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View Full Version : A first timers review of Southwest


dudspizza
03-19-2012, 08:54 PM
I flew southwest from PHX to MSP today.

*Boarding - I liked the boarding process and to me it seemed to go much quicker than airlines that have assigned seats. People got on and sat down. You also didn't see uptight people..... those on later were very polite and asked if seats were open. Everyone was very nice. We flew Frontier to PHX and it took forever to get down the jetway and onto the plane..... with SW we walked right onto the plane and found a seat.... so much quicker.

*Flight attendants - They were very proactive at helping people find seats. They also did a wonderful job of reminding people to only put large items in the overhead bins and to not put coats etc up there until everyone was on board. They inserted quite a bit of humor in there as well, which made me laugh.

*Seats - I had A 39 and boarded after A 41 to board with my family (we had A39, 42, 44, 46). My kids were 44 and 46 and the people around them allowed them to come up with us. I ended up in the window seat of the exit row with my family right behind me (DW, DD15, and DD 13). Tons of leg room, but horribly uncomfortable seat (probably this one due to the exit row). I put up with the uncomfortable seat because my leg room was awesome. I know I was in the exit row and was more than willing to help anyone in an emergency.

*Baggage - 2 free, need I say more.

I am not convinced SW is my new airline of choice, but I will definitely fly them if the price is right.

Duds

Keegansmommy
03-19-2012, 09:07 PM
We are flying SW for the first time next week. I've heard awesome reviews thus far!

goofy4tink
03-20-2012, 08:02 AM
I have been flying with SW since the days of the true cattle call.....you had to get to the airport very early. It used to be that they had three secions...A, B, and C. As you arrived, you entered the first available section...and stood there...until boarding started. So, if you wanted to board first, you had to get to the gate about 2 hrs prior to departure, and stand in that area, in line, to hold your spot. It was awful!!!
Now, its so much better. SW may not be my favorite airline but it's number 2!! I have no issue with the way they do things. In fact, I find that the SW flights I'm on tend to leave the gate earlier than expected, while other flights sit there and wait for people to get situated.

lost*in*cyberspace
03-20-2012, 11:35 AM
I have been flying with SW since the days of the true cattle call.....you had to get to the airport very early. It used to be that they had three secions...A, B, and C. As you arrived, you entered the first available section...and stood there...until boarding started. So, if you wanted to board first, you had to get to the gate about 2 hrs prior to departure, and stand in that area, in line, to hold your spot. It was awful!!!


Years ago when I flew Southwest, you got a card with a number on it at the gate for your boarding place. You did not have to wait in line. I recall doing this at SFO, SAN, and SAT. Perhaps there was a different procedure at other airports.

goofy4tink
03-20-2012, 02:53 PM
Years ago when I flew Southwest, you got a card with a number on it at the gate for your boarding place. You did not have to wait in line. I recall doing this at SFO, SAN, and SAT. Perhaps there was a different procedure at other airports.
You know, I don't remember that. What was the card for??? How did it hold a spot for you, in a line?? Just curious. The way I did it at TF Green was, in the truest sense, a cattle call. You really did feel like cattle, in the chute. It was miserable. Sure, you could wait a bit longer and get in line at the tail end of the A group, but you still had to stand there and hold that spot. Not any fun at all. Those that were among the first 8 or so, in each group, had it a bit better since there was a short wall that split the three areas up...you could lean against that if you were among the first 8 or so in line for each boarding group.

Horace Horsecollar
03-20-2012, 04:27 PM
I ended up in the window seat of the exit row with my family right behind me (DW, DD15, and DD 13). Tons of leg room, but horribly uncomfortable seat (probably this one due to the exit row). I put up with the uncomfortable seat because my leg room was awesome. I know I was in the exit row and was more than willing to help anyone in an emergency.
Duds,

I am surprised that a flight attendant did not ask you to move out of the exit row. You are over 15, but your DD13 is not. Because you have "a condition or responsibility" of "caring for small children" (even though 13 isn't that small, and you're sharing the responsibility with your DW, you were technically not qualified to be in the exit row according to FAA rules. Southwest is supposed to enforce the FAA rules.

I'm not telling this to be a stickler for rules and regulations.

I'm just telling you this to help you avoid disappointment in the future. If, after the plane was full, the flight attendant had asked you if you were traveling with a child and had then arranged a seat swap with another passenger, chances are you would have wound up in an undesirable seat that a another passenger was willing to trade for an exit row. It could have been a middle seat far from your family.

Once DD13 is 15, it's no longer an issue.

I went through a 17-year period when I couldn't book the exit row for myself when taking family vacations, even though I had status on American Airlines and could select exit row seats at time of ticketing. When the youngest finally turned 15, I could finally use this wonderful benefit on American. (I'm tall.)

dudspizza
03-20-2012, 05:24 PM
Duds,

I am surprised that a flight attendant did not ask you to move out of the exit row. You are over 15, but your DD13 is not. Because you have "a condition or responsibility" of "caring for small children" (even though 13 isn't that small, and you're sharing the responsibility with your DW, you were technically not qualified to be in the exit row according to FAA rules. Southwest is supposed to enforce the FAA rules.

I'm not telling this to be a stickler for rules and regulations.

I'm just telling you this to help you avoid disappointment in the future. If, after the plane was full, the flight attendant had asked you if you were traveling with a child and had then arranged a seat swap with another passenger, chances are you would have wound up in an undesirable seat that a another passenger was willing to trade for an exit row. It could have been a middle seat far from your family.

Once DD13 is 15, it's no longer an issue.

I went through a 17-year period when I couldn't book the exit row for myself when taking family vacations, even though I had status on American Airlines and could select exit row seats at time of ticketing. When the youngest finally turned 15, I could finally use this wonderful benefit on American. (I'm tall.)

I totally understand and if asked I would have moved. In fact, a FA was leaning on the seat back right behind the exit row. He knew we were together and my wife actually asked him if he could move so they could sit behind me. Maybe it is because my girls are both 5'8" that he didn't ask (they towered over him since he was about 5'2").

Like I said before, I was 100% committed to doing my job if an emergency were to arise. I am very much about following the rules and in this case I would have taken my job to aid others in an emergency very seriously.

Duds

lost*in*cyberspace
03-21-2012, 10:06 AM
Duds,

I am surprised that a flight attendant did not ask you to move out of the exit row. You are over 15, but your DD13 is not. Because you have "a condition or responsibility" of "caring for small children" (even though 13 isn't that small, and you're sharing the responsibility with your DW, you were technically not qualified to be in the exit row according to FAA rules. Southwest is supposed to enforce the FAA rules.


You are absolutely correct. I would guess that the FAs didn't notice that the poster was traveling with these other people?

You know, I don't remember that. What was the card for??? How did it hold a spot for you, in a line??

The cards had numbers on them. They may have had colors as well for different boarding groups; I just do not remember. I remember being dropped off very early at the airport for a Southwest flight from SFO and got card #1. I was quite pleased until boarding started. So many people were allowed to preboard in those days that I was actually about the 30th person to board!

Edited to add that I found a photo of the cards:

http://www.letsflycheaper.com/blog/mobile-boarding-pass/

dburg30
03-24-2012, 07:52 AM
Well I havent flown any other airlines expect Eastern back in about 82 and then the now defunct skybus in 06 (I think) Other then that it's been all SW, and almost always, we push off early. I think 2 times we were only 'on time'. Like you said, people give the boarding process grief, but I just dont think they understand how SW does it now. It's pretty darn fast like you said. People pretty much fill from front to back, and you can tell there are many 'veteran' families that fly because you'll see them many times heading towards the back so they can get the kids situated and not clog up the aisle. The FA's are almost always 'fun', only 2 or 3 legs have we had just 'ok' FA's. And those times they werent rude, they were professional and just fine.

k&a&c'smom
03-24-2012, 10:44 AM
goofy4tink - our experiences with SWA years ago were similar to yours - we got a boarding pass with a color and/or letter and it was a free for all!:scared1: We had to get to our airport (MCI) very early and park ourselves in the designated row to get seats near each other, and I was still sometimes separated from my kids. I usually got to the airport 3 hours before a flight, to be at the gate 2 hours before, and as soon as the previous flight left the gate it was a mad dash to see who could get to the front of the appropriate section first! sheesh

I love the new system, even though we've had a couple trips where the FAs didn't properly watch the numbers/letters.

disneyfaninaz
03-24-2012, 11:14 AM
Oh, yes, the current boarding system for SWA is much better. When they first came to PHX, you had to show up to the gate early and check in at the counter. You were given a plastic boarding card with a boarding number. Then they boarded by a group of numbers, so even if you had 1, you may not have been the first one on. Then they just went to A, B and C groups. People staked there place in line and got really ticked when people would cut them in line. The current system is a lot less stresful.

mlittig
03-24-2012, 08:19 PM
Glad you enjoyed your first experience with Southwest :yay: I have had some awesome flights attendants who have been so very funny and help make the flights very enjoyable :goodvibes