Whenever I mention how much I love flying Southwest to an airline snob, I get pretty much the same answer: “They treat you like cattle.” This is in reference to the airline’s system of lining passengers up according to boarding group. Aside from that minor annoyance, I still prefer to fly Southwest during my short-haul flight to Los Angeles every 3-4 months. Here are 5 things I love about Southwest Airlines:
1. They take take your baggage. I’m one of those obnoxious passengers who overstuffs her carryon until it weights more than I do. Sometimes I want to avoid pulling a muscle by checking my bag. It’s nice to know if I want to check two, I won’t have to pay the cost of a round-trip flight to do so.
2. They make you laugh. I don’t know if being funny is a prerequisite for getting hired at Southwest, but everyone from the captain to the FA’s seems to have a great sense of humor. Maybe their employee handbook has a list of jokes they memorize. In any case, at a time when many airline employees have surly attitudes, it’s nice to come across a chipper crew, flight after flight.
3. They give you peanuts. Even on an hour-long flight, when most other airlines would rather throw a drink in your face than serve it to you, the Southwest crew hands out drinks along with pretzels and peanuts.
4. Free entertainment. At a time when airlines want to nickel-and-dime you for everything, including in-flight entertainment, it’s nice that Southwest lets you watch tv free of charge. Thank you Southwest, for giving me the option to watch a new episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta instead of contemplating buying a human slingshot from the Skymall catalog.
5. Rapid Rewards. You gotta love Southwest’s fixed-value redemption chart. With the major airlines, you need at least 12,500 miles for a one-way flight. How many miles do you have to travel as a non-elite to earn this many miles? 12,500. Through a series of double points promotions, I have managed to turn a few short-haul flights into a free short-haul ticket. What’s even greater is the fact that points are easily redeemable – you can redeem on any flight, any time, and without those pesky $75 close-in fees that the major carriers charge.
Say what you want about their boarding system, but they get people on the plane fast. No frills, no nonsense, and a bit of quirkiness goes a long way. United could learn a thing or two from Southwest.
What are your thoughts on Southwest Airlines? Do you love it, hate it?