Earlier this morning, a Southwest Airlines flight made it all the way from Los Angeles to Denver without any apparent incident. That is, until the huge Boeing 737 managed to clip a light pole.
This story is useful in two ways. First, as an example of how you can utilize freely available online tools to help yourself when others won’t. And second, as yet another example of why you should never, ever check your laptop on a flight.
Usually when we write about the cops being called to an airplane, it involves a ticketed passenger being forcibly removed from the jet. But in a nice change of pace, here’s the story of a man who allegedly thought he could just push his way onto a Southwest flight sans ticket.
Southwest Airlines has a policy where “unused, fully refundable tickets that do not carry restrictions may be applied toward future travel or refunded within one year from the date of issue.” Unfortunately, something this policy doesn’t state is that you apparently lose that entire credit if even a small portion of that original ticket was purchased using an old credit.
Yesterday, an unnamed Southwest Airlines pilot made headlines when it was discovered he’d accidentally broadcast his complaints about the lack of straight, slender, young hotties working as flight attendants for the airline to Houston air traffic control and anyone else listening in. Not surprisingly, the attendants — regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation or bangability — are not pleased.
It is possible to get a refund for the difference if the airfare drops after you buy your ticket, but you’ll usually have to fly one of these three airlines to make it worth your while.
Airlines have tacked on more and more fees over the years as a way to recoup costs without having to raise their base fares as much, but Frontier has broke with these seemingly relentless upward tradition and actually reduced some fees this week. Thunderclap!
Following this past weekend’s incident in which a Southwest Airlines jet suddenly got a sunroof when a hole opened up in the plane’s fuselage and the subsequent finding of problematic cracking on at least three other Southwest jets, the FAA is set to require inspections of around 175 older Boeing 737s.
It has not been a good weekend for Southwest Airlines. The carrier grounded dozens of planes and canceled hundreds of flights after a hole opened up in the fuselage of a plane in mid-flight on Friday. Investigators subsequently found widespread cracking in that plane. And now comes news that cracks have been found in at least three more Southwest jets.
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.
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.
Southwest today announced a major revamp of its frequent flyer mile program. Under the new system, travelers will get points based on their airfare amount. There will also be no blackout dates or seat restrictions (existing members will get grandfathered in). The airline also introduced three new fare buckets, “wanna get away,” “anytime,” and “business select” with increasing points per dollar to redeem and total points required for a free flight. So not only are you getting from point A to point B, you’re also polishing valuable math skills. Southwest came out with 3 videos to explain it all:
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.
Global austerity has lead some airlines to chuck first class seats out the air lock.
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:
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.
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.