- I flew Southwest Airlines for the second time in my life as I traveled from New York City to St. Louis in October.
- I came away satisfied with my flight and more likely to use Southwest in the future.
- The plane’s cleanliness and entertainment options, as well as the ability to check my suitcase for free, were the biggest highlights.
As airplane seats get smaller and fees get larger, what once seemed like small comforts take on greater importance.
In October, I flew Southwest Airlines for the second time in my life as I traveled from New York City to St. Louis, six months after a passenger on a Southwest flight died following a mid-flight engine failure. The flight was like most others I’ve taken but had a few notable differences from United and Delta, the airlines I most frequently use. Some of the differences were cosmetic and others were more substantive, but overall, my flight left me with a positive impression of Southwest and increased the odds I’ll use it again.
The first time I flew Southwest, I was startled by its lack of seating assignments and unconventional boarding process. This time, I knew what to expect and was more attuned to some of the details I’d previously missed. While the plane’s legroom and seat width were average and below average, respectively (according to SeatGuru), there were a few parts of my travel experience that impressed me.
Being able to check my bag for free was a significant perk, and the seats were cleaner and seemed to be made of more comfortable material than what I’m used to when flying economy on other airlines. Southwest’s entertainment options were the biggest surprise, as the airline’s website offered a wide range of movies, music stations, and television shows, many of which were free, without requiring me to download an app.
Here’s what I thought of my second experience with Southwest.
My flight was at 7:25 a.m. on a Monday, so when I arrived at LaGuardia Airport a little before 6, I wasn’t surprised to find a nearly empty check-in counter.
I was happy to find that checking my suitcase was free.
My trip was about three-and-a-half days in total, which would have made it difficult to fit everything I needed in a carry-on bag. My suitcase is too big to qualify as a carry-on item, so Southwest’s policy allowing customers to check two bags for free (so long as they’re under 50 pounds and don’t exceed 62 inches in any direction) saved me a total of $60 for the trip, compared to United, American, or Delta.
The security line was a little more crowded than I expected, though not unreasonably so.
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Source: Business insider