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For the past ten years, I've been flying Southwest Airlines....

jesse_22
New Arrival

My trip from SEA to PHX was 4 hours late, so I cancelled it and boarded an Alaska Airlines flight that left earlier and on time. A couple of thoughts...

 

1)Southwest terminals are similar to their planes in that they have little seats and everything is crammed in. The Alaska terminal was spotless, and the seats...the seats....were incredibly comfortable. I mistook myself for being in a first-class lounge.

 

2)The jet, which I believe is a 737-900, has a lot more legroom than a regular Southwest airline.

 

3)To charge your gadget, each seat has its own USB/AC port. Were you aware that such a thing existed? Up in here, Alaska Airlines is living like it's the year 3018. This is something I thought only the president had.

 

4) Texting and free movies? GET OUT OF HERE

 

5) If they give me anything other than peanuts or pretzels to snack on, I'm going to pee my pants.

 

6) You have your own seat...no herding of cattle. Jk I'm aware that's a fairly unique feature.

 

By the way, Alaska's fare was $34 higher.

 

Sorry if this came off as unduly critical of SWA; I simply wanted to share because I've been a fan for so long.

6 REPLIES 6

Re: For the past ten years, I've been flying Southwest Airlines....

bwallet
Active Member

@jesse_22 

1) I can't comment on the terminals. That's going to vary from airport to airport. With Southwest, I'm almost exclusively OKC and Houston Hobby. Both of which are okay, but not spectacular. I've been in many regular and business class lounges. The only first class lounge I've ever been in is the Emirates First Class Lounge in Dubai where I had foeie gras and filet mignon served by a waiter. I really do need to check out Alaska in SEA.

 

2) Alaska Airlines 737-900 has 31-32 inch pitch. SWA 737-700 has 31. SWA 737-800 (max and non) has 32-33. Of course, that doesn't tell the full story as seat padding, etc, can make a difference. I definitely notice a difference between the -700 and the -800 though.

 

3) I do not fly long flights on SWA so I don't notice the lack of power. However, this is a weakness with SWA.

 

4) SWA has free movies, messaging, and free live tv.

 

5) I like the new snack mix. Again, I do not fly long enough flights to have much of an opinion.

 

6) For years, I refused to fly Southwest because I thought the seating policy was asinine. It is a mixed bag. I guess that it depends upon how it does for you. The lining up by number is certainly more orderly than boarding by zones. 

 

I have never flown on Alaska though I've heard good things. One day, I'd like to try. I do miss having a first class option with Southwest (where all the seats are first class). My single favorite thing about Southwest is that everyone is happy. Passengers, crew, and staff. I contrast that with say United where everyone always seems unhappy.

Re: For the past ten years, I've been flying Southwest Airlines....

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@jesse_22 wrote:

My trip from SEA to PHX was 4 hours late, so I cancelled it and boarded an Alaska Airlines flight that left earlier and on time. A couple of thoughts...

 

EVERY airline experiences flight  delays. I'm sorry to hear that your flight was delayed.

 

1)Southwest terminals are similar to their planes in that they have little seats and everything is crammed in. The Alaska terminal was spotless, and the seats...the seats....were incredibly comfortable. I mistook myself for being in a first-class lounge.

 

Unless the airline was involved    in designing the concourse, it has no control of the size of the waiting area or the seats in it.

 

Southwest was involved in the design of the new Dallas Love Field. It's pretty nice. As a matter of fact JD Power rates it as the best "large" airport in the country

 

2)The jet, which I believe is a 737-900, has a lot more legroom than a regular Southwest airline.

 

The reality is that , unless you are in premium economy or  first class o Alaska, there's not much difference in legroom between the airlines. Alaska's is 30-32 inches, Southwest 737-700's in 31 inches, while its bigger planes are 32-33 inches.. Seat width is also about the same. Southwest's is 17 inches . Alaska's Boeing aircraft are the same. It's other planes range from 17 to 18 inches

 

 

 

 

3)To charge your gadget, each seat has its own USB/AC port. Were you aware that such a thing existed? Up in here, Alaska Airlines is living like it's the year 3018. This is something I thought only the president had.

 

Southwest made a conscious decision to not install such devices. Why? Because they add weigh to the planes. More weight = more fuel use and higher cost. In order to keep fares low, Southwest  does not spend money that it does not nee to spend.

 

You have hear of powerbanks?

 

4) Texting and free movies? GET OUT OF HERE

 

I guess you are unaware that Southwest offers free movies, live tv, tv series, games and audio. Texting is also free.

 

 

5) If they give me anything other than peanuts or pretzels to snack on, I'm going to pee my pants.

 

No airline offers lavish "free" snacks"  In many cases, Southwest is better than the rest.

 

6) You have your own seat...no herding of cattle. Jk I'm aware that's a fairly unique feature.

 

Southwest boards in the way it does because 50 years of experience proves that way is the quickest. Quicker boarding is more efficient, an thus lets SW fly more flights a day per plane than the competition.. That allows SW  to keep fares lower.

 

Lots of people prefer SW's open seating. Why? On Alaska if you happen to get a seat next to a "jerk," you are stuck there.On SW you just get up and move to a different seat.

If friends show up on your flight, on SW you just get up and sit with them. On Alaska you can't

 

By the way, Alaska's fare was $34 higher.

 

You probably paid for your "reserved" seat. That is your choice

 

Sorry if this came off as unduly critical of SWA; I simply wanted to share because I've been a fan for so long.


You are not being critical. You shared your opinions. That is welcome.

 

Oh, I've been flying Southwest for over 43 years.

Re: For the past ten years, I've been flying Southwest Airlines....

jksobonya
Rising Star

@jesse_22 wrote:

5) If they give me anything other than peanuts or pretzels to snack on, I'm going to pee my pants.


Pre-pandemic Southwest actually had a pretty nice free snack selection. You could get a selection of Fritos, cinnamon cookies (shaped like airplanes if I remember correctly), Wheat Thins, BelVita biscuits, and of course pretzels. It's possible that some of these snacks were only available on longer flights.

 

Southwest hasn't served peanuts since 2018.

 

--Jessica

Re: For the past ten years, I've been flying Southwest Airlines....

ksbrg
Employee
Employee

@jesse_22 wrote:

Up in here, Alaska Airlines is living like it's the year 3018. This is something I thought only the president had.


this made me LOL

 

@jesse_22 - I enjoyed this breakdown and didn't take any offense to the critiques. All airlines (heck, all products/services) have their pros and cons! Mind you, I'm not a spokesperson for Southwest - just another Community Member who happens to work here. Sorry to hear your flight was delayed!

 

I'm also happy to have learned about seat pitches from @bwallet - the more you know!

Re: For the past ten years, I've been flying Southwest Airlines....

bwallet
Active Member

@ksbrg www.seatguru.com is  great resource. Much more so when flying airlines that can have significant difference in seats and assigned seating.

Re: For the past ten years, I've been flying Southwest Airlines....

gsking
Rising Star

That $43 discount would have vanished had you checked one bag,  let alone two. 

 

That's my favorite part.   I travel a lot between two houses,  or with scuba gear.   Carrying full (or empty) suitcases free is invaluable for me. 

 

And the last time I tried to change a flight on another airline....I said never again.