timh4000
Topic Author
Posts: 196
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:14 pm

Southwest thoughts anyone?

Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:46 am

So, just last week I took my 1st flights on WN. No particular reason why I hadn't ever flown them before. I just always seemed to find something that worked better.

So, my flights were ORF-ALB. I was going back to N.Y. Mostly to see my kids, family and friends and also to check on my properties.
These were my flights
FL# 3976 ORF-BWl
FL#2716 BWI-ALB returning
FL#1562 ALB-BWI
FL#1501 BWI-ALB

Both were on the 737-700. Very 1st flight at 0645am was solid booked every seat taken. I had my window seat up in the front. Since I don't have much experience with WN I don't know if my experience is the norm or did I just get great crews. All flights up and back were on time. There were 3 FA's and in the space of on average a 45 minute flight they got full or 80% full planes served all assortment of beverages and pretzels. They were all extremely pleasant.as a bonus, I had great weather for all 4 flights, obviously that was mother nature's doing, but my recent flights to CA and my last two flights from ALB-PHL earlier and back all had major delays and cancellations. So it was nice to have great weather, smooth flights great views and on time all the way.

This certainly would make me want to fly WN Again. Some of my delays and cancellations were weather related, but not all of them were. I had a cancellation due to crew shortage on AA American eagle. That was my initial flight to move here some 2 & 1/2 months ago.

By the way, not that I fly a ton but certainly often enough to fly a 737ng. But these were my 1sts, and I have no complaints with seating. Granted I'm not a real big guy but it was more cramped on a 777-200 transcon.

All flights but one were on the 700 series and that was the 800 series. I wasn't expecting the difference I felt in size and at take off. Really had some nice acceleration and we got up to 10k pretty darn quick. No complaints on the 700 either though, and I don't know how much of a factor weight was on the 800 flight.

So overall, my best flights in a very long time. What are your thoughts, is this expected or did I just get a bit lucky?
 
Wednesdayite
Posts: 185
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:28 pm

Re: Southwest thoughts anyone?

Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:28 am

I like WN.

Free checked bags. Great fares. And the 738’s do seem less cramped than Y on UA.

And DEN is my home airport.

If they offered allocated seating it would be my first choice.

The lack of allocated seating pushes it down to #4.
A318/19/20/21/30/40. B717/27/37/47/57/67/77/87. CRJ2/7. ERJ145/175/190. FKR50. IL62. MD11/82/83/88. TU154.
AA AC AF AI AR AS AT AV AZ BA BW BY CO DA DL F9 FR JJ KL LH MA NW NZ OS RG SU TK U2 UA US VS WN
 
Wednesdayite
Posts: 185
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:28 pm

Re: Southwest thoughts anyone?

Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:30 am

That said, my next trip is on WN.

Work travel so I’ll do what’s most cost effective for the taxpayer.
A318/19/20/21/30/40. B717/27/37/47/57/67/77/87. CRJ2/7. ERJ145/175/190. FKR50. IL62. MD11/82/83/88. TU154.
AA AC AF AI AR AS AT AV AZ BA BW BY CO DA DL F9 FR JJ KL LH MA NW NZ OS RG SU TK U2 UA US VS WN
 
jetblueguy22
Posts: 3238
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:26 am

Re: Southwest thoughts anyone?

Sat Oct 05, 2019 3:06 am

DL has been my airline for the majority of my life, but in the last year or so WN has really taken the #1 spot. My company has contracts with the US3 and WN, but for seem reason we seem to swing strong for WN and it's kind of pushed me in that direction as well. For domestic travel, which is all I really do, they're perfect. Plus their FF redemption is way more straightforward IMO than any of the US3...

What I like about WN is you know what you're going to get. They're friendly, they get you on and off quick, and you don't have to worry about an RJ. DL is really great with consistency IMO, but it just drives me up the wall to get off a beautiful A321 that still has a shine in the tires and then you get on a CR2 and you feel like your walk between gates was really a time travel.

WN's problem is when they get behind. Maybe it's just my luck, but either every flight is on time or I have a cancellation on a leg. Can't think of a time I've just been delayed with them. It's frustrating, but really only made worse by the MAX fiasco.

Does it pay for someone who needs to go to ICN or MAD to be a WN FF? Nope. But they work for what I need them for, and I'm happy to give them my business. I'll use the points on my WN CC to book on other airlines if I really need to leave the country.
Look at sweatpants guy. This is a 90 million dollar aircraft, not a Tallahassee strip club
 
timh4000
Topic Author
Posts: 196
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:14 pm

Re: Southwest thoughts anyone?

Sat Oct 05, 2019 4:30 am

One plus for me in a way even though I'd obviously trade it in is I need a wheel chair to go through airports. I have cancer and just don't have the stamina to talk though airports. I can do it I have to take sit down breaks and it really wipes me out, especially if I'm connecting which unfortunately no one has direct from OFR-ALB but with a wc I get on within the 1st few people so I'm always in the 1st 3 rows with a window set. I got 1st row both flights on the way up and a couple back coming back down.
 
Runway28L
Posts: 1835
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:35 pm

Re: Southwest thoughts anyone?

Sat Oct 05, 2019 5:00 am

I flew Southwest in August PIT-MCO-PIT to visit the Kennedy Space Center. Took a B737 down and a B738 back up.

I've always had great experiences with WN and this trip on them was no exception. Although the -700 was alright, I preferred the -800 as it had thew newer BSI cabin and I felt like I had more room for my legs. Both flights though were comfortable and I had zero issues with using the WiFi. I do wish WN would install power ports onto their aircraft, and more aircraft had the adjustable headrests that the ETOPS fleet, 8500 series B738s, and B38Ms have.
 
Chemist
Posts: 580
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 4:46 am

Re: Southwest thoughts anyone?

Sat Oct 05, 2019 5:10 am

I've been a WN A-list flyer for 4 years now. I'm also AA million-miler.
In my experience the service you received is typical, not the exception. WN crew have almost never been anything but really friendly and service oriented, compared to especially the US majors. Some people don't like WN's boarding process, but I like not having huge throngs of people crowding the gate like on other airlines. Add an easy FF program with no blackouts, no change fees and free bags, and it's almost all good. Also they do full service even on 45 minute flights (drinks, snacks) and they don't use beverage carts so you are not blocked getting to the lavatory.

Best of luck with your health issues and thanks for posting.
 
timh4000
Topic Author
Posts: 196
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:14 pm

Re: Southwest thoughts anyone?

Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:14 pm

Thanks for the replies. I will likely still go with what works time wise and fares. But I'll be keeping a good eye out for WN from now on. I haven't flown delta since 2002. And my recent experiences with United and AA haven't been stellar, but that was during the winter dealing with a lot of delays and cancellations. I suppose flight crews can be irritated as well dealing with it... All the American Eagle flights I took were with one FA. And if it was a bumpy flight we got no service at all. Basically they had 45 minutes to be on their phones. On a few flights one of them would hand out water to at most 50 people.
 
DesertAir
Posts: 1417
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2006 1:34 am

Re: Southwest thoughts anyone?

Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:12 pm

In August I flew roundtrip between San Diego and San José Los Cabos, México. On the return trip a plane with a flat tire blocked our approach-we circled and then were diverted to Ontario to refuel before returning to San Diego. The next morning a $100 voucher was in my in-box with an apology.

During July I had to make three round trips between SAN and SMF for personal reasons. This involved flight changes...no fees were very appreciated.

WN is my go-to airline.
 
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Veigar
Posts: 462
Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2015 4:09 pm

Re: Southwest thoughts anyone?

Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:45 am

Southwest is my favorite airline and go-to for domestic travels in America.
 
invertalon
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:29 pm

Re: Southwest thoughts anyone?

Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:32 pm

Southwest is my go-to domestically. Having flown on Delta recently to compare, it was a step down IMO. Nothing but good flights on Southwest, multiple times a year. Only once had a delayed flight that caused connection issues (out of SFO...), but Southwest went above and beyond to fix the issue and re-book us through another city to get us home. Being 6'6", I also appreciate the additional legroom/pitch offered by Southwest... I paid for Delta Comfort + on my most recent flights (717, MD-90) and it was severely crammed, far worse than the 'basic" WN seat.

WN has also offered better service than I have gotten with United when our flight was cancelled from Frankfurt back to the US... Then add in the free bags, no change fee's, exceptional rapid rewards program (with CC), etc... Easy win. I also prefer the boarding process over the method used by everyone else.

My only complaint is almost always have to connect somewhere to get where we are going (from CLE). But it's not much better with Delta/United, either.
 
OneX123
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:08 am

Re: Southwest thoughts anyone?

Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:48 pm

jetblueguy22 wrote:
DL has been my airline for the majority of my life, but in the last year or so WN has really taken the #1 spot. My company has contracts with the US3 and WN, but for seem reason we seem to swing strong for WN and it's kind of pushed me in that direction as well. For domestic travel, which is all I really do, they're perfect. Plus their FF redemption is way more straightforward IMO than any of the US3...

What I like about WN is you know what you're going to get. They're friendly, they get you on and off quick, and you don't have to worry about an RJ. DL is really great with consistency IMO, but it just drives me up the wall to get off a beautiful A321 that still has a shine in the tires and then you get on a CR2 and you feel like your walk between gates was really a time travel.

WN's problem is when they get behind. Maybe it's just my luck, but either every flight is on time or I have a cancellation on a leg. Can't think of a time I've just been delayed with them. It's frustrating, but really only made worse by the MAX fiasco.

Does it pay for someone who needs to go to ICN or MAD to be a WN FF? Nope. But they work for what I need them for, and I'm happy to give them my business. I'll use the points on my WN CC to book on other airlines if I really need to leave the country.


This may get me some ridicule but I fly every Monday and Thursday out of ORD and consistency is why I choose AA. I don't know what I'm 'going to get' from WN because I can't select my seat. I also don't know what I'm going to get from DL because I can't upgrade to Econ+ at time of purchase (and I'm a DL Plat.).

With AA, I can select my econ+ window seat at the time of purchase. Only reason I choose AA over UA is bc I like to enjoy a drink or two on Thursday nights and AA has free alcohol in Econ+. I fly over 50 segements on Thursday's every year so it adds up.

Just my opinion!
 
jetblueguy22
Posts: 3238
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:26 am

Re: Southwest thoughts anyone?

Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:50 am

OneX123 wrote:
jetblueguy22 wrote:
DL has been my airline for the majority of my life, but in the last year or so WN has really taken the #1 spot. My company has contracts with the US3 and WN, but for seem reason we seem to swing strong for WN and it's kind of pushed me in that direction as well. For domestic travel, which is all I really do, they're perfect. Plus their FF redemption is way more straightforward IMO than any of the US3...

What I like about WN is you know what you're going to get. They're friendly, they get you on and off quick, and you don't have to worry about an RJ. DL is really great with consistency IMO, but it just drives me up the wall to get off a beautiful A321 that still has a shine in the tires and then you get on a CR2 and you feel like your walk between gates was really a time travel.

WN's problem is when they get behind. Maybe it's just my luck, but either every flight is on time or I have a cancellation on a leg. Can't think of a time I've just been delayed with them. It's frustrating, but really only made worse by the MAX fiasco.

Does it pay for someone who needs to go to ICN or MAD to be a WN FF? Nope. But they work for what I need them for, and I'm happy to give them my business. I'll use the points on my WN CC to book on other airlines if I really need to leave the country.


This may get me some ridicule but I fly every Monday and Thursday out of ORD and consistency is why I choose AA. I don't know what I'm 'going to get' from WN because I can't select my seat. I also don't know what I'm going to get from DL because I can't upgrade to Econ+ at time of purchase (and I'm a DL Plat.).

With AA, I can select my econ+ window seat at the time of purchase. Only reason I choose AA over UA is bc I like to enjoy a drink or two on Thursday nights and AA has free alcohol in Econ+. I fly over 50 segements on Thursday's every year so it adds up.

Just my opinion!

With that many segments you'd make A List preferred no problem. You'd be one of the first onboard. Plus free wifi.

It is always funny to see the differences in people's experiences. And I'm not pointing you out for anything, but I have nothing but bad luck on AA. To the point where I refuse to fly on them unless I'm forced to due to all other fares being out of corporate policy. Goes WN, DL, UA, AA in my US4 pecking order.
Look at sweatpants guy. This is a 90 million dollar aircraft, not a Tallahassee strip club
 
User avatar
chepos
Posts: 6786
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2000 9:40 am

Re: Southwest thoughts anyone?

Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:17 am

Flown WN a few times, being based in PHX were they have a big presence. I am ambivalent about them. They get me from point A to point B for the most part on time, but I can’t find anything particularly special about them. Personally I consider them to be a bit overrated.

I had the rudest airport experience with a WN agent at the LAX ticket counter. Will never forget Bonita and to this day I am still trying to figure out how she ever got a job in customer service.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Fly the Flag!!!!
 
User avatar
TWA772LR
Posts: 6832
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:12 am

Re: Southwest thoughts anyone?

Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:57 pm

I have a soft spot for my former front line Cohearts. They were the best people I ever had the privilege to work with, leadership is a different story...

Ive never had a bad experience flying on Southwest. Even nonrevving when I had to ride 4th (you Cohearts know what I mean). Their simple, but rock solid service and product is what keeps people flying them. And I cashed out my SWAG points for RR points and I'm saving them for a rainy nonrev day or a nice trip with a guaranteed seat.
When wasn't America great?


The thoughts and opinions shared under this username are mine and are not influenced by my employer.
 
RyanAirB737
Posts: 64
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:52 am

Re: Southwest thoughts anyone?

Sun Oct 13, 2019 1:03 am

I have a LUV / Hate relationship with WN, but over 95% of my flights are with them since I fly weekly between the Bay Area and the LA area (usually BUR).

Schedules are convenient, no fees for changing flights, and free 2 bags though I rarely check even 1 bag. It's easy, like taking the bus.

There are a couple of things I hate: 1) the boarding process and how easy it is to get screwed by it during irrops since everyone else has already checked in for a replacement flight, 2) how aircraft are allocated and routed (unnecessary delays), 3) thru-passengers, 4) #1 is worth repeating, 5) fares are not as cheap as they like to advertise (unless you book 3 mos+ in advance which I do try to do).

#1 isn't as bad with A-List Preferred now, except for the rare thru-flight where half the plane is already full (#3, an LAX->SJC route that had come from ELP).

#2 I just can't figure out. An aircraft will do some east coast flights in the morning and then finish the day with a few west coast flights with a stop somewhere like Chicago, where the plane gets stuck due to weather, causing 4 hour delays (or cancellations) for a 45 minute flight. It happens to me all the time in the winter. I don't understand why the west coast flights aren't serviced by planes based somewhere in the west. The whole numbering thing is weird too -- the same flight number flies BUR->SJC->SAN->OAK. Who flies that? That doesn't really affect me at all though, just weird.

Crew and staff have mostly been friendly. I have had a few FAs that seem to hate their jobs, but not as many as on UA/AA. SJC and BUR ticket and gate agents have been great, but LAX and LAS not so much.

With that said, I would only fly Southwest for flights shorter than 2 hours.

If B6 flew this same route and had a decent schedule, it may convince me to switch for last minute flights. I tried AS once and we were delayed because people wouldn't give up their bags. Their morning schedule is horrible. That would have been a high performing route if their evening flight departed an hour earlier and their morning flight departed 2-3 hours earlier.
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
Posts: 846
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:38 pm

Re: Southwest thoughts anyone?

Sun Oct 13, 2019 1:39 pm

Other airlines charge for a checked bag; Southwest gives you that included in all ticket prices. However, Southwest has unassigned seating, whereas everyone else (mostly) lets you choose. You can pay for the early-bird check-in, but like the checked bag charge, for me this works out to just about the same cost.

The biggest difference, however, is Southwest's free change-your-flight plan. It has saved me LOTS of $$ in the past when the universe said, "this isn't going to work out the way you planned". That alone is worth making them my #1 choice when traveling.
 
timh4000
Topic Author
Posts: 196
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:14 pm

Re: Southwest thoughts anyone?

Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:03 pm

Nice write up Ryanair. Since ALB used to be my home airport and southwest has along with AA the most amount of operations but now it's ORF or RIC which is s little farther but not considerably. B6 doesn't have service out of ORF which you'd think they'd have at least one or two runs into and out of there. But they do have service in RIC and I need to use up a cancelled flight credit. So next week my wife and I are taking B6 to FLL to go on a cruise. B6 I've traveled on quite a bit out of ALB to Florida and I have generally had good service with them.
 
dfwjim1
Posts: 2230
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:46 pm

Re: Southwest thoughts anyone?

Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:42 am

I haven't flown Southwest in a number of years. Do their flight attendants still joke around or have they become more business like over time?
 
jetblueguy22
Posts: 3238
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:26 am

Re: Southwest thoughts anyone?

Mon Oct 14, 2019 2:02 am

dfwjim1 wrote:
I haven't flown Southwest in a number of years. Do their flight attendants still joke around or have they become more business like over time?

Hit or miss in my experience. I had a captain a few weeks ago play some twangy country music over the PA and did an intro cracking on the first officer for being former Air Force. Gave everyone a good laugh. But then the next flight was your usual US3 type intro.
Look at sweatpants guy. This is a 90 million dollar aircraft, not a Tallahassee strip club
 
Chemist
Posts: 580
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 4:46 am

Re: Southwest thoughts anyone?

Mon Oct 14, 2019 4:22 am

I'd say the joking is less often, but it does still happen sometimes.
 
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vhtje
Posts: 1011
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:40 pm

Re: Southwest thoughts anyone?

Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:57 am

WN is great on a lightly-loaded flight. When I lived in California, I used them a lot for intra-California flying, where they have a surprisingly large network.

I personally do not like the jostling for position and the standing at the gate in your A... B... C... etc grouping and number - I find it infantile, but it obviously works well for the airline. But therein lies my problem: it is a system designed to make life easier for the airline, not the customer. It gets the punters at the gate and ready to board quickly once boarding is announced. I have never flown WN when the flight was fully loaded, but I could see it might get stressful pretty quickly if, say, a family were not able to sit together because they had group C printed on their boarding passes.

For some reason I kept getting free drinks vouchers from WN, every time I flew. No idea why. It's not like I was so very frequent with them - perhaps three return trips a year over two years.

In summary: I would fly them again on a short hop, definitely, and with my nose only partially held.
I only turn left when boarding aircraft. Well, mostly. All right, sometimes. OH OKAY - rarely.
 
jetblueguy22
Posts: 3238
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:26 am

Re: Southwest thoughts anyone?

Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:54 am

vhtje wrote:
WN is great on a lightly-loaded flight. When I lived in California, I used them a lot for intra-California flying, where they have a surprisingly large network.

I personally do not like the jostling for position and the standing at the gate in your A... B... C... etc grouping and number - I find it infantile, but it obviously works well for the airline. But therein lies my problem: it is a system designed to make life easier for the airline, not the customer. It gets the punters at the gate and ready to board quickly once boarding is announced. I have never flown WN when the flight was fully loaded, but I could see it might get stressful pretty quickly if, say, a family were not able to sit together because they had group C printed on their boarding passes.

For some reason I kept getting free drinks vouchers from WN, every time I flew. No idea why. It's not like I was so very frequent with them - perhaps three return trips a year over two years.

In summary: I would fly them again on a short hop, definitely, and with my nose only partially held.

Families can go after A group. And the drink certificates come if you buy Business Select
Look at sweatpants guy. This is a 90 million dollar aircraft, not a Tallahassee strip club
 
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ricport
Posts: 145
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 5:48 pm

Re: Southwest thoughts anyone?

Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:29 pm

Dissenting opinion here - I avoid WN as much as possible. With no assigned seats, no chance for upgrades, the bothersome boarding bingo, no chance to earn free F travel to most of the world, and generally chaotic atmosphere, it's allure is completely lost on me. IMO, Early Bird is a complete rip-off, as all it does is guarantee you a cut in the cattle line. And, if I want bad jokes/singing over a PA, I'll go to a comedy club or watch AGT.

All that said, I could see if you needed to do a lot of last-minute travel or needed the freedom to make changes (neither of which I do) why WN would work better.
 
timh4000
Topic Author
Posts: 196
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:14 pm

Re: Southwest thoughts anyone?

Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:07 am

WN flies a lot of 2hr or less flights. Due to their 737 only aircraft. Many 737's are making very short flights. Flights that are more often covered by the smaller regional jets. Like the ERJ145. so you're getting a more comfortable ride. For example, my 4 individual flights to and from ALB, gate to gate none were more than 1 hr. Although the posted time from ALB-BWI I think was a little over an hr, but none of them ever took longer. Actual flight times were around 45 minutes. If this is the kind of flying you're doing, those things you mentioned aren't a big detractor. I certainly would not want to have a couple of longer flights and spending the majority of your day in the air or connecting to be what WN offers.
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
Posts: 846
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:38 pm

Re: Southwest thoughts anyone?

Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:37 pm

WN will ALWAYS be my #1 choice, if possible. It's not always, and I know what I am getting into flying other airlines (such as XNA). However, plans can change, and WN doesn't charge a change fee if something happens - they charge only for the difference in the ticket. That has saved me hundreds of dollars over the years when circumstances have dictated a change in my travel plans. For every other airline, you might as well buy a new ticket.

From SAN, WN offers the most destinations non-stop as well. BNA, for example, is only reachable via hubs via anyone else, but WN flies non-stop. And the numbered boarding system is MUCH nicer than the gate-leeches who push their way onboard outside their boarding groups. None of that nonsense here!!

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