My first encounter with Southwest Airlines left me a little dubious on the services that was to come. However, the service, the plane and the experience all rather surprised me and left me with a smile.
The check in was very lackadaisical and seats were not assigned. When we got to the lounge it was quite cramped and there wasn’t much space – when the boarding began people were pushing around and stepping over one another to get in line to get a good seat. I don’t like free for all seating for this reason. The space thing could be more to do with New Orleans Airport.
Once on, the plane was quite small and with leather (pleather) seats. However, the seats were comfortable and I settled in well. The staff were relaxed and chatty and it turns out I was actually sitting next to a flight crew member on reserve being flown to Houston for his next shift. We ended up talking, Aron and I, the entire flight. He was a lovely man originally from Austin and now living in Houston, Texas. He gave me great advice for Austin (namely that there isn’t much to do right now due to holidays) and talked to me about travel in USA.
It was lovely to hear the perspective of an airline worker in the USA and someone who lives there. We talked about a lot of travel related things and the differences in our countries. I’ve hopefully inspired him to carry on his travels down to Australia as he’s always wanted to go but never had the push to actually get there. It always helps when you know someone or have a friend in a new place.
During the 2 flights (New Orleans – Houston – Austin) the flight attendants were attentive offering nuts and drinks and were helpful to those around me.
We had good landings, a smooth ride and we were comfortable all the way.
So SouthWest, well done! You’ve certainly done more to impress me then your counterparts in recent years, American Airlines and Delta Airways whose service leads much to be desired.