Well, no, "FULL" onboard beverage service has not resumed, based on my flight experience yesterday (MSY->AUS). Odd omissions abound: tonic, but no GIN!; 2 different varieties of vodka, but no Bloody Mary mix; Cazadores tequila (a fave), but no canned margarita mix, or really anything to mix with; did I mention no gin?
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As the busy summer travel season officially kicks off, it’s beginning to feel a lot like 2019. Travelers are ready to vacation and airports are bustling. With the resurgence in demand for air travel, Southwest Airlines has been preparing for this peak season and looks forward to welcoming Customers onboard.
With newly announced amenities to enhance the Customer Experience, we have done the work to modify our schedule and hire new Employees with an eye toward Reliability for the summer. Southwest is prepared with its Legendary Customer Service and Hospitality for Customers on the ground and in the air.
What We’re Doing to Support our Customers and Employees
Restoring our Network
The work continues to return the Southwest network to pre-pandemic levels, with the goal to restore 85% of our schedule by the end of the year— offering breadth and depth in the markets we serve with improved Reliability.
Supporting our Employees
At Southwest, our People are at the Heart of what we do. We’re on track to hire more than 10,000 Employees by the end of 2022—with hundreds more in training each month—these new Employees will be ready to support our Customers this summer.
Modernizing our Customer Experience
We’ve launched Wanna Get Away Plus™, a new fare product that adds more flexibility, options, and rewards to our fare lineup. Customers can now book a Wanna Get Away Plus fare for all travel on Southwest.com and the Southwest Airlines ® app. Check out Southwest’s new fare lineup at southwest.com/WannaGetAwayPlus.
To improve connectivity onboard, we have outfitted a number of our aircraft with upgraded WiFi equipment providing more bandwidth and enhanced service.
By the end of 2022, we’ll launch additional changes to further connect you to what’s important in your life—such as new functionality for Customer changes on our digital platforms and airport kiosks, including adding a lap child and purchasing Upgraded Boarding online. Learn more at Southwest.com/experience.
Working alongside Agencies
Recently, airlines met with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) representatives regarding Florida airspace, and the Administration has committed to increasing Air Traffic Control staff in the Sunshine State.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced their commitment to add airport security screeners—both human and K-9—to support summer travelers.
The Southwest Team looks forward to welcoming Customers onboard this summer. We hope we can share our Southwest Hospitality with you on a flight very soon!
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It’s a privilege to be thankful for so much this season, including the opportunity to play a significant role in the holiday plans of millions of travelers. Our entire Southwest Family is hard at work to bring new memories, anticipated vacations, and reunited families together for this holiday season. In the air, on the ground, beneath the wing, or behind computer screens, please know more than 54,000 People are dedicated to bringing Heart to holiday travel.
The Southwest Leadership Team is focused on supporting our Employees who are serving our Customers and each other during the holidays. We’ve increased staffing, welcoming thousands of new Employees into the Southwest Family during the past several months, and we’re on track to reach a target of bringing on more than 5,000 additional people by the end of this year. We also adjusted our flight schedule for November and December to set up our Hospitality experts for success in focusing on what they do best, serving you.
With airports busy and many flights full, Customers should check Southwest.com for our latest guidance on recommended arrival times for specific airports, whether traveling domestically or internationally. That brings me to the easiest thing travelers can do to contribute to a seamless journey—please arrive early and ready to travel. This will allow plenty of time to move across parking lots and into airport shuttles, through checking bags and security checkpoints, and toward a snack or drink before a flight, so they can be at their gate well before scheduled boarding, which typically is 30-40 minutes before departure time.
Take some additional steps to ease travel this season:
Wanna save time at the airport? Download the Southwest app to get mobile boarding passes, help find the departure gate, get timely updates on flights, and enjoy free inflight movies and live TV while onboard.
Flexibility is in the palm of your hand. If for any reason travel plans change, don’t forget that Southwest.com and our app also are great places to get help. You don’t have to wait in line or on a phone. Just remember: you must cancel any reservation before the scheduled departure time either to bank nonrefundable travel funds for future use or to request a refund of refundable fares. (We’ve made it this simple for five decades—Southwest never has charged a single change fee.)
Be fit to fly and mask up. Don’t forget that we’re all required to wear masks in airports and onboard aircraft. It’s a federal requirement in place through January 18. Thanks for understanding our People are working to make sure we’re all compliant. Customers agree to this when they purchase a ticket with us and check-in for a boarding pass.
We’re ready to welcome Customers. We all have a role in delivering for Customers this holiday season, and for extending grace and civility when things go off plan. All of us have one focus—you, and we’re all working to fill the holidays with Heart.
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Has any found that these lines are never open? I have an a list preferred member ship but have found that the (non TSA) Priority Security line is either not available or I’ve been denied access to it at LAS and LAX, even though these are supposed to be participating airports. At this point this seems like a non-benefit to me. If this is not available they should remove it from the list.
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