Here’s the punchline: because they’re awesome.
Now you don’t have to read the rest of the blog post if you don’t want to. Yes, I’m just that kind of guy. You’re welcome.
Seriously, though, Southwest Airlines is the king among airlines. Unless you routinely fly first class, anyway. Or your own private plane. Or a chartered jet. But for the other 98.48292% of us (we’re not the 99%, but we’re pretty dang close) Southwest is the ideal airline to fly.
First, it’s mostly first-come-first-served when you check-in. I like this, because rarely do I plan a trip more than a couple of weeks in advance. And I don’t like ending up in the back of the plane because everyone else already got the good seats. I can book tickets the day before and sit in the back of the plane because I want to. Plus it’s a fun challenge to set your alarm and take a break from whatever you’re doing (working, driving, engaged in a firefight with extremists in Modern Warfare 3) to see how close to A1 you can get when you check in 23 hours and 59 minutes before the flight departure time. It’s kind of like a badge but with real rewards. Some people hate the “cattle call” approach – I, personally, love it.
They also have the best flight crew in the air. I’ve flown Delta, American, Frontier, Continental and others, and short of the flight crew on the corporate jet I get the opportunity to fly occasionally there are none better than the ones who walk the aisles and man the controls at Southwest. With one exception, I’ve never had a flight attendant not smile seemingly all the time on a Southwest flight. I’ve had several banter back and forth with me about “being the troublemaker” who sits in the back row (my favorite spot), and even more that like to (good-naturedly) make fun of people on-board (“look at that – free in-flight entertainment” for the guy who’s apparently had one or two too many before boarding; “I think somebody would lose a limb if we tried to separate those two” about the newlyweds all over each other a couple of rows ahead). Or how about turning the most boring monologue in the history of monologues into something entertaining by rapping the safety briefing? Only on Southwest.
Finally, their pricing rocks – at least for the places I like to go. Non-stop to Orlando, Vegas, Denver? Yup. Good rates to Seattle? Indeed. How about New Orleans? Yes indeedy. They may not be the cheapest to New York or DC or Cozumel but I could care less…because I don’t go there.
I flew Southwest out to New Orleans last week and loved the flight, even with a layover in Dallas. I flew Frontier back and wished I was on Southwest, even with the chocolate chip cookie and non-stop flight.
Bottom line – the airplane ride may not be anything you look forward to, but if you want to make the best of it fly Southwest.by