Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Southwest Airlines Myth

Southwest Airlines is a really good airline overall. Most of the employees are happy ( I talk to a few and they have the same issues that pilots at my airline have) and the flights are normally cheaper than other airlines. My brother in law might need to fly to Orlando for our vacation. I checked Southwest Airlines out of Long Island, NY. The cheapest round trip fare was $280 all in. This is for a flight leaving in less than 2 weeks. I then checked American Airlines leaving out of JFK and La Guardia. I was shocked. The cheapest round trip fare was $38 each way!!! Non-stop! If tickets were this cheap from Dallas I would consider buying them versus flying standby. I get 20% off the lowest available fare if I ever want a "real" ticket versus standby. Haven't need to use that perk yet.

The flying public has been lead to believe Southwest Airlines is the low cost leader, but it's not always true. I think one reason Southwest doesn't list with travel sites is to hide the fact that they aren't always the cheapest. Next time you need to fly...check Southwest....and check the other guys as well.

Tomorrow Kelli and I are going to visit the Atlanta Aquarium. We were going to go to Chicago to see Judge Mathis....but they aren't taping tomorrow. The flights tomorrow are extremely wide open. We are taking the first flight out in the morning. There are 21 paying passengers and 9 stand by passengers. This is on a MD-80 which holds 140 passengers. The return flights are 3X as full 60 passengers on a 140 passenger jet.

The Atlanta Aquarium is supposed to be one of the top aquariums in the country. Atlanta has a really good public transit system. We will be able to go from the airport to the Aquarium for under $2 on the train. Not too shabby. Should be a good day. The tickets to the Aquarium will cost more than our flight. We are probably going to fly coach there and first class back. Check Flickr for photos throughout the day.

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