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Old 02-28-2007, 08:50 PM   #1
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Question Who's flown Southwest?

Ticket prices have gotten outrageous on the majors. What I want to know is about their different ticket classes. (I've never flown SWA and can't afford to get bumped or stranded)

Refundable Anytime
Restricted Fares
Fun Fares
Promotional Fares
Internet One-way

Which is going to give me the best shot at getting where I need to go when I need to get there?

Flights are from Raleigh/Durham through Phoenix to Sacramento and back

TIA
FT
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Old 02-28-2007, 09:18 PM   #2
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Flown once. If you buy a ticket and get to the airport on time you will get a seat. If you are late someone else will get it. THis goes for most airlines.
On SWA I think you can only book the internet. You may have to change planes a couple of times but they will get you there.
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Old 02-28-2007, 09:28 PM   #3
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I agree with Michele. SW is good and reasonable. Get your ticket and show up on time. You may be routed 'out of your way'...but they'll get you there. I've got a lot of friends who are pilots at SW! I trust them.
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Old 02-28-2007, 09:35 PM   #4
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Flown SWA many times. Frequent flights where I want to go and usually the cheapest prices. A real hassle to fly long distances, like across the country, because as others mentioned you may stop twice on your route, and sit in an airport for several hours. (The seats are cramped enough you almost welcome the break! )

I don't think it makes any difference which pricing plan you use - if you are there and they haven't canceled the flight, you will get your seat.
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Old 02-28-2007, 10:06 PM   #5
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Flown many, many times as I commute often to SoCal and Utah. Book on the internet and pick which option for refunds you like. The better the refunds, the more the flight costs.

Make SURE you check in online 24 hours before your flight. The plane boards by A,B and C groups. The A group gets on first and gets the pick of the plane. The C's get what is left over, like center seats. If you just show up before your flight, the people that checked in online will have gotten all the A's and most of the B's.

I don't have enough patience to fly cross country on SW so I book direct flights. Maybe more money (not always) but my time is worth something (I think
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Old 02-28-2007, 10:39 PM   #6
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Old 02-28-2007, 10:57 PM   #7
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Done it

Many times, across country.. no friles airline. You might even be seated backwards facing the rest of the plane. Get there early, get a A boarding pass (First come first seated), and you'll get there. I fly alot, and my new Airline of Choice is Jet Blue, out of Dulles. You get there, have your own live 36 channel Direct TV, more leg room than anyone else, and the most leg room than any other airline - and price is right. They only use the Airbus 320 airframe (new planes) and I swear buy them, even with all the latest bad press. I fly them tomorrow night.

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Old 02-28-2007, 10:58 PM   #8
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Old 02-28-2007, 11:18 PM   #9
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I have flown mostly on SWA. Can't agree more on booking online and at the stoke of 24 hours before depature time, print out a boarding pass. You'll get an 'A' and have the pick of seats. The ones over the wings with the emergency exits are best. A little larger and no children allowed in that row. Plus there's only two seats in that row on each side of the plane so you have a little more room to stretch.

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Old 02-28-2007, 11:32 PM   #10
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Whose $ is paying?

Like the SW question. They do have a very generous frequent flyer program but then....

For me it boils down to 'who is paying?'

My $. I book the most expedient (time, connections wise) airline thru an airport that is likely to have more than 1 plane there (in case of breakdown) and flys thru where there is least likely to be weather. This is often a very non-exact science, but then air travel is like that these days.

Somebody else's $. I try to go with American - but then I have Premier status and they seem to value that sort of thing. But then everyone has their favorites for an airline.

In the winter months I try to stay out of Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver. That criteria alone winnows the field of available carriers.

Out of Raleigh you have several to pick from. Ask me how I know?

For me anymore, travel of about 6 hours drive time and more, flying is likely the most efficient. The 4-6 hour trip is tough, lots of variables. Under 4 is usually a slam dunk - drive.

Hope this helps - I am sure the airline warriors, the ones just getting home from the airport will be chiming in.... Happy and safe travels!

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Old 03-01-2007, 02:05 AM   #11
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We have flown SWA several times from Sacramento to Hartford and back. Cheap but crowded and made more stops than the bus to Bakersfield. Despite the recent bad publicity a freind tells me that Jet Blue is a better way.

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Old 03-01-2007, 08:57 PM   #12
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I've flown SWA from Nashville, TN. to Houston, TX. and then on to Corpus Christi, TX. as well as the reverse for many years. I've always been at the airport over an hour in advance and never had a problem getting a seat.
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Old 03-01-2007, 09:05 PM   #13
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Ticket Prices don't relate to service...

Just to confirm, on SWA all seats are "open" and filled on first come, first seated basis... You can pay more to have refundables, or pay less by buying non-refundables waaaayy in advance... You can't buy their tix on any other website, and you can't check luggage through onto another carrier...

You get a soft drink and peanuts, or you can buy alchohol.. NO food, but bring anything on you want to eat. No movies, no sound system, bad magazine...

On time record decays late in the day, especially on Fridays and Sundays, and around holidays... Pretty decent about helping stranded passengers, or better - not stranding them... They only fly one model airplane (Boeing 737 - and yes there are different versions..) and all their pilots are licensed to fly anything in their fleet... Safety record outstanding (several incidents, no passenger fatalities in decades...). They do their own maintenance, rather than subcontract out to China or Caribbean...

John
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Old 03-01-2007, 09:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Condoluminum
Just to confirm, on SWA all seats are "open" and filled on first come, first seated basis... You can pay more to have refundables, or pay less by buying non-refundables waaaayy in advance... You can't buy their tix on any other website, and you can't check luggage through onto another carrier...

You get a soft drink and peanuts, or you can buy alchohol.. NO food, but bring anything on you want to eat. No movies, no sound system, bad magazine...

On time record decays late in the day, especially on Fridays and Sundays, and around holidays... Pretty decent about helping stranded passengers, or better - not stranding them... They only fly one model airplane (Boeing 737 - and yes there are different versions..) and all their pilots are licensed to fly anything in their fleet... Safety record outstanding (several incidents, no passenger fatalities in decades...). They do their own maintenance, rather than subcontract out to China or Caribbean...

John
...and from what I understand, one of the few airlines still making money!
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