You knew there wasn't any wind outside? How did you know that? There WAS wind outside. Oh, just a few hundred miles per hour of slipstream, that's all. How else would the plane fly? And turbulence has little to do with wind, and more to do with atmospheric conditions. Go to ground school, little buddy.
Also, Southwest has one of the best maintenance records in history. They have only had one fatality ever- and he was a mentally challenged person who tried to hijack the plane!!! Never a maintenance related crash in their 32-year history.
However, they also have a reputation for dirty airplanes.
Oh, wings/engines shaking during taxi and takeoff is due to rough runway- not the airplane. Be glad it shook- if it was rigid, the things would snap right off.
Most people consider taking drink orders and returning to be a SERVICE oriented activity. How much nicer it is to have someone ask you what you want, and then bring it to you, rather than toss you a can, in my opinion.
Additionally, soft drinks poured out of cans aren't flat. You think they poured in some magic "let's make him mad by flattening his drink" powder? I don't think so either. It's air pressure. I drink Coke each time I fly- it's tradition- and soft drinks act funny in the air. I believe it's due to the substantially lower air pressure of being at a cabin altitude of 8000 feet. The bubbles pop out far faster.
You started praying and thought that you were on the airline as some sort of punishment? Dude, get a grip. I pray quite often too, so don't take me that way. But honestly, do you think Southwest has a "Create turbulence" button in the cockpit? If so, I envision such a button as being large, round, and red, with a flashing strobe light... anyhow, no, they don't. Southwest cannot create or eliminate turbulence, and if Air Traffic Control dictates that they must remain at present altitude, then they can't even fly above or below to get out of it!
Oh my gosh, man. The wings were fine on United and American and AirTran? Did you know United was recently cited for putting ailerons on 757s together with TAPE??? That's not fine. Additionally, the wings on your Southwest flight were fine as well. I can assure you, if they were not, the first thing that would have happened would have been for them to fall off. You think Boeing forgot to tighten the bolts down? If something as drastic as you feared was actually wrong, everyone would have died.
The airlines are held to maintenance regulations regardless of what they charge for tickets. The FAA does not care if low fare, high fare, no fare (okay, no fare can change regulations, depending on what the airline does, part 191, et cetera). Southwest has to maintain their planes just as well as Continental or Delta. If they don't, they get their operating license revoked- it happened in recent years to Pro Air. The government shut them down due to maintenance shortcomings.
ALSO- Southwest is making money. All the other airlines you listed- except AirTran- are losing nearly a million dollars each day. Now- which one do you think would be tempted to cut maintenance corners? Cash earning Southwest? Or knock- on- bankruptcy's- door American? AA
still has to meet inspections by the FAA, which means that NEITHER of them can cut corners. But still, get my idea?
I, unlike the last reply, do not work for Southwest at all- I work for an independent aviation company. I haven't even flown Southwest in years! So I am not sticking up for them- I am sticking up for aviation in general! We aviators (I am training to be a mechanic and later on an engineer) are highly trained people who work very, VERY hard to give you safety. It is a constant battle- and a very painstaking and costly one too!
So next time you fly- think of the thousand upon thousands of skilled workers that are doing our best to keep yourself safe!
I am, however, glad you posted a trip report- please continue to do so in the future! You can learn about our great field of aviation that way!
I am sorry you had a negative experience with Southwest, and I hope that you will give them a chance in the future. Heck- you may have to, if everone else ends up in bankruptcy. Geesh!
In all sincerity, and with a loving if frustrated attitude,