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Considering Flying SWA for the 1st Time

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by katmu, Mar 18, 2015.

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  1. katmu

    katmu Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking at Southwest for my next trip to Vegas, depending which weekend I go. I do like that it flies out of Terminal 2 from MSP as it's less of a hassle getting in and out of. What can you tell me about SWA?

    How does boarding work? I'm not super concerned about having an aisle seat or anything.
     
  2. motownbob

    motownbob Low-Roller

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    Boarding works according to the number you receive when you check in 24 hours before your flight time . You get a letter number combo like b-17 . The A's would line up first , then b's etc . You get to choose your seat based on the order you file into the plane .
    You can pay extra to get a better position in line . But it's not worth it for you since you don't have a seating preference .
    I fly SWA exclusively to Vegas , even though I can go Delta or Spirit . I like 'em ! And they are the best price wise for my situation . Bob
     
  3. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    We have been flying SWA exclusively out of Milwaukee for the last 5 years. I'm not a fan of their new flight times, but they are still flying 3 non-stops a day to Vegas.
    Two choices for boarding. Either pay the $12.50 pp for early boarding or sign in exactly 24 hours before the flight and then get your boarding pass for free. I guess there is a 3rd choice, but I would never use it. Pay ~$40 for the "privilege" of lining of lining up in the first 15 people to board.

    When I do the 24 hr prior, I usually end up in mid A or low B boarding. Either way, we can still get our choice of seats and sometimes end up in row 3-6. Coming home from any destination, I just say screw it and buy the Early Boarding ($12.50 pp) so I don't have to think about finding WiFi and be somewhere exactly 24 hrs prior to our flight.
     
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  4. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    We have been flying SWA exclusively out of Milwaukee for the last 5 years. I'm not a fan of their new flight times, but they are still flying 3 non-stops a day to Vegas.
    Two choices for boarding. Either pay the $12.50 pp for early boarding or sign in exactly 24 hours before the flight and then get your boarding pass for free. I guess there is a 3rd choice, but I would never use it. Pay ~$40 for the "privilege" of lining of lining up in the first 15 people to board.

    When I do the 24 hr prior, I usually end up in mid A or low B boarding. Either way, we can still get our choice of seats and sometimes end up in row 3-6. Coming home from any destination, I just say screw it and buy the Early Boarding ($12.50 pp) so I don't have to think about finding WiFi and be somewhere exactly 24 hrs prior to our flight.
     
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  5. h0und10

    h0und10 Low-Roller

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    How do you like terminal 2? sun country flies out of there as well and was slightly cheaper than SWA and I like their early morning non stop flight times. I will be driving from Duluth to msp then flying from there to vegas this summer.
     
  6. katmu

    katmu Well-Known Member

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    The parking is cheaper than terminal 1, and I find that security usually moves quicker although sometimes as Sun Country has lots of early morning flights that's actually when security backs up a bit. It's a shorter walk to the gate too.
     
  7. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    don't.
     
  8. franknic

    franknic Low-Roller

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    Very well in my opinion. Always felt the flight crew darn efficient and pretty friendly. More importantly, the process works (no seat assignments). You line up by number you see on boarding pass, by group. There are 3 groups A, B and C. (guess which goes first). Important to print boarding pass at the stroke of - 24 hours prior to flight time so you score the lowest number possible = board early on unless you like middle seats and/or being in back of plane and there are folks who certainly like the back. Other option so you board early - get um early bird option, believe it's $12.50 a segment now (extra) which also get's you on early but based on my experience, the success of this option based on supply and demand. I have early bird it and been say A-17 but also A-60. Weird sometimes. If in A group and that's all I have ever been, never a problem getting seat I want and no further back than row 10.

    I was somewhat hesitate to do the SWA thing some years ago but now it's the norm and i like it. They have wifi and on demand tv and of course, no baggage fees.
     
  9. franknic

    franknic Low-Roller

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    One other thing, SWA was arriving and leaving out of terminal C in LAS - get deal, basically no security line leaving.......compared to terminal D - night and day
     
  10. LoveDowntownVegas

    LoveDowntownVegas Low-Roller

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    yep.
    varied opinions on the early boarding option (12.50pp one way) but I usually pay it so I can be guaranteed a non-middle seat and a place to put my luggage.
    exceptions - if there's a stop (no plane change) I may not pay the fee because I can move freely about the cabin at the first stop (and pick a better seat). I gamble a bit on the luggage thing, but i'lm willing to chance it, esp on the return flight.
    if i'm booking a flight that is historically not a popular flight time I'll gamble that I get a good boarding assignment.

    if the plane is full, and you don't pay the 12.50 EB option, and still check in 24 hours in advance you can still get a bad boarding assignment depending on how many others elected EB,etc.

    I love SWA and fly them almost exclusively to Vegas.
     
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  11. dhlamar

    dhlamar Low-Roller

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    So when you do the $12.50 early BP can I wait to get my BP at the airport?
     
  12. teacher1

    teacher1 Low-Roller

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    Yes. We always buy the EB for the return flight. We never even think about it until we get to the airport. Just put your confirmation number into the kiosk and the BP prints. You only need to go to the desk if you are checking a bag, otherwise, go go straight to the gate.
     
  13. spicole

    spicole Low-Roller

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    The other posters have nailed most of the advice.

    Be sure to download the SWA app for your smartphone (assuming you have one, of course). Check-in is a snap on the app. I always set my phone alarm just a couple of minutes ahead of hte 24-hour window to check-in. You can then either use that as your boarding pass, or print out a paper copy later. Your assigned boarding number will not change if you re-print your boarding pass.

    I love flying Southwest... welcome to "the club"!
     
  14. Piggylane

    Piggylane Well-Known Member

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    As you see here you get different opinions, such as shifter saying don't.

    I'm not sure what the flight experience is like out of MSP but when I return from any flight I have a habit of looking at the arrivals board. I fly 90% of the time in/out of Bradley Field (Hartford, CT). Almost every time I return the SWA and USAIR flights - the last ones in at night - are delayed. It's gotten to the point of predictability. Maybe because BDL is a smaller market and it's the end of the line? MSP is a much bigger airport but not a SWA hub.

    I say go for it. Sounds like you probably had your mind made up when you asked the question anyway. The loyal SWA flyers are really loyal! I'm nearing 3 million miles on Delta so I'm loyal to them too! Whatever your decision I hope you enjoy your on time flights and have a great time in Vegas!
     
  15. wanker751

    wanker751 Dutch Rudder Enthusiast

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    I fly SWA all the time and I like it. I will fly others if they are cheaper but often from Chicago they are the lowest carrier. I like the no bag fees, a big plus esp if I bring my golf clubs. If you are like B-30 and lower should have no issue getting a seat type you like.
     
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  16. Hobofrank

    Hobofrank Prime Minister of Idiocracy

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    better yet go paperless and just have it on your smartphone, did that to and fro last 2 trips
     
  17. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    Count me in this group! I fly 20-24 times a year or thereabouts, most of these flights are into and out of Las Vegas. I've flown many of the major airlines over the years and I prefer Southwest. I'm not a price shopper, but acknowledge those who are and SWA is very price competitive. I pretty much fly Business Select, which gets me extra points and I'm one of the 15 people to board. That's nice, but the plane doesn't leave until everyone boards and we all get to our destination at the same time. We all get the same service peanuts/pretzels and a drink. Simply put, I think the company has their shit together and the attendants act like they're happy to be there. For the most part my flights leave on time. I avoid later fights, as they seem to have a higher rate of delays since SWA does so much connecting. When a company treats me right, I stick with 'em and Southwest is a pleasure to fly.

    BTW... I've flown into and out of Minneapolis several times and the terminal SWA occupies is very traveler friendly.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2015
  18. katmu

    katmu Well-Known Member

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    I actually don't know much about Southwest which is why I was asking as flights with Delta for a couple of the weekends I was looking at seem more spendy than normal. I'm just trying to decide if I should give Southwest a shot or stick with Delta.

    SunCountry is normally the other nonstop option but their flight times aren't going to work this time.
     
  19. Brando95

    Brando95 Tourist

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    I really enjoy going SWA, even more now that you can go nonstop from Dallas (as of last October). I usually spring for the early boarding - at least on the flight home so I don't have to remember to check in 24 hours in advance. I usually end up paying the $12.50 each way for early boarding. Since your first 2 bags fly free, I see the early boarding fee as a bargain for my peace of mind. If I can select an option that will get me into the earlier boarding group (and this is important because it's first come, first served on SWA flights ... no assigned seats) then I see that as worth it. Sure other carriers will allow you to select a seat but they'll also hit you for $25 each way for each bag you check.
     
  20. BellaBlvd

    BellaBlvd Low-Roller

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    I don't love it, but I fly it if it's the best rate and I'm planning on checking multiple bags. I do vouch for EB always and it usually lands me in exit row. I won't pay for "business" class on any discount carrier unless it's a true business class (larger seat, hot meal, comp beverages, priority baggage, etc.).
     
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