I LOVE Southwest!

Jul 23rd, 2005, 10:30 AM
  #1  
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I LOVE Southwest!

OK, we often share the "bad" stories, but I think now and then we should share the good.

We had San Diego/Nashville/SD booked on Southwest for about two months. We decided to change our outbound, if we could, and IF it wasn't going to cost an arm and a leg as it does on most airlines. So I called. Wanted to move up departure two days, and to fly into another city, NO.

Well, we not only could do it, but by the time we finished the package, we were refunded $22.

So, we added two days on to our trip and added much fun, were not penalized with some "change" fee, or higher fares, but it even cost us less and SW gave the savings back to us. Well, not back to us, we have that credit with them. I just couldn't believe it. So, travelers, doesn't hurt to ask, right?

Makes me a pretty loyal SW customer in the future. Shows they are willing to work with their passengers and to try and make the travel experience a positive one when they can...IMO.
Heavens is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2005, 10:56 AM
  #2  
 
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Hi Heavens, I know there is a lot of bashing by some travellers regarding Southwest but twice I have had to cancel flights with them. I was given a 100% credit both times, each good for a year.

Other airlines should make flying so simple. As far as "no seat reservations" I could care less. I always get the A Group and consequently get a seat I want.

The other thing I have noticed is that when there is a delay there has always been an announcement as to what has caused the delay. No game playing unlike some airlines I have used. And the S/W staff have always been very polite and in fact a joy.

I am sure that others have had different experiences but I have sure flown with S/W a lot and have never had a complaint.
LoveItaly is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2005, 11:46 AM
  #3  
 
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I recently flew with two senior citizens - one had to use a wheel chair on/off the plane. I have never been treated so well on an airline! The staff made sure she was the first one on/first one off - which means that we sat basically in the same seats as you would if you were to fly first class on another airline. When we made our flights SW was the only airline that offered senior discounts AND 100% refunded fares if any cancellations were necessary. It was a great experience!
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Jul 23rd, 2005, 12:08 PM
  #4  
 
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I just finished booking 6 flights on SW's "Ding" specials! They are the greatest.

And just recently I read of their profits being up 41% FORTY ONE! They continue to be the most forgiving airline (as far as cancellations & rebookings go) with no extra fees for every small thing. Maybe all the "biggies" that keep losing money should look more closely.

And for the fares I'm paying, I'll glodly find my own seat.
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Jul 23rd, 2005, 12:34 PM
  #5  
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Well, if we could just get rid of the Wright Act, my life might be perfect. Since family lives in Dallas, the Big Guys have made it almost impossible to use SW to get home. Too bad the govt had to step in and hold SW back or their profits would be even higher...IMO.
Heavens is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2005, 01:34 PM
  #6  
 
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Just want to clear something up.

The Wright Amendment for Love Field was in place before Southwest started flying there. It has since been relaxed a bit by the Shelby Amendment.

You can definitely argue, and I'd agree, that the Wright Amendment should be been lifted a while ago. But that doesn't change the fact that nobody actively made it impossible to use SW, as Heavens implied.

And Southwest Airline can use DFW and fly to wherever they want, anytime in the last 20+ years. It's SW that decides they don't want to start flying DFW.
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2005, 01:50 PM
  #7  
 
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I have used this airline for over 10 years, usually accumulating a free round trip every year using SW Visa and flights,,
Their biggest improvement over the last year is getting boarding pass online...and "Ding"....
Plus i just received a 50% off coupon for LaQuinta motel anywhere in US...for being a customer for 10 years...
I have always been pleased with their service...
traveler24 is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2005, 02:33 PM
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I can't decide whether the flexiblity (which I do appreciate) is balanced against being treated like cattle and not being permitted to choose my own seat.
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Jul 23rd, 2005, 03:25 PM
  #9  
P_M
 
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SW does indeed have the best policy for changes. I had a similar experience last year we when planned a trip where we would fly to Vegas, drive to LA for a week, then drive back to Vegas and fly home. After buying the RT tickets to Vegas, we realized it would make more sense to fly home from LA. I called SW and there were no penalites at all to make the change. This allowed us another day in LA and saved us the drive back to Vegas. On any other airline we would have paid such penalites it wouldn't have been worth it.

I also like the relaxed rules for using award tickets. On most airlines they have limits as to how many freebies they will allow for each flight, so you must book way in advance. On SW you can use your award ticket as long as seating is available.

I don't like the open seating, but I think the good outweighs the bad.
P_M is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2005, 03:51 PM
  #10  
 
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Like many people I know, I will NEVER fly Southwest if it can't bother to assign a seat to me. NEVER.

The other discount airlines that I fly frequently, for example JetBlue & Delta Song & Independence & AirTran, assign seats. I can arrive at the gate 30 minutes before departure, walk on and take my seat.


(I realize some people live in markets without much choice -- these tend to be the people who "love" Southwest. Makes sense -- if you don't have a choice, then you might as well like what you've got.)

Gekko is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2005, 03:59 PM
  #11  
P_M
 
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I respect your opinion, Gekko, you have a right to fly or not to fly with whomever you wish.

SW is based in Dallas where flyers have many choices. I do not live in Dallas, but my city is also served by all of the major carriers. Even if you don't like SW, bear in mind that the other carriers still have to compete with the low fares offered by SW. That helps to keep fares low for everyone.
P_M is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2005, 04:13 PM
  #12  
 
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You must admit, Southwest has the best intercom announcements of any airline. They are hilarious!
TripleSecDelay is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2005, 04:14 PM
  #13  
 
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I don't like the open seating that much myself so I go on line as soon as I get up in the morning, the day of my flight, or if up late packing etc, will do it just after midnight, check in and get my boarding pass. I'm usually always "A". If I really CARE about being one of the first boarding, I watch when people start lining up and will get in line early. Usually it down't matter that much to me as long as I'm an "A". Southwest is kind of picky about airports. I'm sure landing fees would be one factor and another is things about a particular airport. They like to have a good "on time" rating and that's one of the reasons they pulled out of SFO and went to Oakland. There were just too many delays at SFO. It's too busy, too much construction, and the fog can be a problem many times. That's at least what was published when they pulled out of SFO..there could have been other reasons not for publication perhaps.
crefloors is online now  
Jul 23rd, 2005, 04:14 PM
  #14  
aggiemom
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I'm a definite SW fan, too. Since I now live in DFW area (instead of So. Cal.) AA is the one I usually fly. I've flown out of Love Field a couple times to Houston.

But in Calif. SW took me up and down the coast cheaply, conveniently. No penalties for changes. I even enjoyed the corny humor! ("Folks, please be careful when opening the overhead bins, because, as we all know, "shift" happens.")
 
Jul 23rd, 2005, 05:02 PM
  #15  
 
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I hate the announcements. If I want to hear jokes, I will go to a comedy show. Just read the darned announcements and sit down. It's no fun flying and the people not stuck in small seats crammed in like sardines shouldn't be telling jokes while I'm miserable.
MikeT is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2005, 05:36 PM
  #16  
 
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I also could care less about SWA not having assigned seats. Is it REALLY that important?!? To me, flying is a means to an end, and since SWA helps me get there on time, for a good price, and does it safely, I am all for it. I also have friends who work at SWA, and they treat their employees very well. That says a lot to me, too.

I also live in the DFW area, and I wish the Wright Amendment would go away!
ChristieP is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2005, 06:37 PM
  #17  
 
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At 6'3, having an assigned seat is very important to me. If I am going to be stuck in a plane for three hours, I want to do everyting I can to avoid sitting in a middle seat or some other undesirable place. I shouldn't have to go online at 12:01am to get my boarding pass and than show up especially early just to get a reasonable seat. It's rarely worth the money I will save.
MikeT is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2005, 07:04 PM
  #18  
 
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Wowww. Who put a quarter into MikeT?
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Jul 23rd, 2005, 07:08 PM
  #19  
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Well, IMO, all the airlines are treating us like cattle now. You can't even find a peanut these days on a plane, much less anything else to eat on a plane flight, no matter how long it might be. We are crammed into our seats on almost every carrier like sardines.

At least SW doesn't charge you for every little change of mind and stick you with $100 pp in changing mind fees. What is three hours anyway, and if I plan ahead, just a little, I have no problem getting the seat I want.

The flying game has changed folks, and SW is, in my book, a major player for my $$$.
Heavens is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2005, 08:29 PM
  #20  
 
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From the outset Southwest has never claimed to be anything more than an efficient cattle car. And they deliver on what they promise. The bankrupt "legacy" carriers are degenerating into cattle cars, but they don't do it anywhere as well as Southwest.

The other real advantage in my book is that Southwest's management and employees enjoy a harmonious relationship. Valued employees are far more likely to treat passengers as valued customers. The management of "legacy" airlines treat employees like sewage, forcing them to make endless rounds of sacrifice while awarding themselves retention bonuses and special bankruptcy-proof pensions. That's bound to affect the way those employees treat passengers.

So what if they don't have assigned seating? They make it easy enough to get in the "A" group with on-line boarding passes and airport kiosks. And I've found their 737s have adequate legroom, more than many "legacy" carriers's economy class. Their fare structure is simple and transparent, unlike the bankrupt "legacy" carriers' yield-management schemes that feel like a rigged game where they hold all the cards and deal from the bottom of the deck.

Maybe there's a good reason why Southwest is profitable while the "legacy" airlines are on a steep descent into bankruptcy. Southwest is is good as you can expect today, when air travel in general is a trying ordeal. When I have a choice I'll choose a winner.
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