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Old 05-09-2017, 11:27 AM   #41
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Another thing about Early Bird and the reason we never do it. We seldom fly Southwest, but use it for our kids. Once we buy a ticket, we check periodically and if it goes down in price we just change to the new priced flight. The Early Bird fee is nonrefundable, so if you buy Early Bird the first time, and change to a cheaper flight, you don't get that back, and have to pay again if you want it on the next flight. Only if they cancel the flight do you get a refund. You could wait until you are sure you aren't going to re-issue your ticket, I suppose, but you lose some advantage because numbers are assigned in order of purchase within one class of ticket, Anytime being the first group processed.


There are apparently sites where you can input your information and they "snipe" your seat position at 24:00 hours prior, but I'm not sure if they work or whether Southwest has shut off their access.


This is not true. We always book early bird and have changed our flight plans. As long as you are just changing the existing reservation, the early bird follows you to your new flight. If you cancel the flight and rebook under a different reservation number , then you would lose the early bird boarding and have to buy it again. But at least Southwest doesn't charge fees for changing flights.
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Old 05-09-2017, 12:25 PM   #42
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I love SW, and have flown it often. We use Early Bird check in and never have rec'd spots higher than early B group which always gives good seats available. Best thing is no baggage fees for 1st bag, means there's fewer large carry-ons and overheads usually are available, and boarding is relatively faster - unlike many other airlines.
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Old 05-09-2017, 12:30 PM   #43
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We just flew from BOI to HOU round trip on SWA. I always use EB check in.

On the return trip via DEN we were 54 and 55 (i.e. barely in the A group) so lot of folks must be using EB check in.

Note: HOU is REALLY nice now after the remodel. Love all the UH banners in the terminal - GO COOGS
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Old 05-09-2017, 03:37 PM   #44
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... I'm 6'5". I am always on the hunt for an exit row seat.
6'6" here and with EB I get either front row or exit row about 90% of the time. It's really worth it on longer flights - and I fly the direct flight from Columbus to Oakland a couple of times a year.

And yes, I almost always pick SWA for domestic travel. The price is good. I much prefer using their website to easily see the times/route/price trade-off to regular airlines sites or orbitz/whomever.

And no regional jets in their fleet!
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Old 05-09-2017, 04:28 PM   #45
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Southwest does not fly out of the only two airports I chose to fly from. HPN - Westchester, NY and SWF - Newburgh, NY.
I will not fly out of NYC if at all humanly possible.
So I guess I will never know the joys of SWA.
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Old 05-09-2017, 04:31 PM   #46
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Recently had a SW flight which was delayed enough to guarantee we'd miss our connecting flight. SW rerouted us and stamped our new C50+ boarding passes with a red XT stamp that allowed us to board between the A's and the B's. We snagged exit rows. Nice of SW to do that for us.
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Old 05-09-2017, 08:43 PM   #47
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The boarding dance once you get on to a Southwest flight can be kind of interesting. Rarely if ever an issue if you've got an A or B boarding pass, but with a C (which kind of stands for 'Center' seat) boarding pass it can be entertaining. People hoping to keep the middle seat open on flights that aren't full sometimes do some funny things.

Even with the minor inconveniences, Southwest is still my favorite domestic airline for lots of reasons - mostly because they've got cheap flights to most places I go.

A good write-up on optimizing your Southwest seating:
Tips on How to Get a Good Seat on Southwest Airlines

One of my favorites: On the less extreme end, sometimes two people traveling together try to block off a middle seat. This is great for late boarders. If you spot one of these twosomes, make a beeline for their row and ask to sit in the middle. Most likely, they will offer up either their aisle or window seat.
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Old 05-10-2017, 05:59 AM   #48
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....One of my favorites: On the less extreme end, sometimes two people traveling together try to block off a middle seat. This is great for late boarders. If you spot one of these twosomes, make a beeline for their row and ask to sit in the middle. Most likely, they will offer up either their aisle or window seat.
DW and I did this once. I sit at the window, DW on the aisle. A lady came to our row and DW and I stayed in our seats - the lady took the middle seat. DW and I were both reading, so it didn't look like we were a couple.

I ordered a beer from the flight attendant during beverage service, and the flight attendant passed my beer from DW to the middle lady to me. I passed money to the flight attendant, who gave DW change to pass to me. But DW kept the change. The middle lady turned to me and said" That lady kept your change" I told her it was ok, but the middle lady was alarmed the whole flight. This was back in the day when they took cash for drinks.
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Old 05-10-2017, 07:13 AM   #49
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I prefer the middle seat. Window seats - you are doubly trapped in there if you want to get out to use the lavatory or when you exit. Aisle - I have come to despise the aisle seat as I somehow invariably get jostled or outright whacked by passing carts, luggage, or people's butts. Usually I can get an A or B boarding position, grab a middle seat towards the front of the plane, get off faster and get a head start to the rental car desk or the parking shuttle while my spouse fetches the checked luggage. (This works best for us but you may wish to flip roles.). The potential separation on the plane from my spouse is generally not a big issue.
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Old 05-10-2017, 11:47 AM   #50
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I prefer the middle seat. Window seats - you are doubly trapped in there if you want to get out to use the lavatory or when you exit. Aisle - I have come to despise the aisle seat as I somehow invariably get jostled or outright whacked by passing carts, luggage, or people's butts. Usually I can get an A or B boarding position, grab a middle seat towards the front of the plane, get off faster and get a head start to the rental car desk or the parking shuttle while my spouse fetches the checked luggage. (This works best for us but you may wish to flip roles.). The potential separation on the plane from my spouse is generally not a big issue.
Southwest doesn't use the rolling carts that fill the aisle. They only serve beverages and small packages of pretzels or nuts. There is no cart, they come and take your order, pour it in the rear galley and then bring it on a tray, about 3 or 4 rows at a time.

I prefer the aisle because it gives me a longer view than the middle or window seat where I would only see the back of the seat in front of me. With my trifocals the seat back is out of focus because at that height that's in my far zone. It's disturbing to not have anything that's in focus unless I arch my neck. DH is tall enough that he can see over the seat back. In the aisle I can look forward and to the side enough that I have a view in focus.

This is probably not something that would bother many people, but I've noticed that it bothers me.
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Old 05-10-2017, 12:08 PM   #51
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Southwest doesn't use the rolling carts that fill the aisle. They only serve beverages and small packages of pretzels or nuts. There is no cart, they come and take your order, pour it in the rear galley and then bring it on a tray, about 3 or 4 rows at a time.
good point on the beverage trays - they definitely do not use beverage carts nowadays

this may start a separate thread but what do you all think about people who "save" seats on SWA?

IMO - if people want to travel together they should board together or "save" a seat in the rear of the aircraft. Those of us that ponied up for EB or BSelect should not have to deal with seat savers.
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Old 05-10-2017, 12:20 PM   #52
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........this may start a separate thread but what do you all think about people who "save" seats on SWA?.............
I've never had a problem with a person saving "a" seat. If they are trying to save a whole row or two, they are out of line.
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Old 05-10-2017, 12:25 PM   #53
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I've never had a problem with a person saving "a" seat. If they are trying to save a whole row or two, they are out of line.
I was boarding once and a woman was saving the first row aisle seat for her SO and she was in the window seat. I almost sat in it.

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Old 05-10-2017, 12:35 PM   #54
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I was boarding once and a woman was saving the first row aisle seat for her SO and she was in the window seat. I almost sat in it.

Common ploy. Just sit in the middle.
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Old 05-10-2017, 01:30 PM   #55
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The only time we save a seat is when we have a huge difference in numbers. Then DW heads to the back row of the plane and waits for me. She saves my seat, but has never had anyone contest it because nobody gets to the back row to contest it before I get there. Makes for a long wait to get off the plane though
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Old 05-10-2017, 04:56 PM   #56
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We have long legs (especially Mr. A. - if the car seat is on his setting, my feet literally will not reach the pedals), so we like to get adjacent aisle seats if possible. We'll see how that goes.
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Old 05-10-2017, 05:26 PM   #57
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I've never flown WN and I'm glad I don't have to play their seat game. That would drive me nuts!
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Old 05-10-2017, 05:46 PM   #58
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I've never flown WN and I'm glad I don't have to play their seat game. That would drive me nuts!
In our domestic flying experience, the best choice from a bad lot. Even though DW has low level ("gold") lifetime status on American and we can always get nice seats confirmed, Southwest is our preference. Even worth it on the rare occasions that it is slightly more expensive per seat.
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Old 05-11-2017, 12:08 AM   #59
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I don't understand how people on the same reservation end up separated. We check in with one confirmation number and yet we often end up in very different boarding groups. That should 't happen. As for no beverage carts, I still get jostled by the flight attendants walking back and forth. If anyone wants my aisle seat I will gladly trade for a middle seat, farther forward.
The incredibly slow deplaning process drives me crazy. (Rant begins here) If you are not ready to roll -with your bag - get out of the aisle. And get going! People can be so slow, so deliberate about getting themselves off the plane. Look in front of you. If there is a gap between you and the passenger exiting in front of you, that is you holding up EVERY SINGLE PASSENGER waiting behind you. Multiply it by multiple passenger slow pokes and it adds 10 minutes to the deplaning process. Move it. Get ready to go while we are all standing around waiting for the door to open. Ask for help, if necessary. I guarantee if it helps get you moving faster, people are happy to help. Let's all help each other get out of there quicker! Your fellow inmates, er, passengers will be glad and so will the airline trying to turn the plane around. Win, win. If you are not in a hurry, fine. Sit down and stay out of the way. Others have connecting flights or other things they would rather be doing than sitting any longer on the narrow metal tube. (Rant over and out)
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Old 05-11-2017, 06:24 AM   #60
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I don't understand how people on the same reservation end up separated. We check in with one confirmation number and yet we often end up in very different boarding groups. That should 't happen....
We check in as separate passengers under separate confirmation numbers so that we each get rapid rewards points. I'd check in as 2 under a single confirmation number if I can get points for 2 flights. I need to check on this.
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