Flying Southwest Airlines: Domestic and International
I have recently traveled on Southwest Airlines both Domestically and Internationally. I wanted to give you my personal opinion on the airline and compare Domestic and International traveling.
Recently I flew from Greenville/Spartanburg to Minneapolis to see my college roommate and her new baby. I was really excited, but also very anxious as this was my first time flying Southwest Air. I knew that SW offered free bags, but I did not take advantage of it as it was going to be a short stay. I loaded their Southwest Airlines App onto my phone and logged in. Then I checked into the flight 24 hours prior to my flight. **Hint: the closer that you are to the 24 hour check in, the better flight position that you receive—You can also pay extra for early bird check in ($15.00 per way- see international experience)**. You will given a boarding position when you check in. When I checked in, it did check me in for both the initial flight and my connecting flight. Once checked in you will be given a boarding position. Example A-50, this means that you will be in the A group and the 50th person on the plane.
Southwest is different from other airlines in the way that they board the plane. Reference the boarding position aboce. When the Southwest Employee calls the A passangers, everyone with an A boarding pass will line up according to the number. Same with the boarding passes B, C and D. One you are on the plane, you choose where you want to sit. So, if you want the isle and one is open- take it. **Travel Tip: In Atlanta, there is an entire SW Airlines terminal so it makes connections super easy.**
Exiting the plane is just as easy. Just file off the plane as you are seated. So, the key is to get an A or B boarding pass and sit toward the front of the plane.
The staff loved their jobs and were very polite. They were always smiling and cracking jokes. This was probably the best domestic travel experience that I have had in a very long time.
My husband and I took Southwest Airlines to Cancun, Mexico out of Atlanta International Airport for our vacation. I was a little concerned as SW had just started the international flights, but we had no hiccups. It was just as easly. The only big difference is when checking into the airline- this time we did choose to do Early Bird Checkin which held our place in line- we boarded in the A position again and it was fantastic.
When you arrive at the airport, you will have to go to the ticket counter to allow them to verify your passport- this is not possible on the online app at this time.
**When in the Cancun Airport- go to the Kiosk and print your boarding pass, this will save time at the ticketing counter. Then go drop off your bags at the baggage drop. This will save hours of time.
Benefits of Southwest Airlines
-Bags fly free- each passaner gets two free bags-even with skis and golfclubs- up to 50 pounds of coarse.
-Can make Changes on the fly
-Can change on the mobile site or the SW App.
-or change at the Ticket Counter or Gate
Boarding the plane
-Very quick and efficient boarding process- First check in to get your assigned boarding group (A,B,C) then you will line up with your assigned number. The earlier you check in- the better the boarding position. When your group is called, stand column with your number and wait until it is your turn to board.
-Travel Tip- Can do upgraded boarding with business select- you will be in the A1-A15 position.
While in the Air Southwest offers:
-Free live TV on the app
-Wifi Access- The free service only offers flight tracker, shopping and games on Southwest.com. You can upgrade to full access for $8.00 all day per device.
-Snacks- Peanuts/ Pretzels are complimentary as well as water and soda. Alcohol can be purchased at $5.00 each.