Wednesday 22 June 2011

Pin It

Get Gadget

Southwest Scares Me

When it comes to booking airfares, I have my favorite airline (Alaska) but I'm pretty open to booking anywhere if the price is right.  I've flown on most of the major legacy carriers, and other than very minor details, I've really had no complaints about any of them, so when I'm planning a run somewhere, every airline gets equal consideration.  Except Southwest.

There's lots of reasons I don't usually give much thought to Southwest when I need a flight, but my biggest fear is their boarding process.  I don't like Boxing Day sales, I don't like festival seating at concerts, and I can't imagine that I would like unreserved seating on an airplane.  I don't need to have an exit row seat, and I prefer to have my carry on bag under the seat in front of me, but I do like to know that I'll be sitting with my wife or kids before boarding.

Then there's the "Airline" tv show that they had.  I know that they probably had to play some things up to keep the interest level in the show high, but I've never flown Southwest, so these Jersey Shore wannabes are the only impression I have of Southwest's customers.  Being trapped in a metal tube with somebody who thinks their $69 ticket qualifies them as the world's most important flyer isn't all that enticing to me.

So why do I bring it up?  It seems that at the end of August I need to fly from Las Vegas to San Francisco and neither Alaska nor Delta (where I get free bags) have a direct flight.  Couple that with the 40th anniversary sale that Southwest has going on, and I am now in possession of my first Southwest ticket.   What am I dreading?  The boarding process (even though I paid for the early-bird check in), trying to figure out another frequent flyer program, and the C gates in Las Vegas (I only know where everything is at the D gates).  What am I most looking forward to?  I'm going to try and get a window seat so I can watch the bag handlers yelling at the other airlines for charging for luggage.