I wouldn’t normally write a blog post about a simple domestic airline flight. But as I haven’t flown Southwest in about six or seven years, it was basically a new experience and it ended up being an impressive one.
I flew from Reno to Las Vegas today and chose Southwest because of an ideal flight schedule compared with the options on United through San Francisco or Los Angeles. The fare was also cheaper by $40ish, but that honestly wasn’t a factor in my decision for this trip. While I’m oh so close to million-miler on United where every mile counts, I guess I’m beginning to value my time a bit more these days.
I didn’t purchase the EarlyBird check-in option ($10 each way) where Southwest automatically checks you in before the traditional 24-hour window. It gives you a better boarding position than those checking in manually. But as it’s only an hour flight to Vegas, I wasn’t too worried. I ended up with A-47 having checked in at T-24, which turned out to be very good position indeed. And I love the gate area lineup based on your group/number. It’s quite a smooth process.
I tweeted that picture of my seat earlier in the day and called it 11A, but it was actually 10A just ahead of the exit row on the 737-700 (my mistake in looking across at the staggered row’s number). The non-recline didn’t bother me because of the short flight and these seats were indeed the new “Evolve” low-profile type with thinner cushions. I was comfy enough even with the tight pitch.
I wish the person ahead would’ve reclined so I could see the seat in action, but she never did. Once airborne, I checked out the Wi-Fi options out of simple curiosity for the pricing. To my delight, the flight tracker was free, as were access to Southwest.com and “Shopping” (I never clicked into that).
The flight attendants were great (particularly during boarding while managing carry-on space), my seatmates were great and it was a truly enjoyable flight. And what would a trip report be without a pic of the meal?
My only regret is that I didn’t print a second boarding pass not knowing that Southwest keeps them after scanning at the gate. I normally would use a kiosk in the lobby, but the line was enormous at RNO so I skipped it. Ah well. Lesson learned.
Thanks, Southwest, for a great flight today.