Recently, like two days ago, my family and I traveled back to Florida for the 4th with all our relatives. Before anyone gets excited, no I am not a native Floridian. I spent a small amount of time living in Florida when I was younger, and I have been told I am granted “exception” as a Floridian. I am touched by this by the way, this place is wonderful, as are it’s people. Anyways, back to it. Today I am leaving Florida to return home for a few days of work before a memorial service Saturday.
The memorial service is a few hour drive from our home, so no flying. Florida on the other hand is a really long drive, like I am talking roadtrip convoy kind of long drive. Sadly with gas prices right now, it was cheaper to fly to and from. When we fly, we love to use Southwest Airlines when we can. We love to be free to move about the country.
Southwest Airlines started as a local/regional carrier in Texas, and serviced primarily… Anyone? YES, Texas! I love a good underdog story. Southwest was not popular, trust me I remember when I first heard their name. We primarily flew with a large airline that you could almost call Americas carrier… No free advertising for this airline here. Now those planes were nice, and while the Southwest planes were nice enough, there did not seem to be a comparison at the time.
Southwest though made a niche for themselves as the peoples airline. Remember their catch phrase in the 90’s? I do, you heard a beep like the seat belt sign was off and a voice would say “You are now free to move about the country“. This was the boost that Southwest needed, because they became the champion of the people. In a time when only the high class and those with money could get on a place, Southwest allowed us common folk to do the same. The experience is much different when you are free to move about the country.
Ever board a plane, like the big Red, Silver, and Blues? First class passengers stare you down like “how the hell did they get on here”. Perhaps this is better after the pandemic, but I doubt it. Even when I worked for that specific airline, passengers would treat you as a lesser class if you were not “up front”. Now please understand I am not dinging every first class passenger, just the snobby ones. So here I am spending my hard earned cash to fly somewhere and I get judgy looks from these kinds of passengers. Anyone watch Downton Abbey? The whole “class system” taking place in that series, hello this is the real world application of it.
I have my own rants about the class system, as those at the top claim it “benefits those at the bottom” it does in fact not. I digress. When boarding a Southwest flight it becomes about how quickly you check-in, and if you are business or leisure travel. For example, today I am flying “Wanna get away”, so normally I would not be in the first 30 people to board. If you fly “Business Select” then you are usually at the beginning of the first group. I like this, us common folk like me have the ability to board wherever I chose, and the difference in price is nowhere close to the other guys.
Upgrading the Experience…
When flying Southwest I like to purchase the Early Bird Check-In. I do this because it averages about $25 and I flat out forget to check myself in, every single time. What I learned today has me stunned. As I am checking one of my two free bags, I learn that I can upgrade for a small fee. This puts me in the first 15 people to board the plane. This means my odds of getting the seat I truly desire have gone up substantially. Now I am free to move about the country, comfortably. All in, I am still paying considerably less than a business travel ticket on Southwest Airlines. I will let you know how this goes.
Along with the ability to upgrade, we love the ability to move our flights. When I worked for the RSB airline that seemed to be Americas dream airline. I found often that changing flights was a pain in the rear end, and costed on average $300. You are already paying $400+ for one of their “Main Cabin” tickets, and now another $300 should you need to change your flight. Today I am flying home alone, I have work, but my beautiful wife gets to have one more day in this paradise. Should I wish to fly home with her, I pay a minimal amount in the change of the ticket price, that’s it! It is that good.
The Wrap Up…
I love wrap ups and wraps, in fact I am a huge fan of Chick-Fil-A’s wraps. While neither CFA nor Southwest sponsored this post, I like both companies, a lot. Do I have my complaints about Southwest? Sure, everyone can find at least one complaint about a business. My biggest one is that their fair sales are not as amazing as they used to be, and sometimes baggage handling is super slow. The fairs, I get, gas prices which include Jet Fuel are ridiculous right now. Baggage handling I can also understand, it is super hot out there in the Southern US.
Either way, if you are planning to travel this year might I recommend Southwest Airlines? While you are at the terminal maybe grab a Chicken Wrap from your friends at Chick-Fil-A. Either way, enjoy your summer folks and get out there and see our world. Until next time.
This is how you might wind up all hat, with no cattle.