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The Gipper

Southwest Airlines

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I have done my fair share of traveling.....including flying,  but one thing I could never wrap my head around is the pricing structure that I find when I go to the Southwest Airlines website.

I usually get my flights on either United/Delta or off of Travelocity/Expedia/Orbitz...but Southwest does not participate in those services.   So, I was thinking of doing a trip in like late Jan. or early Feb where I would fly into El Paso.   So I decided to try to check out Southwest again.  Again, I came away confused. They had like 3-4 different pricing structures.    It seemed that under their category "Want to Get Away" that the price of a flight to El Paso would be like  $175 round trip (from Cleveland)...where the price of flights for the other airlines were pushing between the upper $300s and lower $400s.    But, Southwest also had prices in that range also...with a different name. 

So....is anyone a veteran of flying Southwest who can explain how their fares work?  And can I get a flight on that airline that is literally less than half what the other airlines charge?

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well, my Wife has been flying Southwest to go to Texas to help her Dad prepare to move into a new assisted living place.

She says.... Southwest is different. Their fares are lower - but you don't get an assigned seat -

when it comes to boarding the plane, seniors/children/need assistance get on first, then, if you pay $15 more for your ticket, you are

in a general "A" category - sitting in the front of the plane. If you don't pay that $15, you are in the "B", or later, the "C" category, and you have to wait exactly 24 hours, then you get your boarding pass as soon as you can. The idea is, your boarding pass for "B" ..or "C" later, is just a number you stand in line in, and enter the plane when boarding in order of those numbers "BI, B2", after the plus 15 bucks crowd has been seated.

   Trouble is, there are no assigned seats - it's all about getting on in order, and you can sit in that plane anywhere you want - window, aisle, or in the middle. So, you delay getting your boarding passes, you get on the plane later, and maybe all the window seats are taken.

    It's annoying, but simpler for Southwest. Hope this helps?

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The "Get away"prices are usually of difficult to get to flights. Like from Austin to Denver the lowest is @ 600am which means you have to get to the airport for security by 400am. Next best might be leaving at 800 pm but it includes a stop along the way so you get in around 1030+pm. The more convenient in terms of time the higher the getaway price and they fill up fast.

We recently decided to drive back to Colo because we could stay in two motels coming and going for about $100 total through Hotels.com whereas the flights for two and renting a car 2 weeks costs about $1000+. Costs two extra travel days but when you are retired that is no big deal.

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1 hour ago, TexasAg1969 said:

The "Get away"prices are usually of difficult to get to flights. Like from Austin to Denver the lowest is @ 600am which means you have to get to the airport for security by 400am. Next best might be leaving at 800 pm but it includes a stop along the way so you get in around 1030+pm. The more convenient in terms of time the higher the getaway price and they fill up fast.

We recently decided to drive back to Colo because we could stay in two motels coming and going for about $100 total through Hotels.com whereas the flights for two and renting a car 2 weeks costs about $1000+. Costs two extra travel days but when you are retired that is no big deal.

Well, I am traveling in less than 2 weeks to  Afton OK from Ohio here, and I am driving.  Then I am going to Iowa.  I will also stop one night going and coming on each of those trips....but that is primarily because there are things that I want to see and places I want to go on the way coming and going. 

But, for El Paso,  that is too far for me to drive.  And I am not really retired...only "semi"  and not even that.

But what you are saying is that those are legit prices...the $175 round trip?   I know that it is free for all seating....and that they give you no food or drinks on the plane, but I can certainly handle that...expecially with lower rates...and no baggage fees.  I would save enough money to buy a bottle of water in the airport after I go through security....and food. 

The other thing is that for this I can be very flexible in terms of dates....if it costs less to travel on a Tuesday instead of a Friday or Saturday, I could handle that.  Or vice versa.  (I would not be using a timeshare....just road tripping it.)  As part of that trip I would want to go over to Big Bend.

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1 hour ago, The Gipper said:

Well, I am traveling in less than 2 weeks to  Afton OK from Ohio here, and I am driving.  Then I am going to Iowa.  I will also stop one night going and coming on each of those trips....but that is primarily because there are things that I want to see and places I want to go on the way coming and going. 

But, for El Paso,  that is too far for me to drive.  And I am not really retired...only "semi"  and not even that.

But what you are saying is that those are legit prices...the $175 round trip?   I know that it is free for all seating....and that they give you no food or drinks on the plane, but I can certainly handle that...expecially with lower rates...and no baggage fees.  I would save enough money to buy a bottle of water in the airport after I go through security....and food. 

The other thing is that for this I can be very flexible in terms of dates....if it costs less to travel on a Tuesday instead of a Friday or Saturday, I could handle that.  Or vice versa.  (I would not be using a timeshare....just road tripping it.)  As part of that trip I would want to go over to Big Bend.

Southwest shows two prices when you put in a round trip. The prices are all one way so you have to book both at the same time and add the two together. Look down below the first group for the second return group. That $175 from El Paso to Akron (Cleveland) is a one way return price when I put it in their system flying and returning on a Monday starting 2 weeks from now and returning 2 weeks after that.

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15 hours ago, TexasAg1969 said:

Southwest shows two prices when you put in a round trip. The prices are all one way so you have to book both at the same time and add the two together. Look down below the first group for the second return group. That $175 from El Paso to Akron (Cleveland) is a one way return price when I put it in their system flying and returning on a Monday starting 2 weeks from now and returning 2 weeks after that.

Well, then that would hardly make them any less expensive than the other airlines, United and Delta, would it?

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But luggage flies free. Now you know why.😁

27 minutes ago, The Gipper said:

Well, then that would hardly make them any less expensive than the other airlines, United and Delta, would it?

 

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12 minutes ago, TexasAg1969 said:

But luggage flies free. Now you know why.😁

 

Yea,   would have to compare overall costs....and things like connections.  I realize that there are no direct flights from  CLE or CAK  to El Paso....but with some of them I saw where you had to change planes twice......and that, to me, is just stupid.   Change once in Dallas, or Houston, or Chicago maybe, but not change in both Chicago and Dallas.  That is BS.

What I hate is the fact that they allowed Continental to merge with United...when all they actually did was to fold Continental into United.  The only remnant left of Continental really is the hub in Houston.  All the other Continental hubs were closed, including Cleveland.  It has also resulted in literally every single flight I ever take any more being jam packed.  I understand that planes need to be basically full for the airlines to make money....but when you are packed like sardines, it is really no fun.  

My wife, who get anxiety attacks when she flies has basically vowed not to fly on vacation any more if she can help it, so pretty much all of our future trips with her will be driving trips to the eastern part of the US.  (I will still travel by plane to some places on my own).  The only exception likely will be for her to fly down by y'all to SA to see the daughter.

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I used to fly PSA in California when I was stationed there.  Until an aircraft was hit by a small private plane and crashed in San Diego.  That's when the nicknamed PSA 'People Scattered All over'.

 

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6 hours ago, DieHardBrownsFan said:

I used to fly PSA in California when I was stationed there.  Until an aircraft was hit by a small private plane and crashed in San Diego.  That's when the nicknamed PSA 'People Scattered All over'.

 

PSA?   What is that really?  

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