07 April 2006

Flying Southwest Airlines

So I flew Southwest airlines for the first time last weekend, and they were pretty nice. I discovered, though, that key to flying Southwest is to print out your boarding pass as soon as possible before you fly, that is, 24 hours before you fly. This is because Southwest does what could be called "Stampede Boarding," but they call it free seating. Instead of being assigned a seat, you are assigned a group letter to board in -- A, B, or C. A goes first and gets their choice of seats. B goes second, and then C goes last. If you are in group C, you could end up with a middle seat, which is no fun. And lest you think that I am the only person who is geeky enough to care about this, I overheard two other people talking about how they were always in Group C when they returned home because they had not printed out their boarding pass the night before on the Internet, but had just printed it off shortly before their flight. Overall, I was impressed with Southwest, my flight out departed five minutes late, but it only took them ten minutes or so to board the plane. My flight back departed five minutes early. My only complaint about Southwest is that they do not have video or audio entertainment. I like to watch the map to know where we are flying over, although I suppose with my short flight from Baltimore to Providence, it did not really matter anyway. I liked them otherwise, and would definitely be "free to move about the country" with them again.

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