Tips for new Southwest Flyers

Discussion in 'Southwest Airlines | Rapid Rewards (w/ AirTran)' started by Deacon Flyer, Feb 17, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Deacon Flyer
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    Deacon Flyer Silver Member

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    I'll be taking my first WN flight in May. Do people have hints for seat selection or any other tips? I'll update as people respond:

    Booking

    Once you have made a WGA booking, don't forget to check the fare for your flight from time to time. If the fare goes down, you can re-book and get a credit for the difference with no change fee. The credit is good for up to one year from the day you paid any money towards that ticket.


    Seats

    Good:
    Window seats: 11A, 12F (More leg room, but less padding)
    Aisle seats: 11C
    Middle Seats: 11B

    Rows 16-20: "Secret First Class" - More likely to have an open middle seat

    Bad:
    Non-Reclining seats: 10A-C

    While boarding:

    Check out the screen after the GA has scanned your BP to see how many people are on the flight:

    - 137: The flight is full
    - 130-136: You will almost certainly have somebody in the middle
    - 125-130: A very good chance of getting a middle open if you sit in rows 15-20
    - 70-91: Nobody should need to sit in a middle seat, so pick a row with somebody already
    - < 70: Very good chance of getting an entire row of 3 to yourself, so head back beyond the exit rows


    Check in

    -You can prefill in your information at mobile.southwest.com to speed up check in right at 24 hours before your flight
     
  2. RedM3Pilot
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    RedM3Pilot Gold Member

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    It sorta depends on what your boarding position is as well as load factor.

    Essentially, if you have A60 or better, you're pretty much guaranteed an aisle or a window. Anything worse than that and you can elect to find a middle with a hott seatmate...or at least someone small and not so undesirable.
     
  3. FLYERIL
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    FLYERIL Silver Member

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    Do you like windows or aisles?
    I believe 11A is the best window and 12F is second best. 12F doesn't have a seat in front of it, which provides unlimited legroom, but you don't have a seatback tray.
    I believe that 11C is the best aisle. 11A - 11C all have more legroom than most seats.
     
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  4. RedM3Pilot
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    RedM3Pilot Gold Member

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    That's correct. If those seats are already taken....rows 16-20 (sometimes referred to as "Secret First Class") have the greatest likelihood of having an empty middle seat.
     
  5. pokerhammy
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    pokerhammy Silver Member

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    Check-in is faster for me at mobile.southwest.com - prefill your information and submit ASAP 24 hours before your flight. I can usually snag an exit row seat around A30ish. (Although, with some of the recent flights I've had, I'd make sure the seats around are already taken by adults and give up the exit row seat if behind it was a kid who was prone to kicking and screaming...)
     
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  6. RedM3Pilot
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    RedM3Pilot Gold Member

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    And Seats 10 A-C don't recline.
     
  7. FLYERIL
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    FLYERIL Silver Member

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    Neither do 11D & E. Some people also like 12D & E for that reason.
     
  8. Sam Axe
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    Sam Axe Silver Member

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    When you give the GA your boarding pass and walk past him/her, in many airports you can look back and look over their shoulder at the display on their computer screen. The total number of people who will be on the flight will show up there, except that standbys won't be listed yet.

    - 137 is full
    - 130-136 means you will almost certainly have somebody in the middle
    - 125-130 means a very good chance of getting a middle open if you sit in rows 15-20
    ... at the lower load factors:
    - 70-91 or less means that nobody should need to sit in a middle seat, so pick a row with somebody already sitting in the window/aisle so that you don't get a party of two coming and taking the middle next to you because they want to sit together.
    - less than 70 means you stand a very good chance of getting an entire row of 3 to yourself, so head back beyond the exit row and let all the sheep pile into the first twelve rows. Go ahead and put both carry-ons in the overhead bin as a bonus.
     
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  9. HPN-HRL
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    HPN-HRL Silver Member

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    Once you have made a WGA booking, don't forget to look at the fare for your flight(s) from time to time - if the fare goes down you can re-book and get a credit for the difference (no change fee!); the credit is good for up to one year from the day you paid any $ toward that ticket - see the FT WN wiki-FAQ for the nitty-gritty details.
     
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  10. nomflyer
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    nomflyer Silver Member

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    Although 11A and 12F have more legroom, they are also less padded than other seats. For longer flights this may become an issue for some.
     
  11. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Active Member

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    Great information, thanks!
     
  12. If it is really important to you, you can pay an extra $10 each way for early boarding.
     
  13. If you are ever running late or want to take a later flight, WN can waitlist you on the next available flight with no fare change if you make it to the gate within 2 hours of your departure and it was due to circumstances outside of your control. I have been caught in traffic (or slept in) more than once and was able to take a later flight while keeping my anytime fare.
     
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  14. cordray2643
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    cordray2643 Silver Member

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    There are new Southwest flyers?
     
  15. Isn't the saying "there is a sucker born every minute?"
     
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  16. arizonawildcat

    arizonawildcat Active Member

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    This is not nearly as important as other seating criteria listed above, but one that is more of a third or fourth tie-breaker in selecting a seat/row. If you want to be served a drink at the beginning of the service, sit in either row 9 or 17. The FA seem to follow a distinct pattern of dividing the aircraft into thirds with the first taking rows 1-8 and the next taking rows 9-16. Again, not a major deal at all, but I have decided to sit in row 17 (vs 16) once in a while if I wanted to burn a drink coupon on a short < 60 minute flight before.
     
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  17. Delta Points
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    Delta Points Silver Member

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    I have never been on a SW plane. But will soon as I have $200 in gift certs from the AMEX PLAT rebate program. So where is the SW Skyclub and do I still get my pre-flight drink like on DELTA?:p I will feel like such a "gate lice" on this trip.:confused: (kidding - I only get my drink 99% of the time on DELTA)! :D
     
  18. USAF_Pride
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    USAF_Pride Gold Member

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    Delta gets me to Texas. SW gets me everywhere else from there!!
     
  19. BWIflyer
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    BWIflyer Silver Member

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    I know a couple, when they are flying together, one pays extra $10 and gets in early and holds seat for the spouse.
     
  20. Ktremor

    Ktremor Silver Member

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    I am not super picky on my seats and I have found that now that I have small I am not rushing to check in at T-24 as I can always board after the A group no matter what my number is.:)
     
  21. rharrigill
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    rharrigill Silver Member

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    Does the same logic apply for award travel? Say I book a flight for 11,000 points, but then later it goes down to 9,000. If I call and rebook, will I get those 2,000 points back?
     
  22. Jimmy28

    Jimmy28 Silver Member

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    Yes you will get them back. Generally you can do it online although sometimes the website throws errors when changing (even if using $$$).
     
  23. rharrigill
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    rharrigill Silver Member

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    Good to know. Thanks!
     
  24. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    Now that I have a brand new Chase SW credit card, I'll read this thread... just for fun (and information).
     
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