Disappointed With Southwest Airlines
With two recent business trips completed to Atlanta and Orlando, I have had the opportunity to experience two different airlines within a few weeks of one another.
The trip to Atlanta was with Delta Airlines and the trip to Orlando was with Southwest Airlines.
From the very beginning, my trip on Delta Airlines was a pleasant experience with one minor problem that was casued by my corporate travel department. Upon arrival at the airport, I was able to immediately check my bag at the skycap without any waiting. The same held true for my return flight from Atlanta.
The flight to and from Atlanta was pleasant as well. The seats were quite comfortable and with only two seats per side of the aircraft, there was plenty of room to relax a little bit. On the return flight, I changed the flight to an earlier departure and that had a reasonable $25 fee.
Overall, I was very pleased with the experience on Delta Airlines and will not hesitate to fly that airline again.
The experience with Southwest Airlines was practically a polar opposite to that of Delta Airlines. Upon arrival at the airport, I was greeted with a long line of people trying to check-in curbside and an even longer line inside the airport.
After checking my bag and arriving at the gate, the people were already piled into the “A”, “B” and “C” lines. For those not familiar with Southwest Airlines, they do not use reserved seating and instead board in groups and the seating is first-come, first-serve.
As luck would have it, I was in the “C” group and by the time we boarded the plane there were only 5 or 6 people behind me. As we boarded the plane, I was greeted with a handful of middle seats on each side of the aircraft and evil stares from each person hoping that I did not squeeze into their aisle.
While I can appreciate trying to fit as many seats into an aircraft as possible, I really think 3 seats per side is just too much. The poor sap in the middle is squished in and does not have much room to either side. As I continued to walk down the aisle, I found a window seat way in the back of the aircraft and quickly grabbed it.
On a side note, I am the type of passenger that prefers the window seat. It seems many people prefer an aisle, however I never get up to use the restroom on a flight so I prefer to grab the window. Whenever I sit on an aisle, it seems like the person on the inside has to use the restroom 4 or 5 times during the flight!
The return flight was much of the same. The line to check baggage was obscenely long at 6am on a Thursday morning. Similar to my trip to Atlanta, I arrived at the airport early in an attempt to jump on an earlier flight home.
Southwest did have an earlier flight, although their fee to change the flight was $143 as opposed to the $25 with Delta Airlines. Considering that the round-trip flight was approximately $280, Southwest was essentially charging me for a one-way fare to change my flight.
Once I boarded the flight and discovered that the aircraft was not even half full, I realized that I was simply padding the pockets of Southwest Airlines by paying the ridiculous fee to change my flight. But the sooner that I could get home and be done with this airline the better!
From beginning to end, my experience with Southwest Airlines was not pleasant at all and I seriously doubt that I will ever fly this airline again.
As you may have guessed based on this discussion, I do not travel very often but I do not feel that I was expecting too much from Southwest Airlines. While I guess it could have been worse with flight delays or other problems, Southwest Airlines did not live up to my expectations or the precedent set by Delta Airlines.
Have you ever flown on Southwest Airlines? Was I expecting too much from Southwest Airlines?