Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 3:19 pm

How's Southwest?

Thu Nov 02, 2000 2:40 am

Well, over Thanksgiving, I will be flying on Southwest from Phoenix to San Francisco to visit some friends. It is my first time on Southwest and I was just wondering what can I expect? In terms of service, on-time performance and so on. To my understanding, the flights I am on are both on 737-300. Thanks in advance.

RE: How's Southwest?

Thu Nov 02, 2000 2:51 am

I suggest you review yesterdays topic called "southwest complaints?".....
User avatar
Posts: 1286
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2000 9:44 pm

RE: How's Southwest?

Thu Nov 02, 2000 4:41 am

Advice: get there at least 1:30 to 2 hours early; though check-in at the gate does not begin until one hour before flight time, the line begins to stack up well in advance of this time, so if you get there at the recommended one-hour before departure check-in time, you'll probably only get a middle boarding card (ie, 30-60).

Southwest boards in four distinct groups, and eschews the traditional seat assignment/boarding pass system. When you check in, you receive a colored boarding card with a number on it. The color corresponds to your flight, and the number is in one of four ranges: 1-30,21-60, 61-90, and 91 and above. Each of these comprises one boarding group. The first boarding group (1-30) goes on first, then the second, then the third, and so on. There are three seperate lines for people in the first three boarding groups to queue up at many SWA gates, and you can wait in line with the other 29 people in your group. Occassionally, some dolt who doesn't understand the boarding procedure gets in the wrong line and gums up the works, but the procedure works just fine, otherwise.

SWA's service is excellent, and their employees are extremely friendly, if not a bit hokey...but it's the hokey humor that they use which makes the trip fun. Corny jokes and sly comments are what keeps both employee and customer morale up.   Look for the crazy plane-shaped visors that many SWA employees wear nowdays as an example of this.

Service inflight is honey-roasted peanuts or pretzels and soda. Often, they'll even give you the whole can. Flight attendants make corny jokes before,during,and after the flight, and the pilots sometimes join in, too. Sometimes, the pilot will talk to you, and others, he'll stay silent for most of the trip. It all depends, just as on most carriers.

I've never once had a problem with Southwest in several trips with them, and have always found them to be an excellent value for the money!   Hope you have a nice trip!

RE: How's Southwest?

Thu Nov 02, 2000 5:57 am

You do not have to get to the airport 1 and a half hours early. Get there one hour early and you will be fine. Yes the line will be there but maye only 10 to 15 people long. Get there 45 minutes early and then you are in trouble. Southwest has the best service in the sky. Then crew has fun, unlike the other "snotty" airline crews.
Posts: 953
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2000 9:07 am

RE: How's Southwest?

Thu Nov 02, 2000 6:12 am

I used to fly a lot on southwest. In flight service is identical to those you find on other airline. Nothing special. Some attendant will have different ways of making the safety announcement.

On time performance is okay, as I have been delayed before. But if weather is bad and your flight is cancelled you will be stuck in the airport. There is no backup plan for southwest.

The plane are usually dirty. Some of the newer 737-700 are clean. On the -300 and -500 that I have flown were extremely dirty.

Flying in and out of SFO will create delays. You would be better off by going to either SJC or OAK.

Overall, I do not like to fly southwest. I only choose southwest because it was due to last minute business trip in which my company is too cheap to buy tickets on the other airline. I no longer fly Southwest after me and my co-worker were stuck in Austin, and the company has since then been avoiding southwest.
Posts: 5135
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2000 11:10 am

RE: How's Southwest?

Thu Nov 02, 2000 7:37 am

In contrast to Chia pet, I mean Chiawei, I hav been on WN a few times and thought it was great. One flight was cancelled, but they had already rebooked me and my granddad. Service is not so hot, I must admit. I mean, peanuts and coke is pretty basic. But they are reliable, and- dare I say- safe. I hesitate to say that because 1- they crashed in BUR recently, but still have never had a single fatality, and 2 Singapore, one of the worlds best, just lost a practically brand new craft and 77 lives. But the service IS friendly.
We are about to have a huge thunderstorm, or I would praise Southwest more.
Have a great flight,
Posts: 2604
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 9:09 pm

RE: How's Southwest?

Thu Nov 02, 2000 8:00 am

Gee, i'm going in the opposite direction: OAK-PHX for the Thanksgiving holidays. I flew Southwest yesterday from SDF-OAK via LAS, and I'd have to say it was one of the worst travel days of my life. However this had nothing to do with Southwest, and everything to do with Air Force One leaving SDF and FAA flight control at IND breaking down.

We were stuck in the plane for over an hour until they pulled up to the gate, and let us off to stretch our legs and give us food. Take that Northwest! Got back on after about 30 minutes, and proceeded to pull away from the gate only to be told we were on hold again. So, after 3 hours, we were finally allowed to take off. I thought the plane was immaculate. The FA said it was brand new. However the plane from LAS to OAK was the dirtiest Southwest plane I had ever seen. The seat belts looked as if they might break any second.

Sorry, didn't mean for this to be a trip report, but overall, I'd say that Southwest is a great airline for getting you from Point A to Point B, safely, and efficiently, with little fanfare. It's great for its niche in the big airline picture.

RE: How's Southwest?

Thu Nov 02, 2000 2:03 pm

I used to fly Southwest every once in a while on business but hated the lack of assigned seats. Other than that, I'd say they are one of the better carriers out there and you should enjoy your trip.

A few tips:

If you want to increase your chance of having an empty seat next to you, sit in the back. Everyone will crowd the front.

Avoid the first and last rows. The seats used to (and may still) face each other and there was no place to put carry on bags. Also, people feel compelled to talk to you when facing you. That is fine if its someone you want to talk to. If not, it makes for a long flight.
Posts: 259
Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2000 4:55 pm

RE: How's Southwest?

Thu Nov 02, 2000 2:11 pm

I flew it from ONT - OAK ...about 90 mins flying time
it was rainy, stormy weather
the pilots were nice guys, but the turbulence scared me

overall I have to say that southwest is an excellent airline. Enjoy your trip.
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: How's Southwest?

Thu Nov 02, 2000 10:07 pm

I'll second the previous advice to avoid SFO if possible, and fly into SJC or OAK.

The problem at SFO continues to be the very closely spaced runways that make the airport extremely sensitive to reductions in the number of aircraft it can handle. That "trigger" is their loss of the ability to conduct "visual" approaches, usually anything less than a 2,500' cloud ceiling and/or anything less than 5 miles visibility. When they lose visuals, SFO's arrival rate goes from 60 an hour to as low as 30 an hour. Imagine the sudden backlog of cars on a six-lane freeway if three lanes of capacity disappear suddenly. The obvious critical difference here is backed up airplanes can't go bumper-to-bumper (in the air), so the delays ensue. Airborne flights turn circles, awaiting their shot at the airport, and anything headed to SFO that's still at its takeoff airport usually gets held there, awaiting their turn--not unlike a metered freeway ramp. It's not unusual to take a 1-2 hour delay awaiting to depart for SFO.

The same 2,500'/5 mile weather conditions at OAK, SJC, or SMF have virtually no adverse effect on creating delays (and their predictable side effects) given the lower traffic counts compared to SFO, and the fact that they have greater distances between any parallel runways in use there.

If you can't change your reservations to an OAK or SJC flight this close to the holiday, I'd make sure and tell your friends to be prepared for the possiblility of a delayed flight, or to call before they leave to pick-up up. SWA can land in Cat-3a conditions (RVR 700), which SFO (and OAK) can handle, but at SFO, it's just a big ATC mess that affects everyone.

Hope this helps...

ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos