Why will you fly Southwest in 2017?

Old Dec 29, 16, 2:12 am
  #1  
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Why will you fly Southwest in 2017?

Why will Southwest be your airline of choice in 2017?

(There are plenty of threads where you can file your complaints about the airline; this thread isn't one of them.)

As a long time UA flyer, I only saw the light of Southwest about three years ago after a job switch. Since then, I've fallen in LUV with Southwest, and they have become my airline of choice for work and fun.

What are the reasons Southwest will be my airline of choice in 2017? I have several:
- No change fees. The flexibility to cancel and change tickets is huge. I save my company money, and the added flexibility saves me time.
- More nonstop flights. I only travel domestically for work, and Southwest has more nonstops nationwide than any of the other carriers. As a DC-based flyer, Southwest has grown a great set of nonstops from DCA, and I can head to BWI for anything else I need.
- Consistency. I know exactly what to expect on Southwest. No worrying about aircraft swaps or being stuck on a dreaded ERJ145--737s all day, every day. No wondering if my upgrade will clear. I can get the exact seat I want 90% of the time (aisle seat row 9).
- Self service. People love to complain about Southwest's IT, but I think it's way more reliable than the other legacies out there. I've only had to call Southwest for help a few times with 150+ flights this year. When I flew UA, I was on the phone or service counter dealing with unsynchronized tickets all the time. The app is also great for making changes or cancelling flights on the go.
- Companion pass and Rapid Rewards in general. My partner and I get extraordinary value out of CP. The ability to prospectively book multiple RR flights when sales occur and cancel later on with no fees brings even more value to CP.
- Service. Everyone at Southwest from ticket counter agents to FAs to pilots actually seem happy doing their jobs. That happiness leads to great service. The few times things didn't quite go right, the Customer Relations team more than made up for it. That group that staffs that line is magical. They know how to make things right.
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Old Dec 29, 16, 2:40 am
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> Companion pass
> No change fees
> Bags fly free, at least any reasonable number
> RR program
> No assinged seat nonsense with associated fees
> The staff at all levels does seem friendly and helpful
> The airline doesn not seem poised and anxious to rip you off, unlike many I've experienced
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Old Dec 29, 16, 2:43 am
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Sanest hoarding process of any airline.

Who needs cattle call boarding like DL, etc., do it?
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Old Dec 29, 16, 3:10 am
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No change fees.

However, there's a good chance that 2017 will be my slowest year in a while. I have 3 RTs booked in January and February to burn up some travel funds that are set to expire and after that there's a good chance I won't be on them again for at least 6-9 months. Nothing against WN but they're just not a viable option for the trips I will likely be taking in 2017.
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Old Dec 29, 16, 5:24 am
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Originally Posted by Doc Savage View Post
Sanest hoarding process of any airline.

But... but.. Didn't you read the other thread? They make us line up like kindergartners!
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Old Dec 29, 16, 6:52 am
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I have a 3 year old and another child on the way. Easiest family boarding policy, and I needn't worry about having my family split into different rows. Plus, the lack of change fees makes it easy to change plans when any of the aforementioned family members get sick, etc.

Also, hoping for lifetime A-list to be introduced this year...
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Old Dec 29, 16, 7:02 am
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They fly non stop to where I want to go. The other airlines insist I go through hubs. WN has the most non stops from BNA. I used to drink the WN KoolAid a bit more, but as WN's on time performance has waned, so has my enthusiasm. Now I fly them when a non stop is more convenient. I tried JetBlue for the first time last weekend, and it was nice to have a seat assignment on a non stop flight for less money than WN.
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Old Dec 29, 16, 7:06 am
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          Old Dec 29, 16, 7:09 am
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          For certain destinations, Southwest has more of the flights I need. Chicago to ONT? Have fun flying one of the legacy carriers. Chicago to SJC? I actually considered flying Alaska Airlines because the price was good, but decided against it since it required a change of planes (in Seattle!) and a long layover, plus I'd have to fly out of O'Hare. WN gets me there either nonstop, or with a change in Denver. From nearby Midway!
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          Old Dec 29, 16, 8:16 am
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          The only reason I fly Southwest is price. If it is from the companion pass or a sale I frequently pay less for a ticket, sometimes a LOT less. If the airline was not cheaper for me I would likely not be flying it. The lack of change fees is not important to me because I almost never change travel plans.

          In some ways I like the boarding process, the letter and number system for lining up works and provides a level of certainty which helps prevent people from lining up too early. But I would prefer set seat assignments. I want to actually pick where I want to sit ahead of time and know that is where I will be on the plane.

          Due to route changes Southwest is actually a lot less convenient to my most frequent destinations. I found myself splitting trips between different airlines just to try to get flights when I want to travel or to cut down on layovers. I consider travel time part of the cost and when I am looking at flights which basically waste a day I will happily pay more and fly another airline to maximize my time.
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          Old Dec 29, 16, 9:18 am
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          - Use of RR points
          - sometimes direct flight

          Other than that, if it's longer than 3 hours, I'll fly another airline even if it means a stop somewhere. Out of ALB, most of the flights on SW stop at BWI or Midway, and sometimes the 30-40 minute layover isn't long enough to get real food, (one time they refused to let us off the plane in BWI to get food so we spent 4 hours without any breakfast either as we took the dreaded early flight and everything was closed at the airport).

          Usually will book ALB - MCO if it's direct because it's short enough --IF the price/RR redemption is right. But sometimes Jetblue has same price with nicer amenities, IMO.
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          Old Dec 29, 16, 9:48 am
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          Originally Posted by palmetto86 View Post
          - More nonstop flights. I only travel domestically for work, and Southwest has more nonstops nationwide than any of the other carriers.
          That's only true if you ignore the regional contract carriers of AA, DL, and UA, and the dozens of extra domestic destinations they bring on top of WN's network.
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          Old Dec 29, 16, 10:00 am
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          Originally Posted by kenban View Post
          In some ways I like the boarding process, the letter and number system for lining up works and provides a level of certainty which helps prevent people from lining up too early. But I would prefer set seat assignments. I want to actually pick where I want to sit ahead of time and know that is where I will be on the plane.
          There's no need to loiter in any line if you have an assigned seat. You obviously do have to file through one-at-a-time at the scanner, but finish your coffee or email and join the queue well into the process. The 'pushing and shoving' whine is as overworked as the 'kindergarten' imagery.

          Every big North American airline except WN is installing "space bins" on new 737 orders. Adding 25% capacity for carry-ons reduces boarding anxiety (and helps turnaround times).
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          Old Dec 29, 16, 10:43 am
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          I'm in it for the peanuts.
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          Old Dec 29, 16, 10:45 am
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          Cool

          Originally Posted by PAX62 View Post
          I'm in it for the peanuts.
          Pretzels!
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