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scanne
02-20-2005, 06:28 PM
I'm getting ready to book airfare on Southwest for our trip this summer. They're cheaper (and more stable) than USAirways.

What can you tell me about this airline? What have your experiences been? We're flying out of Philadelphia. Can you do curbside check in with Southwest? Thanks!!!

gw_lit
02-20-2005, 06:45 PM
We're flying out of Philadelphia. Can you do curbside check in with Southwest? Thanks!!!

I've been able to do curbside check-in with Southwest at every airport I've ever travelled to. I'd imagine Philadelphia is the same.

kikipug
02-20-2005, 06:51 PM
I LOVE Southwest, and fly them every chance I get... can't beat the price.

If you've never flown SW, the biggest difference is not having an assigned seat. You can pre-print your boarding pass after midnight on the day you leave- you want an "A" boarding pass so that you are in the first boarding group... if not, you may not get seats together with your party. If you have kids under 5 (which you do), you can pre-board, so it doesn't matter what letter you have. Even with the boarding pass, people will start getting into the A, B & C lines about an hour before boarding... depends how badly you want a particular seat or how badly you want to sit together. I don't go crazy about where I sit... it doesn't kill someone NOT to sit with their family for an hour or two.

No food served on board- I don't see that as a problem, as airline food is horrible anyway- bring a snack. No movies on board either... again, no big deal for me... my kids watch DVD's on my laptop if they are bored.

nana_b
02-20-2005, 07:19 PM
Never had a problem with SWA - if you think you will be flying a few more times this year I would highly recommend signing up with their frequent flyer program and buying your tickets online - It does not take long to win rewards with SWA - especially if you buy tickets online !!!

marty0518
02-20-2005, 07:25 PM
Flying out of Hartford, Southwest is consistently the least expensive and offers convenient non-stops. While the "cattle call" seating is unique, it doesn't bother me. I just care about getting to where I need to go.

DisneyMomx7
02-20-2005, 07:25 PM
We just booked with SWA for our the first time. We're flying out of Philadelphia in late June. Usually we fly US Air or Air Trans. I'm a little nervous about the seating. It will be me, DH, 2 dds (7 and 6) and ds who will be turning 5 6 days before we fly. Can we still count him as under 5 so we can sit together? If we print the tickets out the night before will we be able to get the A boarding passes to sit together? I really don't want to end up with the little kids not sitting with a parent.

Donnask8pro
02-20-2005, 07:26 PM
We just fly from Tampa to Phil 2 weeks ago. The flight attandent was incredible. Funny, personable, attentive. My son loved him. We were one of those w/ a child under 5. We sat in row 2.
When we fly to Dis in Nov, I am hoping to fly SW. I have a son in a wheelchair and I know they will let him on first. Thats important, so he doesnt have to try to walk ( or to carry him, he's 10) to the back to get a seat.

marty0518
02-20-2005, 07:28 PM
We just booked with SWA for our the first time. We're flying out of Philadelphia in late June. Usually we fly US Air or Air Trans. I'm a little nervous about the seating. It will be me, DH, 2 dds (7 and 6) and ds who will be turning 5 6 days before we fly. Can we still count him as under 5 so we can sit together? If we print the tickets out the night before will we be able to get the A boarding passes to sit together? I really don't want to end up with the little kids not sitting with a parent.

I wouldn't worry too much about the seating. Even if you are one of the last to board and don't get seats together, the flight attendants are good about asking people to give up seats so parents can sit with young children. Most passengers are very understanding.

kikipug
02-20-2005, 07:48 PM
Most passengers are very understanding.

And most people would rather switch seats with you than have to sit next to anyone's 'unattended' kid (mine included... nothing against your kids!!) Plus, they won't check your child's birth certificate if you say that he/she is 5 and under :teeth:

You can't print the night before though... it's got to be after 12:01AM...

dcandmc
02-20-2005, 07:58 PM
Was told on the phone by a SW CSR yesterday that when pre-boarding with a child under the age of 5, only one adult could board with the child. Others in the party (even immediate family, i.e. spouse and older siblings) had to do general boarding. Has anyone else been told this or actually had this happen to them when boarding?

kikipug
02-20-2005, 08:06 PM
I've never seen that... in fact, it seems like every large party boarding 'rents' a kid to get on faster

scanne
02-20-2005, 08:48 PM
Thanks for all the replies!

My party is as follows:

Me, DH, DS2 and DD1 (she'll be one when we go). I have purchased seats for all of us b/c I just think it is MUCH safer for the little ones to be in their car seats on the plane. The other members of our party are:

My mom and dad, my husband's parents, my grandmother and my aunt. I will try to get the "A" boarding passes, but as long as I get to sit with my daughter and my husband gets to sit with our son, I think we will be ok.

So I guess SWA doesn't have a 1st class section?

Thanks for all the replies!!!

kikipug
02-20-2005, 08:51 PM
So I guess SWA doesn't have a 1st class section?
:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

Maherae
02-20-2005, 09:01 PM
scanne, We use Southwest unless they don't fly where we are going! If you are really lucky..you'll get a GREAT crew that cuts up with you, sings songs, and just are friendly. You can print your boarding pass out online at 12:01 am the day of your departure. This almost insures you getting into the "A" boarding group..the first group after "those needing extra help to board" group. Just understand that if you change planes and you have an "A" boarding pass for the next leg...you probably will be joining a plane that already has passengers and may not be able to get a choice seat. We have flown out of 5 states and have not had any problems with them! Have a fantastic time!

Brendita
02-20-2005, 10:07 PM
Let me tell you about my 1st SWA flight.
We lived In El Paso TX. when my youngest son was born.
He needed to have birth defect corrective surgery done.
They flew us round trip free to Lubbock TX.
When we arrived at the Airport it was then that we found out that the entire flight was for children that needed surgeries at the Childrens Hospital.
It was Halloween so everyone was in costume. pirate: :wizard: princess:
The entire flight was a party. :cool1:
I have alway flown SWA since except when we went to Paris.
They don't fly international.
I love SWA :love1:

ktink
02-20-2005, 10:33 PM
Brendita, That was so special. That just makes me feel even better about telling you that we have had only good experiences with Southwest! :wave2:

princesspumpkin
02-21-2005, 08:42 AM
I just flew SWA out of Philly last week. Printed my boarding passes at home, checked our bags curbside and went thru security in a flash. We had "A" passes, so after the pre-boarders got on, we were next. Had our pick of seats (and there were 12 of us) . In nutshell "No Problem".

beccasmom
02-21-2005, 09:24 AM
I have flown SW once (last August) out of Philly. It was fine! I think that the service is comparable to USAirways (the other airline we use for Florida trips). I printed my boarding pass the night before my flight and had no problems I don’t do curbside check-in, but it was available. Another thing I can add is that I was able to pick up my luggage very quickly after my flight back to Philly. On our recent flight with USAirways, we waited 55 minutes for our bags. I know that does not seem very long when compared with what some folks are reporting (7 hours???!!), but it is a long time to wait nonetheless. To be fair, we had little to no wait in Orlando, so it seems like it continues to be a Philly-based problem.

I would definitely fly SW again, although I can’t convince the rest of my family to give up their “allegiance” :confused3 to USAirways. I am glad we have an alternative.

bubba's mom
02-21-2005, 01:58 PM
I'm another converter to SW from USAir......last year was our first time flying SW. Philly to Orlando. It was great! :cool1: Not a problem....on time, good flight, no problems with getting luggage.....we will fly them from now on and GOOD RIDDENS USAIR!!!!! One thing I do have to mention about SW, it was the first (and only) time I received a beverage in a can---water was that beverage---still don't get that!! :confused3 Anyway, there is curbside check-in at PHL or inside.....we were there so early, we walked right up to the ticket counter (avoided having to tip skycaps that way). Great experience.....see ya June 25th Southwest!! :banana:

C.Ann
02-21-2005, 04:27 PM
Just flew SW from Albany, NY to Orlando Fl on Feb. 6th and back again last night, the 20th.. Also flew SW in 2001.. I love flying with them (the attendants are a riot) and more often than not, they arrive at their destinations well ahead of time..

For the flight down I printed my boarding pass at 12:01 am (got an "A"), but didn't have access to a computer with a printer for the trip back.. Sweated it out till 9 a.m. the morning of my return flight and found someone who let me use their computer.. Still ended up with an "A" pass.. :) I sat in the 4th row..

I absolutely LOVE them! They have fantastic fares, great customer service, timely arrivals and departures, and absolutely NO hassles whatsoever.. Best of all, I really love their non-stop flights from Albany! :flower:

DVCBob2
02-22-2005, 10:07 AM
Just back from LAX and we had over thirty people pre-board. One party of 8 had a baby and another party of seven had a child under five.

pplasky
02-22-2005, 02:11 PM
Where in NJ are you? We have also taken Spirit out of ACY and it is usually cheaper than AirTran. Not sure about SWA, but when I booked our flight for Aug 2005, they were cheaper than SWA. The airport is smaller and less of a hassle than PHL and there seems to be less delays as well. Just a thought.

Twende
02-22-2005, 08:46 PM
We are flying SW soon to MCO! :cool1: We have never flown SW before!

Do they serve any kind of beverage at all? I have a tendancy to get car/air sick and I normally sip a coke during flights to keep things settled! Do I understand correctly that SW does not serve any beverage except water? :guilty:

We are to leave very early in the morning on a Wednesday. Does the printing of the boarding passes have to be after midnight between Tuesday and Wednesday? Or is it after midnight on the day before you leave?

We are either going to have to leave our home at 4 AM to get to the airport or we are going to Park 'N Fly at an airport motel on Tuesday night and leave our car there for the duration of the trip. If I have to stay up to midnight to get my "A" boarding pass and then leave at 4 AM I will be a zombie the rest of the day. :sad2:

I am sure looking forward to getting to warm sunny FL and out of cold snowy Ohio! :banana:

bubba's mom
02-22-2005, 08:51 PM
Twende--SW will serve soda and the usual beverages....it's just their water comes in a can, not a bottle :confused3 (first experience with that!).
You can print your boarding pass at 12:01am Wednesday morning. But, if you are leaving on the first or second flight, I wouldn't stay up and wait.... if you plan to be at the airport early (as I'm sure you will with park & fly), you should get there early enuf to get an "A" boarding pass. Also, you can call the airline the day before to see if that flight is full....chances are, it won't be (cuz of the early time) and you'll get an "A" bpass anyway. We did this exact thing last year. Park & Fly outta PHL. 7am flight.....got to airport about 5:15am--checked in and got bpass.... turns out, most got an "A" pass cuz the flight wasn't full! You'll like SW....I'm a SW convert from USAir!!

goldcupmom
02-22-2005, 10:01 PM
We try to fly SW as much as we can. My DS is a gymnast, so their credit policy on cancelled nonrefundable tickets is GREAT! You never know when kids will get sick or hurt at the last minute and you won't be able to go to meets.

The kids love them as many of their planes have 3/3 seats facing each other at the rear of the plane. It's just fun for them.

drusba
02-23-2005, 08:19 AM
Responding to some questions above:

1. On the pre-load when you have kids under 5 or handicap, the official rule is that only the qualifying kid or handicap plus one adult can be pre-loaded. Nevertheless, having flown Southwest often I have never seen them actually enforce that rule including that the kid has to be under 5 except when the "family" is obviously something more than one family like when there are four or five adults; in other words if you have a bunch of children and two adults in your family, you will likely have no problem with the family pre-loading; if you are an extended family -- grandparents, uncles/aunts added, you likely will have a problem pre-loading all of them. Also note that if you get an A or B loading ticket (and there are usually B's still available up to about 70 minutes before a flight), you should have no problem getting seats together. It is only when you have the C ticket or below that it can become an issue.

2. Southwest serves beverages and usually something like a small bag of pretzels or nuts.

3. Have found Southwest to be better than most for on-time departures.

DVCBob2
02-23-2005, 08:25 AM
Our experience at LAX was an extended family of seven, mom, dad, 2 kids, middle aged adult and what appeared to be grandma and grandpa. The party of eight was infant, mom, dad, grandpa, grandma and three other middle aged adults. As we boarded we asked the attendant what the policy was on preboarding and he stated that it was the person that needed preboarding and one to two immediate family members. Then he looked at us like "I know".

bubba's mom
02-23-2005, 08:44 AM
Responding to some questions above:

Southwest serves beverages and usually something like a small bag of pretzels or nuts..

we got a small pack of HoneyMaid Graham crackers


Have found Southwest to be better than most for on-time departures.

we actually were early for our flight down, not home from mco cuz of mid afternoon thunderstorms. but, funny thing about that, our flight left BEFORE the flight at the gate ahead of us! go figure! (if i was those people, i'd been hoppin' mad....) :mad:

gypsydoodlebug
02-23-2005, 09:49 AM
I've flown Southwest six times in the last 9 months (Chicago 3x, Houston, Orlando and Phoenix). I usually prefer Delta to get my frequent flyer miles, but have gotten used to Southwest's laid back atmosphere and I've NEVER had a delayed flight.

The lack of assigned seating is annoying only when paranoid passengers freak out and start lining up in the "A" group 45 minutes before the inbound flight even arrives. I love it when I'm sitting down, calming reading a book and some man with his briefcase and carry-on stands right in front of me so close I can't even stand up. :sad2: I mean, everybody's going to get on the plane!

If you have little ones, just arrive early and talk to the gate agent. They're all really nice and usually work with parents. DD is only 19 months so we're not at that stage yet, but I can only guess how hard it is to travel with kids –– especially those high on the magic!

bubba's mom
02-23-2005, 09:51 AM
The lack of assigned seating is annoying only when paranoid passengers freak out and start lining up in the "A" group 45 minutes before the inbound flight even arrives. I love it when I'm sitting down, calming reading a book and some man with his briefcase and carry-on stands right in front of me so close I can't even stand up. :sad2: I mean, everybody's going to get on the plane!



I agree...the no-assigned seats thing is a pain, which is why everyone lines up like cattle :teeth: I thought SW still over-booked their flights...I know an "A" b-pass will get you on that plane, but those with "C"'s.....has anyone ever NOT made their flight with SW due to "overbooking"??

cycyk
02-23-2005, 10:03 AM
can i book now for october?

when i check orbitz and expedia.com, southwest is never listed, cn you only get pricing through them?

how do you guys book...phone, internet???

please help

brooke

bubba's mom
02-23-2005, 10:28 AM
you can only book southwest thru website or phone (i always use internet). they will not show up on expedia or travelocity and such. booking dates are thru Aug. 3 right now....keep a watch on the boards and in about a month or two, they should release booking dates past Aug. 3....good luck!!
http://www.southwest.com/cgi-bin/buildItinerary2