We just landed and have our bags, now we’re waiting outside baggage claim for our ride. While we wait, here are my impressions of Southwest airlines:
Not bad. We checked in first thing this morning and printed our boarding passes from home and intended to check one bag at the airport. We got to the airport, checked our bag at a kiosk, a worker tagged our bag and we were on our way.
Southwest isn’t a hub in Philly, so they got stuck with this part of E terminal that most of the city had forgotten about. I’ll let them slide on this aspect of our trip.
But the sit-where ever-you-want thing, which is what sets Southwest apart from its major competitors has its drawbacks. We had never done this before, so we weren’t sure how we were supposed to board the plane. We’re used to loading by zone or by row concept. Our boarding pass had a letter and number. We even watched a tutorial on Southwest’s site to understand this a little more. They have letters on top of tall poles (A and B) and other poles with ranges of numbers on them (1-5, 6-10, all the way to 60). You match up your combination of letter and number and stand next to your designated pole. Then, the plane boards in order of these combinations – A1-5, first, then B55-60 last.
We figured this out ourselves, but the man working the door at the gate had this horrible speech impediment. He sounded like Flick in A Christmas Story after he was double dog dared to stick his tongue on the pole in the schoolyard.
Back to the seating – the advantage of getting into the A1 group is that you get to board the plane and pick where ever you want to sit. Our numbers: B9 and B10. We got on the plane and found the first two seats we could find and sat down, after more than half the plane was boarded. We sat next to a guy who had the window seat and man, was he unhappy that we took up the rest of the row. The look on this guy’s face said it all. I guess he expected to have the whole row to himself. Well, too bad. Deal with it. We’re sitting here. How would anybody expect to sit on a plane damn near by themselves. Next time, hire your own damn plane and sit by yourself.
That felt good…
So, anyway, our Southwest experience wasn’t bad, but people flying them could be a little more courteous.