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Andrew Dec 26th, 2008 05:04 PM

Kudos to Southwest (again) for great holiday flights
I recently flew from PDX to PHL and back for the holidays, returning Dec 25, on Southwest. While it helped greatly that my travel days turned out to be delay-free (unlike a few bad weather days before or after), I still think Southwest did a great job at a busy time for every airline.

I was flying on a Rapid Rewards ticket - Dec 25 was the only day I could return home but that worked out fine since I could fly out of PHL later in the day. The first outbound from PDX flight I could get had two stops with a change in Vegas, but I was able to change this to a one-stop in Chicago/Midway. Then I changed it again to a later flight with one change/stop in Phoenix due to weather, the day before departure. Since Southwest doesn't charge change fees, I made all of these changes for free.

And of course, Southwest still charges no bag fees (for 1st two bags), no fees for sodas (like USAir), and as noted no change fees. Using my Frequent Flyer ticket at Christmastime for a whopping total $5 fee was sweet indeed!

As usual, the flight attendants on all my flights were friendly and helpful. I encountered one gate agent who was a little grumpy, and I was disappointed that due to a glitch on their website I lost my boarding card position while trying to change a flight (which their website was unable to do - but I went from A20 to B41 - ouch!). Otherwise, everything was great. I had an aisle or window seat on every flight, and once I had an exit row aisle. I bought some snacks with me but never ate them because flight attendants came through all the time with drinks and as many snacks as I wanted.

Thank you Southwest Airlines!

FainaAgain Dec 30th, 2008 09:38 AM

I love Southwest delay policy - if over 15', they put you on another plane without charging the difference (happened to me, but I didn't have checked luggage).

yestravel Dec 30th, 2008 01:14 PM

I didn't know that was SWA's policy re delayed flights. We have been on delayed flights with them several times and they never offered to change us. Is this to another SWA flight or any airline?

AAFrequentFlyer Dec 30th, 2008 01:23 PM

I don't get that post either.

Does SWA have flights to/from the same places leaving every 15 minutes?

Any airline will try to accommodate a delayed traveler if it is their fault and in fact the major airlines have interline agreements so they can put you on just about any other major airline, regardless of partnerships, alliances.

SWA can't.

Andrew Dec 30th, 2008 01:25 PM

Southwest does not have agreements with most other airlines, so in most cases it would be to another Southwest flight (certainly not an American, Delta, United, or Continental flight). That is one downside of flying Southwest: if, say, a flight is completely canceled and Southwest themselves cannot get you there, they will not put you on another airline. But American, say, would be able to put you on Delta or someone else in that case, because of the cross-agreements.

yestravel Dec 30th, 2008 02:02 PM

That's what I thought. The best thing about SWA is their refund policy. U don't lose the $$ if you have to cancel. U have up to a year from the date the flight was booked to use the money and fly and anyone can use the refund. They also will refund u if their fare drops in price. Wish they would put u on another flight if they're delayed cause they seem to be delayed pretty much whenever we fly them...bad luck I guess.

Andrew Dec 30th, 2008 02:47 PM

Delays have never been an issue with me with Southwest. On my recent trip, my connecting flight (PHX to PHL) departed 30 minutes late, but we had a huge tail wind and arrived in PHL 10 minutes early. On the way home, our MDW-PDX flight arrived 15 minutes early.

FainaAgain Dec 30th, 2008 03:09 PM

SW has (or had) several flights from Oakland to San Diego. My flight was coming to Oakland late (from some snowy or rainy area), they knew that. There was another SW flight I barely made, they put me on that one, maybe an hour earlier.

Yes, there are many flights from OAK to LA and San Diego.

Andrew Dec 30th, 2008 03:52 PM

At the gate, I think SW can do whatever they want to help you, whether your flight is late or not. They have some discretion. Earlier this year, I arrived early enough in PHL to ask for and get on an earlier flight to MDW (which was departing 45 minutes late, only reason I could make it). I asked to switch for no good reason beyond that in case of some freakish delay, I'd rather get to Chicago earlier and have 3 hours there rather than wait 2 hours in PHL and have 1 hour in Chicago. It was up to the check-in agent and she just put me on it, but I think she could have said no.

AAFrequentFlyer Dec 30th, 2008 04:05 PM

Space available, any airline will do that.

Andrew Dec 30th, 2008 04:20 PM

Yeah, perhaps for a fee. Delta charges $50+ for example for same-day standby. The others seem to vary.

AAFrequentFlyer Dec 30th, 2008 04:25 PM

No, it's free....

Confirmed standby will cost, but as your story goes, you show up at the gate desk, space available, you get on, no fee!

Andrew Dec 30th, 2008 04:29 PM

Well, I guess Delta just tells you it costs $50 then?

<i>Same-day Standby Upgrades

The same-day standby upgrade option allows you to upgrade your flight for a small fee, provided space is available and your ticket is eligible.

0 to 500 miles....$50
501 to 1000 miles....$75

AAFrequentFlyer Dec 30th, 2008 04:41 PM

I won't argue because I don't fly Delta, but once again, the fee is for a confirmed standby, the same day, but if you just show up at the gate, it's free, at least that's true for AA

Andrew Dec 30th, 2008 04:43 PM

Yeah, it probably is true for AA. I know I did it a couple of years ago when I was still flying AA. But Delta advertises a $50+ fee for same-day standby, not just confirmed same-day.

yestravel Dec 30th, 2008 04:51 PM

Nowadays both UsAir and UA charge u a change fee if u just show up and ask to go on an earlier flight. Good to know that AA and SWA don't charge.

rkkwan Dec 30th, 2008 06:36 PM

DL won't let you standby for free. Only via $50 confirmed change. Same with CO.

ms_go Dec 30th, 2008 06:38 PM

<i>Nowadays both UsAir and UA charge u a change fee if u just show up and ask to go on an earlier flight</i>

US Air does charge, United does not--for regular stand by on an earlier flight. United does charge for <b>confirmed</b> same day changes ($75).

From the United website:

Check in for an earlier flight on the same day of travel

* Confirm a seat on an alternate flight on the same day of travel within 3 hours of the time of your request for $75 with EasyCheck-in Online or at an EasyCheck-in kiosk at the airport. Details
* Or, Check in and standby for an earlier flight without paying a fee.

yestravel Dec 30th, 2008 07:19 PM

Thanks for the info on UA. If you're on a codeshare and u booked with USAIR, but its a UA flt, which rules prevail?

mrwunrfl Jan 1st, 2009 05:01 AM

yestravel, you would have a bp for a United flight and would be dealing with a United agent to get on the waitlist. I find it very hard to believe that they would collect a US fee.

mrwunrfl Jan 1st, 2009 05:48 AM

i'm talking to a ua agent now, she sez you call usair

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