Southwest and JetBlue: Flying the Low Fare Skies - PassPorter.com
PassPorter.com
Award-winning travel guidebooks
Home Florida - Walt Disney World Caribbean - Disney Cruise Line California - Disneyland Resort Anywhere and Everywhere! Travelers Store Message Boards PassPorter's Club Help!
  About Us  |  Customs Office   |   Register Your Book   |   Book Updates   |  Newsletter  |  Articles  |  Photos  |   Follow Us on
       LINKS
       ARTICLES
Globetrotting Planning Articles

Globetrotting Traveling Articles
52 Hours In the Cairo Airport
A Guided Tour
A Real National Treasure
A San Francisco Treat
A Trip Back In Time
A Trip Back In Time
Adventure to Washington, D.C.
Adventures by Disney
Adventures by Disney
Airline Security
Amish Country
An Insider's Guide
An Insider's Guide
Arlington National Cemetery
Bath, England
Buckingham Palace
Busch Garden Africa's SheiKra
CARES Child Restraint System
Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio
Celebration, Florida
Charleston, South Carolina
Costa Rica Adventures by Disney
Discovering "America's Finest City"
Disney's Vero Beach
Disneyland
Dover Castle
Driving Through The Night
Escape Into Alcatraz
Eurostar
Explore Alaska (From The Comfort of Your RV!)
Explore Alaska (From The Comfort of Your RV!)
Flying to Walt Disney World from the West Coast
Flying Upper Class
Flying with Kids
Fort Sumter
Greeter Programs
Harry Potter's
Helsinki, Finland
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Hilton Head Island
Hong Kong Disneyland
How to Handle A "Bumpy" Flight
I Dream Of Hawaii
In a New York Minute
iPhone, I Travel
Kapalua, Maui
Keeping Kids Happy on Long Car Rides
Kent, England
King Tut and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs
Las Vegas
Las Vegas for Families
London, UK
Los Angeles
Macau
Madison County, New York
Molto Italia
More Than Bridges
My First NASCAR Experience
Nashville, Tennessee
National Aquarium
New Orleans
New York City
Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Not Your Average Bus Tour
On the Road to Walt Disney World
Oslo, Norway
Oxford
Paris
Passport Update
Playing the Waiting Game
Port Canaveral, Florida
Prince Edward Island
Redondo Beach, California
Rome
Salem, Massachusetts
Small Is Beautiful
Small Is Beautiful
Southwest and JetBlue
St. Louis
Stockholm, Sweden
Stonehenge
Tahiti
The Amtrak Auto Train
The Auto Train
The Emerald Isle
The Globe Theatre
The Grand Canyon
The Great Smoky Mountains
The Great Smoky Mountains
The Other Side of the Falls
The Quest for the West
The World's Loveliest Castle
To Rent or Not To Rent
Tokyo DisneySea
Tokyo DisneySea
Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions
Traveling Carry-On to Walt Disney World
Traveling With Extended Family
Universal
Using Orlando's "Other" Airport
Vermont by Bicycle
Viva Italia!
Viva Italia! Part 1
Viva Italia! Part 2
Viva Las Vegas!
Vive la Difference
Washington D.C.
What To Do While Waiting for a Flight
When Does Your Walt Disney Vacation Really Begin?
When to Visit Walt Disney World
Wimbledon
Windsor Castle
Winter Wonderland
Yosemite
Your First Trip to Universal Studios Orlando

Globetrotting Lodging Articles

Globetrotting Touring Articles

Globetrotting Dining Articles

Globetrotting Making Magic Articles

Globetrotting General Travel Articles

View all PassPorter articles
PassPorter's
Article Tools
Print Article
Download PDF
Read Comments on This Article

Southwest and JetBlue: Flying the Low Fare Skies

Photo illustrating U.S. Travel - Traveling
by Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 12/31/2009
  

Cool Tip: Click here to get a FREE PDF version of this article, fully formatted to print and put into your PassPorter Deluxe Binder!


Filed in Articles > U.S. Travel > Traveling  

For me as a Brit, I've always found that many things are cheaper in the States. Certainly heading to the gas station in America to fill up the car is a treat for us, as it's about half the price that it is at home. One thing that had always amazed me though was how much airlines charged for domestic flights.


think it's worth explaining what I'm used to in Europe. We have various budget airlines and perhaps the cheapest deal we ever got was a return flight to Venice for just one penny, yes that's right, one cent plus airport taxes, which the airlines can't do much about. That gives you an idea of the expectations I have when it comes to airfares. Even today, I know that I can usually get airfares for approximately £30 per person each way, in today's exchange rate, that's something like $50. So when I was being quoted hundreds of dollars to fly between different destinations in the States, I was horrified to say the least. Surely there must be some budget airlines in America as well?

Of course there are and soon enough, I came across them, thanks to recommendations from the wonderful community that is the PassPorter message boards. The first airline we experienced was Southwest, an airline I'd actually learned about a few months before we flew with them in my management diploma course. The reason we were hearing about them was that we were discussing how businesses learn from one another and we were told that Southwest had been looking at how to speed up the turn-around of their aircraft from when they landed to when they departed. How did they do that? We were told that executives had gone to visit the Formula One racing teams, who race around the world, to see how they achieve pit stops in a matter of seconds, taking tires off and replacing them and refueling the cars.

I treated that with a bit of skepticism, until I saw Southwest in operation for the first time. We were at John Wayne airport in Los Angeles, heading away from Disneyland and up to San Francisco and it was about 20 minutes before our departure time and there was no sign of our aircraft. I remember confidently declaring to my husband that we'd never leave on time, as I know that would be the case at home. What happened next couldn't have surprised me more. We were all told to line up, according to our boarding numbers and, as soon as the plane touched down, the outgoing passengers were herded off the plane and we entered in an orderly fashion, all in order. Before we knew it, we were taking off and it was on time as well. Very impressive.



Since then, we've flown again with Southwest and had similar experiences. Today, instead of just having the different boarding groups, you have individually assigned boarding numbers. On our most recent flight, we were A33 and A34 and everyone was lined up according to their number. We'd ended up with those at something like 23 hours and 58 minutes before our flight, which shows how quickly the A boarding group gets booked up.

Realizing that, Southwest recently introduced its Early Bird Check-in. Your boarding position is automatically assigned within 36 hours of your departure, meaning no more racing to ensure you're online 24 hours beforehand to try and land that all-important A boarding group. While there's no guarantee of a position in the A group with the Early Bird Check-in, obviously it gives you a much better chance. Of course, there's a charge for this service, but one thing Southwest has shied away from is charging a second bag fee (or even a first bag free – your first two bags fly free!), which most rivals have now introduced.

The company's been running since 1971 and is a massive business today, with more 3,000 flights every day serving more than 60 cities in 34 states. We're obviously not alone in the great experiences that we've had with them to date, as they regularly have one of the lowest level of complaints from passengers in the industry and have a trophy cupboard of awards that anyone would be proud of.

Another company with a similar raft of airline industry awards is JetBlue. They're relatively new kids on the block, compared to Southwest. They've only been around since 1999, but now fly to more than 50 destinations, including international ones, such as the Bahamas, Costa Rica, Jamaica, and Mexico. Perhaps their big selling point was the announcement in 2006 that they would remove one more row of seats from each of the A320 aircraft, reducing the number of seats to 150. This gives an average seat pitch of 34", very generous, considering that on international long haul flights with both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, the seat pitch is 32", so you get more legroom with JetBlue than you may do on flights of nine or ten hours plus!

If you're happy to pay more, which we have done in the past, you can experience JetBlue's Even More Legroom, which gives you 38" of legroom, equivalent to the "Premium Economy" class on some international airlines. Having sampled this, I can say that I'd happily pay the excess to enjoy this luxury again!

Another innovation from JetBlue is their LiveTV system, which gives them 36 channels of satellite TV programming at each seat. This was something that absolutely fascinated me when we flew with them, although I had to watch it from my husband's seat, as mine resolutely refused to work for me and I was not going to give up my Even More Legroom seat to enjoy it! It's something I'd personally love to see a lot more airlines introducing in the future.

Unfortunately, one of our flights with JetBlue was just a week too early to sample their new Terminal 5 at JFK in New York, which boats 26 gates, 20 security lanes and facilities such as free Wi-Fi, a children's area and more than 20 restaurants and a similar number of shops. Maybe one day in the future, we'll get to sample it.

Although there's no charge on board for snacks, JetBlue is one of the many airlines to have bought in the second checked bag fee, with passengers wanting to fly with more than one checked bag charged $30.

It's clear each airline has its plus and minus points and it does depend, to a certain extent, on what matters most to you – whether taking two bags without paying an additional fee is important or perhaps extra legroom is a must for you. Having flown with both Southwest and JetBlue, we wouldn't hesitate to fly again with either of them. The old adage says you get what you pay for, but with both these airlines, you don't pay much, but the service you get is great with both.



About the Author:
Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have made numerous visits to destinations across America and Europe. They recently completed their tour of every Disney theme park around the world, which culminated in their visit to Japan, including the Tokyo Disney Resort. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!

Related Links:
 
Traveling Carry-On to Walt Disney World - Avoid Those Baggage Fees last updated 3/2/2011
New York City - Something Old, Something New last updated 01/02/2009
On the Road to Walt Disney World - Doing "The Drive" last updated 01/20/2009
Airline Security - 10 Important Tips and Reminders last updated 1/21/2009
Sick at Sea - (But Not Sea Sick!) last updated 5/14/2009




Reader Comments:


View all comments in forum thread

So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)




Updated 12/31/2009 - Article #402 



Read additional articles from PassPorter.com

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  

-HTML

 
 

We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2014
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

       SEARCH
       LEARN MORE
Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


 

RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - Getting There (and Back!): Your Journey to Walt Disney World
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
By car, plane, or train -- share your tips, plans, and experiences with others! Forum Sponsored by Quicksilver Tours & Transportation


Southwest boarding position questions
by phoebec
23 Jul 2014 at 1:48pm
I am starting to stress about this southwest boarding thing. I have a daughter with ASD and was told I could board with her during preboarding. The...
(click title above to view replies)

Magical Express No Show
by JCRKTW459
23 Jul 2014 at 5:05am
Hi there, We have a late flight home on our last day. I plan to spend the day in the park till we have to be back to the resort for Magical...
(click title above to view replies)

Southwest App ?
by vegasgirl0825
22 Jul 2014 at 9:39pm
Has anyone used the Southwest App on their iPhone for checking into their flights? Just wondering if it works well on Disney property? I'm thinking...
(click title above to view replies)

To Book SWA Right When Fares are Released?
by DLinNH
21 Jul 2014 at 7:33pm
In your opinion, is it wise to book SWA right when they release their fares? Is that usually a good price/time to do it? It's been many years since...
(click title above to view replies)

Southwest "Wanna Get Away" fares???
by hildai
16 Jul 2014 at 8:00am
Our travel group of 11 will be flying to MCO April 2015 (Easter weekend) for our cruise on the Dream April 6th!!!! I'm trying to get a feel for...
(click title above to view replies)



Total Visits: 3030


PassPorter ~ 1998-2014 ~ 16 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Press
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
Guidebooks
About
Previews
Buy
Reviews
Updates
Features
News & Updates
Articles
Podcasts
Photos
Message Boards
Newsletter
Concierge Desk
Desktop
Trips
Books & E-Books
Tips
Settings
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Contests
Checklists
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us
PassPorter.com Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.