Updated: Oct 12, 2018
This past month, I flew with Southwest for the first time ever. Here is why I think they are the best!
Truth #1: I love to travel
Truth #2: I hate to fly....
See the problem? For me to board a plane, sitting like a sardine, 30k feet in the air (which is not normal), is enough to cause an anxiety attack! Most airlines are boring, stifling and make me feel like cramped cattle ready for slaughter. Flying is not something I actively look forward to, until, of course, they put piano bars and lounges back into planes.
Most of the time, people are not friendly, waiting in line for check in, waiting in line at security and even a line to board the plane, the air is crackling with thinned patience. Everyone is ornery, uptight and downright grumpy. Why? Most people are heading towards vacations, or business trips (I'd like to get away from my chaotic family for a few days by myself, who wouldn't?)
I was pleasantly surprised by flying on Southwest!
On Southwest airlines, there are NO seat reservations. Yes, that is right, none! You receive a boarding group number (A, B or C) and boarding position (1-60). I admit, I was very scared I would be the last one to board, like the last person to be picked for a team in gym class. To combat my fears, we paid for priority boarding, which gave us boarding group A and position 30ish.
When we stepped onto the plane, we had ANY seat to choose from, that is right, I said ANY seat. I felt like we won the lottery, getting to choose whatever seat our hearts desired! I almost felt sorry for the people boarding last, as they had to choose whatever seat was empty. Sorry, not sorry...they didn't pay for priority seating, beaches! But seriously, I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly everyone boarded the plane and sat quickly in the seats that were available.
Oh, and try not to sit next to someone like this! Come on people, we need to screen our seatmates!
Another plus! There was more leg room in all of the seats. I was able to fish stuff out of my bag without face planting the seat in front of me.
TIP: Do not sit in the row in front of an emergency exit, the seats do not recline!
The flight crew was the friendliest I've ever seen! Our captain on the flight to Orlando updated us regularly (especially because there was turbulence). It was VERY reassuring, especially for someone who does not like to fly. Unlike those 'other' airlines, where you hear a little mumble and think to yourself "did he say we are starting to crash?" only to wait on the edge of your seat for 15 min. and realize he said "We are starting drink service" and never hear from the captain again, as if he transported to another dimension only to leave our plane on auto pilot.
I do have to give a shout out to the crew on flight #5389 from Ft. Lauderdale to Newark. I felt as if I was flying with long lost friends. They joked, actually talked with you and helped in any way possible. The one stewardess was a freaking stand-up comic with lots of snark! This continued for the whole flight. We were all laughing and made to feel very comfortable, the way a flight should be when you are close quarters with 200+ strangers for 3 hours.
When flying Southwest you receive 2 FREE checked bags! Guess what? That includes golf bags as well. That is a huge savings, as most airlines charge extra for over-sized bags. Golf vacations, here I come (I just need to improve my game a bit).
I have to say , I am looking forward to my next berry flight with Southwest!
What have your flights been like?