Sale Of AirTran To Southwest One Step Closer To Being A Done Deal

Sale Of AirTran To Southwest One Step Closer To Being A Done Deal

Overshadowed by last year’s relatively rapid merger of United and Continental was the sale of AirTran to Southwest. That sale is now one big step away from completion after AirTran shareholders approved the deal earlier this week. [More]

Southwest Apologizes For Booting Muslim Woman From Flight

Southwest Apologizes For Booting Muslim Woman From Flight

Earlier this week, I took part in a panel discussion at SXSW on “The Legal Ramifications Of Saying ‘I’m Sorry,'” along with a senior executive from Southwest Airlines who explained why his company believes it’s best to be proactive about apologizing to customers when a mistake has been made. A few days later, Southwest was given the chance to make good on its claim. [More]

Get Your Airline Ticket Changed For Free Because Of Massive Midwest Storm

Get Your Airline Ticket Changed For Free Because Of Massive Midwest Storm

The Superbowl of storms is headed for the Midwest with 20″ snow and 45 mph winds predicted for Chicago. Thankfully, a lot of airlines are waiving their usual ticket change fees for travelers who could be affected. 3,000 flights have already been canceled in advance of the potentially deadly weather. Don’t go to the airport to see if you can make your flight, don’t get stuck in an airport, stay home, stay over at your friend’s house an extra day or two, and take advantage of this leniency. Here are links to the various airlines and their waiver and winter update pages and policies: [More]

Southwest Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family

Southwest Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family

Elliott.org has the incredible story of a grandfather who was trying to race through the airport to get to the hospital to say goodbye to his 3-year old grandson who being taken off life support after being body-slammed by his daughter’s live-in boyfriend. Despite getting to the airport early, long lines were going to make him late for the plane and all the TSA drones couldn’t give a damn. Finally through security, he ran through the airport in his socks, clutching his shoes, before arriving, gasping at the Southwest gate—12 minutes late. [More]

Southwest's New Frequent Flier Program Rewards Biz Travelers Over Hoi Polloi

Southwest's New Frequent Flier Program Rewards Biz Travelers Over Hoi Polloi

If air travel was a multi-player video-game, you would call Southwest’s new “Rapid Rewards” frequent flier program “adjusting the game balance.” In this case, the “Pinstripe” class is getting favorably tweaked at “Joe Sixpack” class’s expense. [More]

Southwest, JetBlue Fly High In Zagat Airline Survey

Southwest, JetBlue Fly High In Zagat Airline Survey

For the 20th year in a row, the people at Zagat have done a survey of passengers on the major domestic and international airlines. And by the looks of it, travelers are much more pleased with the likes of Southwest, JetBlue and Virgin than they are the old-timers like United, Delta and American. [More]

Some Airlines Jettisoning First Class Seats

Some Airlines Jettisoning First Class Seats

Global austerity has lead some airlines to chuck first class seats out the air lock. [More]

Southwest Damages Suitcase, Not As Awesome As Everyone Claims

Southwest Damages Suitcase, Not As Awesome As Everyone Claims

Sure, you don’t have to pay to check your luggage on Southwest. Tara tells Consumerist that after her new suitcase was stained and broken while in Southwest’s hands, and she’d rather pay to check a bag that survives the trip intact. The airline says it’s their policy not to repair or replace suitcases damaged in transit. They’ve offered her a $100 voucher for future flights. Tara, who tried Southwest based on positive comments from Consumerist readers, isn’t interested in flying with them again. [More]

Southwest Finishes Dead Last In On-Time Arrivals

Southwest Finishes Dead Last In On-Time Arrivals

Among the biggest domestic carriers, Southwest finished at the bottom of the heap in on-time arrivals for September, according to Flightstats. This is surprising as the carrier usually performs well. Here are the overall rankings for the big birds: [More]

What Does Southwest Buying Air-Tran Mean For Consumers?

What Does Southwest Buying Air-Tran Mean For Consumers?

So, what are the consumer repercussions of the surprise acquisition of AirTran by fellow low-fare airline Southwest? Airfarewatchdog‘s George Hobica is worried that fewer competitors, especially at this price point, will mean that Southwest and other airlines will have less pressure to keep fares low. He also expects more mergers on the horizon. [More]

How Do Airlines Compare On Fees?

How Do Airlines Compare On Fees?

It’s hard to keep track of all the extra fees airlines have invented to pad a ticket purchase, especially since they keep introducing new ones; USA TODAY says revenue from added fees have jumped nearly 16% from a year ago. The newspaper reviewed fees from 13 airlines in the U.S. and compiled this handy reference chart of current fee schedules, to make comparison shopping a little bit easier. As expected, Southwest continues to be one of the best values. [More]

Southwest Buys Air-Tran

Southwest Buys Air-Tran

Overweight people wearing rude tshirts or skimpy clothes will soon have fewer flying options, now that Southwest Airlines is buying Air-Tran. The deal was announced this morning and comes a week after Continental and United Airlines merged. Southwest will get more access to places like New York, Boston, Baltimore, Washington, and expand into places like Atlanta for the first time. [More]

Strip Club Nearly Blinds Southwest Pilots At Love Field

Strip Club Nearly Blinds Southwest Pilots At Love Field

Strip clubs and cockpits don’t mix, at least not when there’s a spinning search light involved, says the FAA. The agency has asked Bombshells, a club near Love Field Airport in Dallas, TX, to keep its newly installed rooftop light turned off after the pilot for a Southwest flight reported his cockpit was flooded with light while trying to land the plane. The pilot feared that it was a laser strike, which can cause temporary blindness. [More]

Southwest Also Breaks Guitars

Southwest Also Breaks Guitars

Brian hasn’t written a song about it yet, but he tells Consumerist that Southwest Airlines broke his guitar. However, they won’t take responsibility for the situation because the case wasn’t broken [More]

Justice Dept. Clears Way For Continental-United Merger

Justice Dept. Clears Way For Continental-United Merger

The marriage between Continental and United Airlines got one huge step closer to happening on Friday when investigators at the Justice Department wrapped up their four-month inquiry into the merger and offered its blessing. [More]

American Airlines: Passengers Are Happier When We Apologize For Screw-Ups Than When Things Go As Planned

American Airlines: Passengers Are Happier When We Apologize For Screw-Ups Than When Things Go As Planned

Think about the all the flights you’ve taken in your life. Which ones are most memorable — The ones where you took off on time and landed as scheduled, or the ones where you slept at the gate while waiting 10 hours before having to make an unscheduled pit stop in Ireland for refueling? And according to an executive at American Airlines, customers are happier when a bad situation ends well than they are when things go as planned. [More]

Southwest Flight Attendant Changes Her Story About Taking Crying Baby From Mom

Southwest Flight Attendant Changes Her Story About Taking Crying Baby From Mom

Remember how there was much confusion over exactly what happened with the crying baby who was reportedly taken from her mother during a Southwest Airlines flight? The police said the flight attendant took the baby to the back of the plane, while a Southwest rep said she just offered to hold the baby for a second. Now, the attendant is saying she “made a mistake,” but it wasn’t her actions that were mistaken, it was what she originally told police. [More]

Southwest Flight Attendant Takes Screaming Baby From Arguing Parents

Southwest Flight Attendant Takes Screaming Baby From Arguing Parents

What, exactly, happened on a recent Southwest Airlines flight from Dallas to Albuquerque? Did a thoughtful flight attendant give a restless baby a change of scenery while her parents argued, or was the airline employee out of line to remove a screaming child from her parents and notify police on the ground of a suspected abuse case? Even those who were on the plane aren’t sure. [More]