How do you rate Southwest Airlines US?

By FlyAway | Jun 07, 2019, 10:34 AM
Hi Guys,
Need to book an internal flight in the US between Louisville and Orlando. Only direct option is Southwest but not sure what they are like, has anyone had experience with them they could share? The other option is American Airlines with a stopover.
Thanks
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By Greg84 | Jun 07, 2019, 10:56 AM
Never had any dramas with Southwest - I'd definitely fly them if it's the only direct option vs a stopover.
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By djtech | Jun 07, 2019, 11:38 AM
I've flown them several times before. They are an unconventional airline with no assigned seating. What you gotta watch out for is you need to check in as early as possible to get the best boarding group. You just seat yourself wherever you want. Other than the wierd seat assignment or lack thereof, the staff are INCREDIBLY FRIENDLY. Southwest is like the 'fun' airline in the US and the great thing is they include 2 free checked bags. Onboard, you'll get a snack and a drink. I highly recommend them to everyone.
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By Lps988 | Jun 07, 2019, 11:38 AM
I've done 90% of my internal US flying with Southwest and found them great. They usually had the cheapest flights and their ticket included checked baggage. This may have changed as its been a few years since i was over there but never had a drama with them.
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By Steve987 | Jun 07, 2019, 12:09 PM
Get a tick from me
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By FlyAway | Jun 07, 2019, 01:29 PM
Thanks everyone,
Regarding the seating will be travelling with kids (5 & 7 years old) so is there no assigned seating for children?
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By markpk | Jun 07, 2019, 01:34 PM
A surprisingly good LCC - Have flown them a few times between Portland OR and places like LAX, Vegas
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By Brandon Loo | Jun 07, 2019, 01:38 PM
Thanks everyone,
Regarding the seating will be travelling with kids (5 & 7 years old) so is there no assigned seating for children?

They have a 'Family Boarding' group after Group A has boarded, so perhaps you'll be able to use that.

No assigned seating for anyone.
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By wunala | Jun 07, 2019, 02:52 PM
Having seen some "documentaries" on Southwest years ago, I was a bit reticent to fly with them, but they were the only airline to fly direct on one routing I needed.
Now, I don't have any issues with booking. The crew are friendly, you get the snack/drink, but you also get the 2 bags included in the cost. Delays happen, as they do for all airlines, but in terms of getting from A to B cheaply, you can't look past them.
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By SteveCF | Jun 07, 2019, 06:19 PM
Just bear in mind the number of flights being cancelled and passengers being bumped due to the 737 max at the moment
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By gtaylor20us | Jun 07, 2019, 10:31 PM
SW is one of the most popular airlines in the US. You just can't beat the 2 free checked bags for everyone! Seating is all economy, all on 737s, but all-in-all, not bad. The boarding process IS different. You get a number when you check in, and there are three boarding groups of 60 each (A, B, C). Family boarding (with a 6 year old or younger) is always between A and B, so families will only have 60 people in front of them.

But, I always get the Early Bird Check-In for an additional $20US or so each way. This process will automatically check you in at 24 hours before your flight and you will almost always get an A group (A16-A60). This is really convenient for your return trip when you may be too busy or forget to check-in early.

Here is a good link for more information on the boarding process: https://upgradedpoints.com/southwest-early-bird-check-in

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By jenko13 | Jun 08, 2019, 04:48 AM
yes families board after group a so you will be ok with your kids, the first on board always go for the first few rows so if you wander down the back a bit there is always plenty of space at that time in boarding. Seating is as good or bad as qantas in economy, you get free drink and snacks but that is all and of course 2 free bags for each passenger.
I use them all the time on shorter routes in the usa, not sure I would use them above 2 hours in the air.
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By Cloud Surfer | Jun 08, 2019, 12:36 PM
I flew them this week MSY-LAX. The two checked bags included with the fare is great, as are the snacks and drinks. As the comments have said though, check-in online as soon as you can to get the best boarding position as they do it A 1-60, B 1-60 and C 1-60. Getting a seat as a single passenger is easy, however it can be a bit more troublesome if you are in group C to get seats together. You should be able to get seats with your children though with the family boarding group.
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By kimshep | Jun 09, 2019, 12:59 PM

Just returned from the USA a few days ago. A number of Southwest flights included.


Some tips:

  1. Consider joining Southwest's 'Rapid Rewards' frequent flyer program. It's generous, has minimal redemption costs (usually just USD $5.40 PFC - passenger facility charge) and has very few 'blackout' periods. You'll be surprised how quickly you accumulate points if you visit the USA regularly.
  2. The B737MAX issue was a problem only for the first 2-3 weeks while schedules were adjusted. Southwest has sorted this and routes are now operating at an identical schedule.
  3. Crews are friendly and efficient, given that - unlike the major legacies - Southwest is generally 'non-union', so their folks are invested and well remunerated. Results in a better level of service.
  4. B737-800 frames have 32" pitch (against 31" for QF/AA/UA etc). B737-700's are 31" pitch.
  5. As said by others, 2 free bags (23kgs each) will save you significantly.

  6. Passengers with health issues or elderly (ie: wheelchair access or pacemakers etc) board before Group A. This usually covers around 5-6 passengers per flight.
  7. If your flight is a multi-stop, you are allowed to remain on the aircraft (and retain your existing seat) during the de-board and boarding process.
  8. Snacks and soft drinks are free onboard. If you make an onboard food / beverage purchase for a more substantial food item or alcoholic drink, your receipt is sent immediately to your cell or email address.
  9. If by some chance there is a service delay, interruption or problem (rare, in my experience), it will be dealt with immediately on arrival.
  10. Southwest is generally geared towards good customer satisfaction - and it is not 'lip service'.

  11. Just be aware that Southwest flies to smaller airports in some larger cities (ie: DAL vs DFW, MDW vs ORD). However, in cities such as New York, they use LGA like most others .. and California covers not only LAX and SFO, but also many of the surrounding smaller airports.
  12. Enjoy! You won't regret the experience.
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By FlyAway | Jun 10, 2019, 02:28 PM
Thanks everyone for the advice, tickets are booked so off we go!
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