Jerome Greer Chandler
Cabin: Economy Class
Route: Dallas Love Field - Birmingham [US]
Seat and Amenities
Southwest fits its 737-700s with 143 leather, ‘deep dish’ seats. The highpoint is comfort. Despite the fact the airline managed to squeeze another row of seats onboard, it did so without appreciably affecting comfort. The tray tables don’t rest on your lap; they are positioned above it. Net result: more room. The winglets on this airplane aren’t just out on the wingtips, reducing drag and saving fuel, they’re on the seat headrests too. Makes it easier to lean your head back. The low point is that the seats are not equipped with powerports.
Customer service on board
Southwest hires empathetic, motivated cabin crew. It shows. With 116 passengers aboard Flight 4276 and a 90minute scheduled travel time, there’s scant time to pamper passengers. The cabin crew is, however, irreverently courteous. On leaving the chief flight attendant quipped, “In the immortal words of my mother when I turned 30: ‘Get your stuff and get out.’
If you’re hungry, best bring your own food on board. The snacks are free. But they consist of just peanuts and pretzels. Non-alcoholic drinks are free too. Beer, wine and harder stuff sell for US5$. Credit card only.
You won’t find any in seat, built in IFE on Southwest. You bring your own device such as an iPad, iPhone, laptop etc. That said Dish satellite TV is free, as long as you’re willing to watch the advertisements. Internet access is US$8 for the whole day, and movies can be had for US$5. A word of caution: make sure your devices are charged before boarding. You won’t find any powerports on board. You can tell if your 737 is fitted with wi-fi by looking for the telltale bump on the top of the fuselage, about 2/3 of the distance back from the nose. There’s also a big decal plastered near the boarding door that lets you know if it’s a wi-fi equipped ‘seven-three.’
While Southwest fares aren’t as comparatively low as they once were, the carrier’s value proposition still holds. Dish TV is free. You can check two bags for free. There’s no fee for changing your flight. You do still have to pay the fare difference, however.
If you want to find room on board for your carry on best do what this author did and buy an Early Bird boarding pass for an extra US$12.50. It gets you closer to the front of the boarding queue. There’s still no reserved seating on Southwest.