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My daughter works for Southwest Air, so I fly free. Any pointers?

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by Champster1, Jun 26, 2015.

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  1. Champster1

    Champster1 High-Roller

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    Last week my daughter informed me that after SWA processes my info, then I can fly free on any "available" seat that SWA has. I know that there are certain stipulations like last 1 to board ( I imagine) because "free seat" is contingent on a seat being available. I'm wondering if anyone else in VMB land has the same goodie as I ( and my wife) do? If so then please give me some pointers on how to use this new perk effectively!!!
     
    March Madness...here I come !!
  2. chitownjohn

    chitownjohn High-Roller

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    My wife and I have non-revenue standby privileges with United, we just used the perk to fly round trip to Cancun in first class.

    United is a totally different airline than SW so it's hard to compare the two. United is a much bigger airline and there's a lot of UA employees and retirees in Chicago which causes a lot of competition for stand by seats. .

    My pointer is to try to get on the early AM flights, more often than not you can get a seat even if it's sold out because people tend to miss the early AM flights. Otherwise be patient and flexible and enjoy your free flights.
     
  3. OKC Gal

    OKC Gal Low-Roller

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    I just started employment there, and have the same benefit. The only problem is that the planes from my location to Las Vegas are nearly always totally full. However, I managed to grab a seat last month, and will do so again in the next couple of weeks. Good luck!
     
  4. Imperial_Palace_King

    Imperial_Palace_King High-Roller

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    Have her check which flights are the least full. She should have access to that info.
     
  5. chitownjohn

    chitownjohn High-Roller

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    United has a good employee reservation tool that shows seat availability and standby passengers, we can fairly easily judge probability of getting a seat. I imagine SWA has the same sort of tool.
     
  6. LVHooked

    LVHooked High-Roller

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    My son works for Delta so we fly standby, I watched flights for a couple months to get a feel for the best days and times. Then while we were in Vegas storm's hit across the country and we ended up paying to fly Frontier home. It cost what a round trip on Southwest would have.

    That was the only time we used it, not sure how we'll handle our next trip, I may just buy return tickets. It was definitely an adventure.
     
  7. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    You are flying standby. You've probably seen other people at the airport doing this: they will check in with staff at the gate and then stand there off to the side to wait and see if there are going to be any open seats or not.

    To fly standby you need to be flexible and patient: you should show up really early at the airport on a day you want to fly (IE: if you are eyeballing the 2PM flight to Las Vegas you might want to show up at 6-7AM) and even then you might not get the flight you want and have to come back the next day or pick a different destination - my sister flew standby once (our step-father worked for Air Canada) where it took her three days to get on a flight.

    You should know which airports are the hubs for your airline and if you can get to one of those your destination options will get a lot better... but you run the risk of if you are at your home airport and can't get a flight then you can go home and sleep in your bed and try the next day, but if you are at another airport then either you sleep in the airport or have to shell out money to get to and stay at an airport hotel.

    One thing that can help in finding flights you can get on is going to the airline's website and try booking flights from your airport to destinations you are interested in (select one way flights) and if they have a seat picker then use that option to check how many seats are currently available - if you do this the night before and see 20-25 seats available then its probably a pretty good chance if you get there early the next day that you'll get on that flight, only 1-2 available seats and you want to get there early and hope you beat the other standby fliers to the airport or that some people are last minute cancels or slept in.
     
  8. theshaah

    theshaah Low-Roller

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    As a 9 year flight attendant with plenty of experience nonrevving to Las Vegas my best suggestions for you are to keep an eye on the open seats of the flights but always remember ANYTHING can happen.

    Best times to fly nonrev are usually Tuesdays-Wedensdays and Saturdays. The best months to fly are in September, October, and Febuary. They are traditionally slower periods. As an SWA employee I will tell you that SWA is a different animal than most airlines and we are usually completely packed full especially on longhaul flights.
     
  9. npom

    npom High-Roller

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    Flights to Vegas from Buffalo are always full. Good luck!
     
  10. Echo27

    Echo27 Low-Roller

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    I fly this way with my friend who is a flight attendant. She checks the flight loads in the days before our flight to see the potential availability. We usually try to shoot for the flights that have the most open seats so that we have the best chance of getting on. We are doing this on Sunday, so fingers crossed!
     
  11. 44inarow

    44inarow VIP Whale

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    Can't emphasize this enough. I used to fly non-rev on American, and it once took me two full days to get back to New York from Vegas -- a day and a half to get from McCarran to DFW, and half of the next day to get from DFW to New York. The worst part is that you're basically spending the day going gate to gate, waiting to see if a seat opens up or not; it's not like you can just head back to the hotel and wait it out. At least now it's all automated, which makes things easier. It's a fantastic perk and a great way to visit places you might not ordinarily go to, but it can be a lot of hassle and definitely not looked at as just a "free flight".
     
  12. Champster1

    Champster1 High-Roller

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    I looked into the hub of SWA. It looks like mdw ( Chicago) and there are an average of 20 flights a day from there to Vegas. I imagine if I can't get on the first non stop to Vegas from buffalo, then I'd jump over to mdw and take my chances. Any thoughts??
     
    March Madness...here I come !!
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