A+ Elite Member - Worth giving Southwest a shot?

 
Old Mar 3, 14, 6:06 pm
  #1  
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A+ Elite Member - Worth giving Southwest a shot?

So I'll be honest and up front. As of now I don't really even think calling up Southwest and asking for their status even an option. I've flown Southwest twice... both because I needed the cheapest possible one-way for myself and a friend to buy a car. Drive it home.

What I love about AirTran. I live in Atlanta so lots of direct flights. Great Elite status benefits. I used to fly Delta and never got an upgrade. Ever. AirTran I get it 90% of the time. Free exit rows. Etc.

So those that have dual used or have more experience with Southwest is it worth giving it a shot? I see they will give the basic Status "A-List" but that seems to basically get nothing. Not guaranteed A boarding zone. So no exit row. Maybe on an Aisle somewhere.

So someone can sell me? Or is it a lost cause? I am a traveling photographer so I check a bag and then bring on a maximum roller size camera bag. If I get on late due to their boarding process putting that below the plane is not an option... so early boarding is super important.
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Old Mar 3, 14, 10:49 pm
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Originally Posted by dinanm3atl View Post
So I'll be honest and up front. As of now I don't really even think calling up Southwest and asking for their status even an option. I've flown Southwest twice... both because I needed the cheapest possible one-way for myself and a friend to buy a car. Drive it home.

What I love about AirTran. I live in Atlanta so lots of direct flights. Great Elite status benefits. I used to fly Delta and never got an upgrade. Ever. AirTran I get it 90% of the time. Free exit rows. Etc.

So those that have dual used or have more experience with Southwest is it worth giving it a shot? I see they will give the basic Status "A-List" but that seems to basically get nothing. Not guaranteed A boarding zone. So no exit row. Maybe on an Aisle somewhere.

So someone can sell me? Or is it a lost cause? I am a traveling photographer so I check a bag and then bring on a maximum roller size camera bag. If I get on late due to their boarding process putting that below the plane is not an option... so early boarding is super important.
What was the question again?
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Old Mar 4, 14, 8:34 am
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A-List does in fact guarantee you an "A" boarding position. A 1-15 are reserved for BS fares and gate upgrades ($40). They are usually not all sold. Next is A-List Preferred then A-List. I find as A-List I generally get a boarding pass lower that A-30. I have never been in the "B" group although others have reported that. Often that is the result of purchasing an last minute ticket. In the rare case you might not actually get a "A" boarding position you are allowed to board after the A Group "A-61".

In the past I have generally flown Southwest for leisure and Airtran for business, because they had better flights from my home airport to the destinations iI need to get to. I much prefer the Airtran product.

That said I am giving Southwest a try. This year I have moved all of my bookings to Southwest.com but am booking as many Airtran flights as possible. I will certainly make A-List my own this year.

Last edited by rsteinmetz70112; Mar 4, 14 at 11:17 pm
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Old Mar 4, 14, 1:13 pm
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Originally Posted by rsteinmetz70112 View Post
A-Lit does in fact guarantee you an "A" boarding position. A 1-15 are reserved for BS fares and gate upgrades ($40). They are usually not all sold. Next is A-List Preferred then A-List. I find as A-List I generally get a boarding pass lower that A-30. I have never been in the "B" group although others have reported that. Often that is the result of purchasing an last minute ticket. In the rare case you might not actually get a A boarding position you are allowed to board after the A Group.

In the past I have generally flown Southwest for leisure and Airtran for business, because they had better flights from my home airport to the destinations iI need to get to. I much prefer the Airtran product.

That said I am giving Southwest a try. This year I have moved all of my bookings to Southwest.com but am booking as many Airtran flights as possible. I will certainly make A-List my own this year.

Thanks for the reply. I am worried that they were touting expanded routes but it seems they are just killing off the AirTran routes. IE there was 3 flights a day ATL to LAX each way. Now I am left with one AirTran option each way or take Southwest with 6 options... all require stops. None are Non-Stop. And some are AirTran and some are Southwest. So 4 flights to handle one trip... and don't think that adds up to more credits does it?
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Old Mar 4, 14, 1:52 pm
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If you are a Delta regular flyer to the west coast from ATL, you are going to suffer just as much with the lack of competition from AirTran on direct flights to LAX. Watch non stop fares jump this year from ATL to a west coast city. My buddy had to fly to Seattle last year and the non stop prices were outrageous. No competition from AirTran anymore on that route , at least on direct flights.
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Old Mar 4, 14, 8:33 pm
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As flights on Airtran are reduced/replaced you might consider booking all future flights on Southwest and getting the status match. 2015 brings no Airtran flights so no credit toward Elite.

That checked bag would be free on either Airtran or Southwest.

RR Points don't expire provided continued activity. Any activity including credit card or partners. If you play that right that's currently like forever.

If your bookings are on short notice the points earned on the higher short notice fares and cost/benefit between Anytime/Business Select often make BS a better deal.

IMO are RR points are worth more than capacity controlled credits were on Airtran. (of course there are very frequent fliers that didn't wince at getting near anytime on points in BC at double points)
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Old Mar 4, 14, 11:29 pm
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Originally Posted by dinanm3atl View Post
Thanks for the reply. I am worried that they were touting expanded routes but it seems they are just killing off the AirTran routes. IE there was 3 flights a day ATL to LAX each way. Now I am left with one AirTran option each way or take Southwest with 6 options... all require stops. None are Non-Stop. And some are AirTran and some are Southwest. So 4 flights to handle one trip... and don't think that adds up to more credits does it?
Southwest at one time advertised "More nonstops to more places" That was always over inflated.

So far on the routes I fly I am seeing Southwest replace Airtan more or less 1 to 1. That may not be the case on every route.

It is disheartening to see Southwest reduce non-stops from ATL to LAX. hat seems to conflict with their effort to attact more Business Passengers and move to longer routes.

I bill my time at relatively low rates but the cost savings don't come close to making a flight that takes twice as along worthwhile. Yes I can bill some work in the air, but Southwest's WiFi sucks and working in an airport sucks more.

Also you don't get any credit for stopping a number of times. In fact Southwest usually charges extra for the stops.
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Old Mar 6, 14, 10:24 am
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Originally Posted by rsteinmetz70112 View Post
Southwest at one time advertised "More nonstops to more places" That was always over inflated.

So far on the routes I fly I am seeing Southwest replace Airtan more or less 1 to 1. That may not be the case on every route.

It is disheartening to see Southwest reduce non-stops from ATL to LAX. hat seems to conflict with their effort to attact more Business Passengers and move to longer routes.

I bill my time at relatively low rates but the cost savings don't come close to making a flight that takes twice as along worthwhile. Yes I can bill some work in the air, but Southwest's WiFi sucks and working in an airport sucks more.

Also you don't get any credit for stopping a number of times. In fact Southwest usually charges extra for the stops.
Agreed. I am a photographer so travel to the west coast 5-10 times a year. Couple of race weekends, couple projects and usually one personal trip. So trying to book around a reduced schedule is disheartening.

I assume Southwest will fill those routes back up. Not sure how buying AirTran and then not using their gates and routes from ATL to LAX is a smart move. I'd rather pay more and fly Delta Non-Stop then fly through Dallas going and then Milwaukee coming back. That just adds 2+ hours each way of wasted time.


And you mention their WiFi sucks? How bad is 'sucks'? I use it a LOT on AirTran for browsing and client work.


*EDIT*

Just tried again through Southwest.com - Seems there are some non-stop options. AirTran.com does not give these options. SW wasn't reporting them when I initially posted. New? Or maybe a problem on their end. So that isn't awful anymore. I will give them a shot for sure. Get their basic status and since I am on contract I don't bill the actual flights. So getting there on time at a good price is most important.

Definitely will miss the 90+ percent chance of getting upgraded on AirTran. I book exit row seats and in the last year I can't remember the last time I did not get upgraded. AirTran even upgraded my wife and I both ways into Vegas for our 5yr anniversary this past June.
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Old Mar 24, 14, 2:23 pm
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If you're Airtran Elite, call and they'll make you A-list. With that, you're essentially guaranteed to be an A -- and you don't have to worry about checking in at exactly -24 hours or paying for auto-checkin. I don't think I've been lower than A30.

So as long as you're there when your group boards, you'll for sure have space to put your camera equipment with you.

The other good thing about Southwest: because first bags are free, the masses that travel SW check bags -- so there is usually available overhead space unlike airlines that charge for even the first bag.

Southwest is no where near as good as Airtran, but for what you use it for, it should be fine.
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Old Mar 26, 14, 10:18 pm
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I did call. Actually SW called me because I had sent an email. So they called me back and now SW A-Basic(Whatever it is called). Will give them a shot.
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Old Apr 8, 14, 10:15 am
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A couple of follow-up questions. I am A+ Elite, but have never flown WN and don't currently have a RR account.

1. How do I get a RR account with a status match to my A+ Elite account?
2. If I book a flight on Airtran metal on Southwest.com with the status matched RR account, does that provide stand-by upgrades like A+ Elite? Is there a way to use A+ credits to upgrade an Airtan flight purchased on southwest.com?
3. I realize that flights purchased on WN get free bags and no change fee, while FL has a more liberal day of travel standby policy without regarding fare recalculation. Other than that, is there any reason to choose booking on FL vs WN? I had been booking on FL to requalify as Elite, but thinking of migrating to WN since requalifying as Elite is now moot.
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Old Apr 8, 14, 1:03 pm
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Originally Posted by EWR-6785 View Post
A couple of follow-up questions. I am A+ Elite, but have never flown WN and don't currently have a RR account.

1. How do I get a RR account with a status match to my A+ Elite account?
Open an RR account on Southwest.com and Call Airtran ELite line and give them the number.

2. If I book a flight on Airtran metal on Southwest.com with the status matched RR account, does that provide stand-by upgrades like A+ Elite?
Are you talking about upgrade to Biz? Or Standby Travel?

Biz upgrades are hit and miss. sometimes you can get a Biz upgrade sometime not.

Same Day Standby is not usually available on Southwest tickets unless you upgrade to a Business Select or an Anytime fate. If the flight is running late they will sometimes let you go on an earlier flight.

Is there a way to use A+ credits to upgrade an Airtan flight purchased on southwest.com?
Not as far as anyone knows.

3. I realize that flights purchased on WN get free bags and no change fee, while FL has a more liberal day of travel standby policy without regarding fare recalculation. Other than that, is there any reason to choose booking on FL vs WN?
Easier qualification for Elite status, Better Cancellation policy and easier Elite upgrades at the gate are about it.

I had been booking on FL to requalify as Elite, but thinking of migrating to WN since requalifying as Elite is now moot.
Someone recently re-qualified for Elite and reported they were told that they would be RR A-List for 2015, once the programs merged. It is easier to qualify as Elite that to get A-List

Last edited by rsteinmetz70112; Apr 8, 14 at 2:17 pm
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