I flew Southwest PHL-BNA-GSP (my first Southwest flight was GSP-MDW-PHL a few weeks before). You mentioned the Southwest Early bird check-in, I decided to purchase this, and it is worth every penny. You also mentioned the real-time GSP flight map, one can actually access the same map from the GSP website, pretty cool feature in our little airport.

Speaking of the airport, it will be undergoing some renovations. As I'm sure you saw, the airport currently has very few amenities in the gate area, so they are supposed to be adding more of those, among other improvements. Here's a video the airport released:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRJHcd1RYSs&feature=youtu.be

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
Soon the flight attendant came by to take our orders. Wow, I’m still flying Economy on low cost carrier while flying short haul. Right?

Funny that you mentioned this, the BNA-GSP leg of my return trip was only one hour long, and we still were served a snack and drinks. The flight attendants took our drink orders while we were still on the ground at BNA to assure they could serve drinks and we would have enough time to consume them. As you mentioned, GSP has no other mainline flights (other than WN and the occasional DL GSP-ATL hop) and I am used to buying drinks in the terminal and bringing them on board with me.

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: MSS658
Posted 2012-01-19 02:28:16 and read 9959 times.

Quoting GSPflyer (Reply 25):
Hey Marc!

As you can tell from my username, I live near GSP, actually right next door! The day after your flight, I flew Southwest PHL-BNA-GSP (my first Southwest flight was GSP-MDW-PHL a few weeks before). You mentioned the Southwest Early bird check-in, I decided to purchase this, and it is worth every penny. You also mentioned the real-time GSP flight map, one can actually access the same map from the GSP website, pretty cool feature in our little airport.

Speaking of the airport, it will be undergoing some renovations. As I'm sure you saw, the airport currently has very few amenities in the gate area, so they are supposed to be adding more of those, among other improvements. Here's a video the airport released:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRJHc...tu.be

Hi GSPflyer
Thanks for commenting. It seemed like nobody here had covered this airport yet. so someone has to be the first one right! As far as I can remember I did not notice anything major going on over there, however those renovations look pretty nice. at least one can walk a bit more around after clearing security!

Quoting GSPflyer (Reply 25):
Funny that you mentioned this, the BNA-GSP leg of my return trip was only one hour long, and we still were served a snack and drinks. The flight attendants took our drink orders while we were still on the ground at BNA to assure they could serve drinks and we would have enough time to consume them. As you mentioned, GSP has no other mainline flights (other than WN and the occasional DL GSP-ATL hop) and I am used to buying drinks in the terminal and bringing them on board with me.

Quite smart of that crew, my crew would be less rushed as well! But oh well.. at least we got something!


Greetings
Marc

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: aklrno
Posted 2012-01-19 15:00:52 and read 9869 times.

Quoting GSPflyer (Reply 25):

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
Soon the flight attendant came by to take our orders. Wow, I’m still flying Economy on low cost carrier while flying short haul. Right?

Funny that you mentioned this, the BNA-GSP leg of my return trip was only one hour long, and we still were served a snack and drinks. The flight attendants took our drink orders while we were still on the ground at BNA to assure they could serve drinks and we would have enough time to consume them. As you mentioned, GSP has no other mainline flights (other than WN and the occasional DL GSP-ATL hop) and I am used to buying drinks in the terminal and bringing them on board with me.

If there's not too much turbulence WN serves drinks and peanuts on OAK-RNO. That's about 25 minutes flight time. They often take the orders before take-off to make this possible.

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: OA260
Posted 2012-01-19 15:14:59 and read 9862 times.

Hi Marc ,
Very nice review of Southwest glad they are still a nice airline. I used to use them when I lived near BUR. They had beige leather seats in those days IIRC. You could also sit at the front facing rear.

Nice photos and read as usual.

regards

Philip  

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: MSS658
Posted 2012-01-22 12:23:53 and read 9510 times.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 28):
Hi Marc ,
Very nice review of Southwest glad they are still a nice airline. I used to use them when I lived near BUR. They had beige leather seats in those days IIRC. You could also sit at the front facing rear.

Nice photos and read as usual.

regards

Philip

Hi Philip
Thanks for commenting, glad you liked it. I most certainly did enjoy them. My rating department decided to rate this flight 2nd highest in the shorthaul Economy class carriers.


Greetings
Marc

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: Parton87
Posted 2012-02-19 13:54:04 and read 8686 times.

Hello Marc!

Thanks for another great report on your American adventures! Nice with some insight into the American domestic services which at least I don´t know much about! Love your pictures on approach to Fort Lauderdale! Looks really nice!

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
Southwest Airlines operates a 650 strong 737-fleet

OMG that´s really impressive!

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
why don’t we get some gas first on the way

It´s not easy to read how much the price is on that sign!

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
here one can find American Eagle, Continental Express and US Airways Express check in.

It looks like all airports in the US have the same carpet!

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
original than a Belgian waffle

Nice! I guess you felt almost like home? 
Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
Today she had just landed as DL5403 from Atlanta

Nice with the old livery. I think it looks better then the current one

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
The F/A and I had quite a laughter

She seem to be quit confused in the landing announcement too...:D

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
to make a great shot

Cool picture!!

Thanks again Marc. I will continue with your other stories now 

Greetings
Robert

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: MSS658
Posted 2012-02-19 16:23:38 and read 8628 times.

Quoting Parton87 (Reply 30):
Hello Marc!

Thanks for another great report on your American adventures! Nice with some insight into the American domestic services which at least I don´t know much about! Love your pictures on approach to Fort Lauderdale! Looks really nice!

Hi Robert, thanks for reading. I'm glad you liked it. FLL approach is indeed quite stunning!

Quoting Parton87 (Reply 30):
OMG that´s really impressive!

I can only agree!

Quoting Parton87 (Reply 30):
It´s not easy to read how much the price is on that sign!

That sign has been there for ever  
Quoting Parton87 (Reply 30):
It looks like all airports in the US have the same carpet!

Some more cleaner than others...

Quoting Parton87 (Reply 30):
Nice! I guess you felt almost like home?

If it had a bit more taste in

Quoting Parton87 (Reply 30):
Nice with the old livery. I think it looks better then the current one

Depends on the A/C IMO

Quoting Parton87 (Reply 30):
She seem to be quit confused in the landing announcement too...:D

I guess 5.00am startups are not for everyone   !

Quoting Parton87 (Reply 30):
Cool picture!!

Thanks!!

Greetings
Marc

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: malioil
Posted 2012-03-31 03:36:49 and read 7338 times.

A great trip report, it seems that SWA does have a solid, good product- I have flown with them only once, in 2007 on FLL-HOU, and had a similar (positive) experience, as did you.

What struck me as strange, and I don't know if you agree with me, is the seeming juxtaposition between EU LLCs vs US ones, as opposed to US ''full service'' and EU ones.

While EU LLCS such as FR are truly notorious for being extremely skeletal and basic, airlines like B6 and WN are far from that- they offer comfortable seating, differing booking classes (albeit in one cabin), good customer service, etc.

Meanwhile, you have airlines such as LH, BA and AF in Europe which offer truly solid service, free food, alcohol, check-in bags, etc. and in the US you have these airlines with the ''bribe'' for the bag, and perhaps more basic offerings onboard.

It seems that in the US and EU, the roles are pretty much reversed.

Topic: RE: Losing My Southwest Virginity!
Username: MSS658
Posted 2012-04-03 14:13:16 and read 6999 times.

Quoting malioil (Reply 32):
A great trip report, it seems that SWA does have a solid, good product- I have flown with them only once, in 2007 on FLL-HOU, and had a similar (positive) experience, as did you.

Hi maloil, thanks for commenting! Glad you liked it. Good to know that we had a similar expercience on SWA. A real pleasure to fly with

Quoting malioil (Reply 32):
What struck me as strange, and I don't know if you agree with me, is the seeming juxtaposition between EU LLCs vs US ones, as opposed to US ''full service'' and EU ones.

While EU LLCS such as FR are truly notorious for being extremely skeletal and basic, airlines like B6 and WN are far from that- they offer comfortable seating, differing booking classes (albeit in one cabin), good customer service, etc.

Meanwhile, you have airlines such as LH, BA and AF in Europe which offer truly solid service, free food, alcohol, check-in bags, etc. and in the US you have these airlines with the ''bribe'' for the bag, and perhaps more basic offerings onboard.

It seems that in the US and EU, the roles are pretty much reversed.

Right on it, I still find it strange that in the USA Lcc's like WN,B6 and VX offer more than the legacies like US, UA, AA. Indeed, the reverse world


Greetings
Marc


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