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Old 04-10-2013, 06:32 PM
 
Location: South Portland, ME
889 posts, read 1,014,613 times
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Is there something that prevents Southwest from coming up in search results via Kayak or whatnot? I travel a lot, but I've NEVER seen Southwest come up as an option to use when flying. Even Spirit comes up, so I just assume that they don't service Michigan. Is that true?
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:50 PM
 
Location: NJ
18,677 posts, read 17,056,349 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoulesMSU View Post
Is there something that prevents Southwest from coming up in search results via Kayak or whatnot? I travel a lot, but I've NEVER seen Southwest come up as an option to use when flying. Even Spirit comes up, so I just assume that they don't service Michigan. Is that true?

Southwest Airlines - Route Map


SWA keeps it so one must book direct with them at all times. Their map is above.

They serve Detroit, Flint, & Grand Rapids.
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Jollyville, TX
3,850 posts, read 9,436,581 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoulesMSU View Post
Is there something that prevents Southwest from coming up in search results via Kayak or whatnot? I travel a lot, but I've NEVER seen Southwest come up as an option to use when flying. Even Spirit comes up, so I just assume that they don't service Michigan. Is that true?
No, that's one of the ways SW keeps their fares low - they don't use other sites, which means they don't pay booking fees. The only way to get a ticket on SW is to go to their website.

You really need to sign up for their emails to know when their specials are being offered. Otherwise, their fares are pretty much the same as the other airlines.

But when they do have specials, they are great! I happen to be in Florida right now as a result of some really good fares - $200 round trip. I would not have booked them were it not for an email with details on the specials.
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:05 PM
 
14,253 posts, read 23,969,886 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonlady View Post
No, that's one of the ways SW keeps their fares low - they don't use other sites, which means they don't pay booking fees. The only way to get a ticket on SW is to go to their website.

You really need to sign up for their emails to know when their specials are being offered. Otherwise, their fares are pretty much the same as the other airlines.

That is not EXACTLY true. The website, Airfare Deals - Cheap Flights - Airfarewatchdog , tracks the cheapest fares on ALL airlines including Southwest, Allegiant, and Spirit.

You do NOT book on that website.
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:17 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,527 posts, read 39,903,732 times
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SWA 'free' changes and FREE bags keep my flying them. Also one must jump on their weekly sales and use their 'low-fare-calender'

I always have a few extra trips booked with them, and change routing / times if needed.
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Lakeland, Florida
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I don't think Southwest is the same operation it was a few years ago. It's fares have gone up considerably. There are many times one can get a cheaper flight on another airline. I have family that just flew from Providence to Phoenix roundtrip for $198 RT. on United thru Priceline. SW was up around $500 for the trip. As far as I know one still needs to purchase SW tickets thru the airline itself. They do not sell thru the travel websites. Yes the change fees are free and there is no charge for baggage. Those are big pluses for the airline, so I do understand people flying on them. I just think they don't deserve the low cost airline rating as much anymore.

As for me I haven't flown on SW or any airline in several years now. I worked part time for Delta for a number of years, and have completely lost interest in flying and the airline business in general. It certainly has changed and I have serious doubts about the future of airlines in the USA. There are few left now, and that is a very bad sign.
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:06 PM
 
Location: VA
1,197 posts, read 1,602,042 times
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I just booked with them on a trip for LA-Columbus, they were a competitive with other airlines and their free Flight changes and bags sold the deal for me. SWA has always been the better deal for me, even if they were slightly more pricier than AA or Delta, both of which I despise.
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Old 04-12-2013, 01:29 PM
 
480 posts, read 1,092,560 times
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I usually buy plane tickets through Orbitz, which doesn't support Southwest. After comparing prices, I can safely say that the only way you'll save money flying Southwest is when it comes to checked bags.
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:23 PM
 
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I think it depends on how one looks at it. Out of BWI, Southwest does price a lot of short-hauls with low WGA fares. Like BWI-CLE can be purchased for under $100 one way.

If Southwest wasn't flying the route, and it was just left up to the legacy network carriers, United and US, they'd price gouge at $300 one-way booked months in advance with no low fare option between Washington/Baltimore corridor out to Cleveland. It's not an easy drive either. Since Southwest flies all mainline and aircraft usually over 125 seats, it's in their interest not to fly empty planes and have reasonable pricing on the short-hauls.

However, on the midhaul routes (over 500 miles) like BWI-Chicago service, Southwest has been pricing it higher. Looking at the low fare calendar, BWI-MDW is higher than BWI-1stop-MSP. Southwest has been lowering the fare on the BWI-1stop-MSP itineries perhaps as to stimulate demand between the city pairs so that enough pax fly it (and stick with Southwest) that it could eventually offer a nonstop. Currently only Delta offers this route nonstop.

Business customers might not care about fares, since it's reimbursed back and the companies eat up the costs, but the entire VFR market would dry up as it'd be too expensive to fly on most occasions. At a certain point, even businesses would cut back on employee travel and sales travel, and economic ties between the cities would soften, hurting the smaller city in the city pair.

Regarding business customers, they often choose loyalty status depending on number of destinations and frequencies. Southwest is the biggest carrier in Nashville and St. Louis, for example. So, if one resides in one of these markets and flies domestic, it's difficult not to fly Southwest. But,I'd be surprised to find many NY based business customers that have loyalty to Southwest. Southwest isn't that much into transcon flights, and has no international services really for the NY based traveler.

That's one of the reasons Southwest failed in Philly. It had over 60 departures, but they didn't want to compete on transcons, and it lacked nonstop service to markets like Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, Charlotte or Atlanta. It's reward points couldn't be redeemed for international. All this led to more customers sticking with the US/Star Alliance that had two huge hubs with hundreds of flights from PHL and EWR. Southwest has re-sized it's presence at PHL down to a spoke with 20 or so departures, but offers more nonstops out of BWI not too far.

I'm curious on how Southwest will do in ATL. AirTran offered it's loyal customers upgrades to a better seat and assigned seating. Southwest will remove all that after AirTran phases out. It's great to board first and sit in the front, get an aisle, but the seat/flight experience won't be much more comfortable for the most part than an upgrade on another carrier that provides a more than basic seat and maybe even DirecTV or other IFE.

The WiFi on Southwest is a joke: it's super slow.

And in ATL, Southwest will be competing directly against Delta, that will offer all the same destinations and price matched, more destinations, more frequencies, seat upgrades and first class upgrades etc. Many in Atlanta have the Delta credit card that waives the bag fee, and for business customers, they don't worry about that either.

Southwest still has it's strengths with intra West, intra Texas and middle of the country travel and a spoke presence throughout most of the NE linking most markets to Chicago and Baltimore, though, and personally I have been using them more than other carriers.

Last edited by avg12; 04-12-2013 at 03:10 PM..
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:35 PM
 
14,253 posts, read 23,969,886 times
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One other way that Southwest appeals to business travelers is that you KNOW that you will be flying on a 737 jet as opposed to a regional jet operated by a no-name airline.
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