Airline Review: Southwest 1716 PHX to SAN

It has been a while since I flew Southwest (SW). Today, I took it from Phoenix to San Diego – a quick and easy one-hour flight. I must first admit that I have been an American Airlines (AA) loyal customer for several years now. However, this time I had an early meeting and the first AA flight would have put me in San Diego by about noon.

Booking:

I booked my ticket online, which was simple and easy. I entered my TSA Precheck number, and for some reason I was skeptical and doubted it would show-up on the boarding pass – it actually did!

Checking-in:

I checked-in on the SW iPhone app and added the boarding pass to my Wallet, which was seamless. However, later it did not behave like I was expecting – two things:

  • On the day of departure the boarding pass did not show up on the locked screen. This is a feature that comes in handy, where one can swipe to open the boarding pass without unlocking the iPhone and go through multiple clicks to get to it.
  • The gate changed. However, the boarding pass was not updated in the Wallet. It continued to show the old gate number. This is something I have come to expect with AA boarding passes, where they continuously update while in the Wallet.

Boarding & Plane

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The flight was on time, and the boarding process very efficient. However, the whole “Position” thing is a turn off for me. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the experience – maybe because I was number 3 and first in line. No one claimed positions 1 and 2!

I sat in 1D, which is an aisle seat on the first row facing the bulkhead. The legroom was average for a bulkhead seat, but adequate. This front row did not have a tray-table, which was odd. Maybe this is a luxury I’ve gotten used to on AA flights, it’s usually in the armrest.

The interior of the plane looked old and tired, it could use some TLC. The floor carpet was frayed at the seams, and the light in the front galley area popped off the ceiling and about to come loose.

WiFi was available on board. However, I did no attempt to connect because the flight attendant repeated four times indicating how slow and inconsistent it was.

Bottom Line

Overall this was a good experience. However, I will stick with AA, and fly SW when in a pinch. AA prices are comparable to SW, and actually on this trip SW was more expensive!

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