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We are fairly new to this airline but sometimes in life, Hip Daddy Travel might demand a visit requiring an airline such as SWA, so you go for it. And although we used to fly it out of OAK when living in the Bay Area, it’s been awhile.
Given Southwest is a low cost airline, you get all sorts of traveler. Like the kind who are leaving out of Chicago Midway to get to St. Louis but connect thru Oakland to get the $50 cheaper fare. WTF. Or the people that simply haven’t traveled on a plane before and are one panic attack after one panic attack waiting to happen. Or how about everyone in some way shape or form is trying to get to Las Vegas? Swear to it. And they will connect at like 5 airports just to get there. Bizarre. And then there are the business travelers from middle America companies with all sorts of stereotypes waiting to happen…stuck in the 80’s and feels like a John Candy traveling salesman type movie. And how about the family of 4 who think it is fine to have their 4 and 5 year olds sit in middle seats by themselves 20 rows up…weird and kinda not right? And finally, you then have the “my shit is too nice for this airline’ traveler who think they are flying Virgin Upperclass overseas and insist on complaining about letting anyone sit in the middle seat…open seating folks. Everybody gets theirs!
Open Seating has it quirks. And the entire boarding process is ‘interesting.’ You are either in Group A or B or C and then they give you numbers in each. It’s literally corrals of groups of 5. If you are A group, bingo, you get what you want….aisle, middle, window…the airplane is yours. Group B, you are still looking good, but likely in the back of the plane. Group C you are naturally screwed with mostly middle seats to choose from and you might be checking that carry on of yours. But is Group C really that bad? It’s not! And here’s why…
Given what we just described in the paragraph above…knowing who you will be sitting next to is crucial. So actually, boarding last gives you the opportunity to look and see who you think will be most ‘normal’ to sit next to. And yes, we might say this is worth sitting in the middle. Further, you can likely sit up front too which means quick deplaning. Because sure enough, every time we purchase the upgrade to get in the top 15 of group A, we got our window seat up front but also got some terrible travelers next to us. It’s stressful looking at them all come on as they look at the middle seat next to you (we all know this feeling, that’s a Hip Daddy Guarantee.) One major exception is if you have a large bag you need to put in the overheard. If this is the case, C is not a good thing #nobodylikesagatecheck.
On a more delightful note, the service and employee base is actually quite good…smart, informative and good at their jobs. Somewhat refreshing, compared to some of the other airlines whose employees are downright horrible and don’t particularly like their jobs (to say the least.)
SWA is not for all. It’s different. But hey, if you need to get to Vegas, they got you covered.