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Do not opt for Southwest airlines if you're a business traveler

Do not opt for Southwest airlines if you're a business traveler

Nov 9th, 2009, 09:17 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1
Do not opt for Southwest airlines if you're a business traveler

I would avoid SouthWest airlines when traveling in the US. It "claims" to provide wonderful customer service and is all about the customer, BUT IT IS NOT TRUE. They offer a fare online called Business Fare. This is NOT a business anything. There is no special business section, no larger seat or anything you would find any business sections on any plane in the world.

They claim that with Business you get a free drink. However that 'free' drink cost me over $200 dollars!! Then they claimed that with Business fare you get to board the plane early (you do in any other plane in business around the world for free) but this early boarding cost me over $200 extra dollars. We're talking about $400 dollars for my business fare one way seat compared to the people sitting next to me paying less than $150 for their coach seat. Business, my butt!

After speaking to a representative to the company and asking them to explain to me what their concept of business vs. anyone else on the plane they couldn't come up with anything except the free drink (again a $200 drink). Everything else, like a refundable ticket, free baggage etc comes complete with everyone's ticket.

Do yourself a favor. Spend your hard earned money with any other airline. Delta, United, American...they all at least give you what you expect and don't try to hide their fees around things you wont' be getting like Southwest does. They know what Business actually means and treat business travelers as they should be treated.
roaminggnome is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 09:43 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 371
If you want to criticize WN for their supposed "good service," I'll gladly join in the chorus. But, even if you don't live in an area that has WN service, they are pretty well-known by most frequent biz pax by this point.

Thus, I'd gather you don't fly much, for if you did, you'd know all about them. They are a predominantly leisure-oriented carrier that is trying desperately to compete for biz pax; yet, they have done very little substantively to entice them. There's no upgrades (as they only have one class), no FF tickets to Europe/Asia/etc., no reserved seating, and on and on. But, you would have known this up front, had you spent any time on their web site, or even done just the most cursory news search.

So, as much as I agree that WN leaves a lot to be desired, I'm also a big believer in caveat emptor . . . And, that's where I think you've stumbled.
LT is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 09:48 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 286
I'll have to agree - most savvy business travelers know to avoid Southwest like the plague....all your comments are valid - but are well known...
illnative is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 10:25 AM
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WN is generally regarded as the original low-cost discount carrier and its product hasn't changed much in over 38 years. And, as others have said, that product (whether you like it or not is another matter) has been well known to the flying public for all those years.

Whether it suits your business needs just depends. I fly them often for business because: they have very frequent flights between most places I travel, if I get finished with a meeting etc early, I just head to the airport and I can usually get an earlier flight with very little hassle (and often no additional charge), FAs are good, they're very reliable and are almost always on time. And for short flights they provide what I need and I know what I'm getting (or not as is the case).
dfr4848 is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 10:59 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
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I have to take exception with these comments. Southwest consistently provides much better service than any other domestic airline I have flown. Not only are the FAs attentive and personable, they are as a general rule, not grouchy, impolite or invisible as is the case on most flights on all other airlines. They do a incredible job boarding, serving, deplaning, and cleaning over and over. I recently flew US Air, Envoy, SF-PHL-LIS (which I paid for with miles) - I thought I was flying on a 3rd world airline. The seats were shabby, the IFE didn't work and the FAs were sullen and cranky and the bathroom was nasty. Just nasty. It reminded me why I left US Air after having achieved status and lots of miles. I have had similar experiences with American and Delta FAs, especially after the union give-backs.

With the internet, and the airlines doing everything they can to sell each seat, you're just going to have to learn to accept that the person sitting next to you may have paid less no mater what carrier you choose.

If your criteria for a good airline is a bigger seat than everyone else, automatic upgrades and differential treatment, you need to fly on a foreign carrier.
vpatui is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 12:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,049
Per their web-site, the business upgrade costs $25, each way.

I'm a bit curious how you paid $200 for a $25 product; was this transaction done in a stall in the rest room?
clevelandbrown is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 01:27 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,420
Ummm... I am a business traveler. I fully understand what Business Select gets me. I don't pay it. SW still gets my business.

The problem is NOT SW, the problem is that the OP did not do any research and assumes that all airlines are alike.... SW does not hide what you get for this "upgrade" Failure to do your research does not make SW the "wrong"party here.

The business select COULD cost $200 more if you compare it to the cheapest fare, the "upgrade" is from the refundable fare.

Let's see, as a business travel I could WASTE my companies money so that I can fly first class or I could fly SW. (I can tell what the OP does LOL!) Honestly, SW is on time which is more then I can say for most airlines. In my business getting to work is the goal not "getting a big seat and free booze"
CarolA is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 01:29 PM
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Gnome, welcome to Fodor's, congratulations on your first and only post!

As I only by cheapest tickets, I went to SW website to see the difference. This is what I found:

Business compare to coach are fully refundable. Coach you can cancel, keep money for a year since the purchase date, then you lose them. Business fare is refundable - like buying trip insurance

With business tickets you have priority security (no standing in line at the airport) and priority boarding. Coach passengers would have to pay for it $10, is it per passenger each way?

You get 1.25 credits where others get 1 credit.

And yes, an alchol drink, not sure if one or unlimited, if you are over 21, did you enjoy it?
Dayenu is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 01:38 PM
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I wouldn't fly Southworst if they paid me.

That said, I agree with others. I have been a very busy frequent flyer for about 9-10 years and I chose a different domestic airline, one that provided many more perks, but as a business person, I made that choice based on some research and finding the requirements that suited my needs.

Southworst is not for everybody, but it does a good job for many.

As a businessperson, the OP should have known that before dipping hers/his feet into the SW water.

Just another rant over nothing.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 10:16 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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We just flew Southwest to Las Vegas as part of a vacation package. I had not flown Southwest for many years as we don't travel that much domestically and our last few trips within the US have been on Continental.

I did the early 24 hr check in and printed our Security Documents. Boarding was quick and efficient. The seats and leg room seemed to be better than the Coach seats we had on our American Airlines Chicago to Frankfurt flight recently.

All and all, we were quite satisfied with the flights and the service we received as well as the price paid.
bettyk is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 10:18 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 255
Southwest has been my airline of choice domestically for both business and personal travel for some time. I have never purchased a ticket at anything other than the lowest listed fare. If you want to be pampered with first class seats and free drinks. Southwest is the wrong airline for you. If you want very competitve fares from an airline that will get you to your destination on time, then I would highly recommend SW.
bumper is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 02:40 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,065
Just to be factual - my husband and his boss fly them often as SW are the only airlines that go to some of the wacky places they need to inspect.
what Business Select also gets you is:

ability to CHANGE flights for a same day change, earlier or later with no penalty. Forthy husband this is important as their inspections sometimes take longer or shorter than htey think.

ability to get a CREDIT back to a credit card rather than a credit on the SW if you don't use a flight. That is VERY expensive on any airline.

ability to buy one way tickets w/ out penalty - sometimes that is important.

We don't use them for any leisure travel as we like the perks of miles etc but for some situations thy meet a lot of needs.
mztery is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 02:41 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,806
If you were looking for Business Class amenities like extra legroom or more/better food you chose the wrong airline. SW is surely not the way to go for road warriors who depend on flights for meals and IFE or want to rack up FF points to use on long haul flights, but anyone looking for point to point transportation at a low fare would be hard pressed to do better. I rarely fly SWA since most of my travel is longer distance, but on the few occasions when I do they uniformly deliver what they advertise.
Seamus is offline  
Nov 16th, 2009, 07:42 PM
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Check out the user name for the OP. Does he work for Travelocity maybe?
Betsy is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2009, 07:17 AM
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Posts: 7,840
OP has to be a troll or a regular poster with a new 'name'. This can't be a legitimate post. If they were that savvy of a business traveler they would know what carriers provide business class seats, etc.

I don't buy it.
BeachGirl247 is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2009, 01:13 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,420
I do.. I see idiots at the airport weekly. And lots of them are my fellow business travelers.

Not too long ago I saw a grown man STOMPING his feet when he realized he was not going to be the first person on the plane. He acted like a 2 year old whose toy had been taken away.

Then there was the man who YELLED at me "They are only boarding first class" So when he passed me on the way to coach I "toasted" him with my glass.....

Some of my fellow business travelers live in the some mythical land that revolves around them only..
CarolA is offline  
Mar 15th, 2010, 04:40 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 7,667
I like that I can change my reservation without a penalty. I LOVE that if the fare goes down, I can get a credit for the difference. SW may be no frills, but I've always been treated well by them, and they'll continue to get my business.
tenthumbs is offline  
Mar 15th, 2010, 08:24 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 7,840
I don't think you can call them "no frills" any longer.

*NO baggage fee (big bonus),
*Free drinks (cheap cocktails and still take cash and their free coupons)
*No cancellation or change fee

I feel they are offering me more than others I fly in between. I can understand the tall man or woman that needs more room and wants the business class seats though.
BeachGirl247 is offline  
Mar 16th, 2010, 01:48 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,420
Is there a reason this was "brought back from the dead" I think most posters seemed to agree that OP was completely unrealistic on what he would get from SW.

(And I am 5'5" and I like the Busness Class or First Class seats. It's not limited to "tall" However, when I fly SW I know that's not an option and I am fine with that. Actually as crowded as planes are and as little as I tend to pay for airfare, I don't get that many upgrades on Delta even with status)
CarolA is offline  

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