- Apr 23, 2002
I suppose it is where you are flying to and more importantly from. From StL they are usually the cheapest.Literally I have always heard from SWA fans how amazing they were….but every time I checked into them they were at least as expensive as any other carrier. Then stuff like this makes it even more clear, they’re a budget carrier charging big airline rates…this article is 100% right too, small airlines lack the capacity to absorb operational issues and limit customer impact
Southwest Airlines….Spirit/Frontier/allegiant service….at a United price point…
The couple times I have flown SW, I did enjoy the way they line you up for boarding so its not mass chaos. That is about the only thing I like about them.
I just did a very unscientific sample booking for a possible upcoming flight... June 3 - 6, Atlanta to Fort Lauderdale, non-stop flights, I get free bags on DL but for the sake of comparison I'll include bag fees. Delta is $377 ($317 without bag fees) and SW is $391. We also get automatic upgrades to DL Comfort at time of booking if its available. For both carriers I didn't consider the oh-dark-thirty (am or pm) flights because we won't take them unless its the absolutely only option. I'd say our flight selection these days is based on 75% convenience, 25% fare. For people who travel a lot, we enjoy the little extras that we can get, even if we have to pay for it, to make the trip more enjoyable.
I’d be happy to give her a quickie.This thread is making me nostalgic. In my 20's I lived in Amarillo, Texas, about ten minutes from their tiny airport. SWA had a 6:45am flight to Dallas. On more than one occasion I set my alarm for 6:00, took a quick shower, brushed my teeth, got dressed, and left the house by 6:15. Arrive at the airport at 6:25, park about 100 feet from the door, stick my credit card in the machine below and pushed the "Dallas" button, breezed through security (no removing shoes or laptops back then) arrive at the gate by 6:30. Land in Dallas just after 7:30 - an hour and a half after waking up.
Ill take that 'nonsense' you speak of. Im flying for sub $250 round trip from New Orleans to Medellin this weekend. Going in Friday, coming back Sunday. I dont need a bag, I dont need to pick my seat, i just need a plane to get me there and back.I'm one of those fans of SWA. I live in St. Louis and after TWA went under, SWA became our biggest carrier. They have more direct flights than anyone else from StL and the prices are extremely competitive. And you know what your paying upfront, none of this $30 for a bag, $15 for a seat, $10 for a carry-on nonsense. They are friendly and usually on time. I can't speak to what the article references because I don't fly near as often as I once did but I'm still a fan. When I used to fly dozens of times a month for work my usual go to airline was SWA.
congratsIll take that 'nonsense' you speak of. Im flying for sub $250 round trip from New Orleans to Medellin this weekend. Going in Friday, coming back Sunday. I dont need a bag, I dont need to pick my seat, i just need a plane to get me there and back.
Southwest is typically $150-200 higher on just about every flight i take. Hell, i find Delta/United many times are quite a bit less expensive
This. I was going to point out their success at hedging. SW is no longer the cheapest and is often one of the more expensive. I live near Houston Hobby which is like a SW hub and easy airport to get in and out of. The best thing SW has going for it is the ease of changing flights. That is the best for business travel. My schedule and get wonky so I usually book the last direct flight home knowing that I can grab an earlier flight without extra charge if I need it. Also, its rewards program is one of the best in the business.Herb made some extremely bold, and in hindsight, genius decisions.
- Sticking with point-to-point (O&D focus) vs the popular hub & spoke model. This helped keep costs low by not having to support expensive hub operations. It kept their network more flexible during extreme weather.
- Pioneered fuel hedging - this singular item kept them afloat after 9/11 and positioned them for growth while all the other carriers suffered through bankruptcy.
- Single model fleet (B737’s) - Herb resisted pressure to grow and he really stuck with what worked. Maintenance and pilot training costs were some of the lowest in the world for a fleet their size because of this.
All this being said, flash forward to today and SW has some true legacy carrier problems. Seniority and union issues primarily are what makes them almost similar to UAL and AA.
Herb Kelleher also challenged the leader of a commuter airline to an arm wrestling match to settle a trademark dispute over the phrase 'Just Plane Smart.'In the 80's, as a young guy living in Texas, I flew a lot on my own dime for business and pleasure. SWA was a great option, and they helped exert downward pressure on other airline prices. Herb Kelleher was a genius and a fantastic CEO with a number of creative ideas.
Yes, the cattle-call boarding because of no assigned seating was pretty uncivilized. But the simplicity of the entire process, and the emphasis on creating a positive atmosphere, not to mention the low prices, made it worth it.
- One of his signature MOs was from time to time working other jobs at the airline, such as flight attendant, baggage handler, or working the ticket counter.
- He was the first airline CEO who seemed to recognize that his planes only made money while they were in the air, so he found ways to land, disembark, load, and takeoff in a fraction of the time of other airlines.
- When a plane was stuck on the ground for any reason, the pilot would immediately announce "free beer" and the hot-pant-wearing young lasses would start rolling the beer cart up and down the aisle - so unlike the prison atmosphere on other airlines, a flight delay on SWA meant party time.
- Pricing was simple. Any flight had two prices: week day pricing and weekend & evening prices. They had hardcopies of the flight prices available at the ticket counter, because they did not engage in "dynamic pricing" back then.