It’s been almost two years since Southwest put an end to one of the greatest loopholes ever, if you had access to Marriott points. With those points, you could buy an Air & travel package like I did (Category 1-5) for 270,000 points. You would then get 120, 000 points deposited into your Southwest account and get a 7-night stay at Marriott. This also meant you got the Southwest companion pass, one of the most coveted travel perks around. On a side note, I still have that 7-night Marriott stay and have to use it this year.
I took advantage of this and it turned me on to the Southwest experience over the last two years.
I see all the griping on the pages I am on or various blogs. SWA is so awful, ug the boarding process, welfare air, etc.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
Is this coming from all the people with status on other airlines? Too snobby to just enjoy the process? Of course, there are also 5 other people praising SWA like me to every one that’s complaining.
Have you tried boarding on another airline lately? That’s what I could complain about all day over anything with Southwest.
Southwest has been great to be being based out of Seattle. Granted, I travel on some off days or off-peak times, but the point redemptions have been great for me. Here are some of the reasons I love them.
- I am getting roundtrip redemptions to Las Vegas for between 7-10,00 points, California for 9-12,000, and Mexico for anywhere from 12-19,000. Add in the companion pass and the ability to take another person with you for anywhere between $11,20 domestic or $85 international and it’s even better.
- 2 free checked bags per person. Great way to save over other airlines. This must be taken into account when pricing flights. I mostly do carry on, but I am taking the kids this year so checking in will pay off. Keep in mind, most airlines have a kid friendly deal where car seats or boosters can be checked in but having the flexibility of free bags is nice.
- Boarding process. Yes, I love it. I know exactly where I place in the process and where to go. I know I can pick any open seats once I am on board. No checking seat guru before hand or worried about equipment changes.
- Service-Almost always friendly and helpful.
- My #1-You can cancel at anytime for no penalty. If you paid cash, you get a travel voucher valid for one year. If booked with points, the points come right back and the taxes can be refunded to your credit card.
Any downsides? We can always find something.
- Best for point to point and western half of US in my opinion. Otherwise point redemptions can be through the roof
- Check in process-This can be frustrating to some. You either have to pay extra or check in exactly at the 24-hour mark to get A or B boarding group typically.
As far as point redemptions I don’t look too closely into it. I try and get a good redemption and any free travel is a good thing. I can be stingy with my points so I prefer using them during a sale when possible. Supposedly it’s a fixed-point amount per dollar amount but I have seen some vary at times.
Overall, it should be about 1.6 or 1.7 cents per point so a $84 flight on sale will cost about 5056 points. Overall at 9-15,000 per roundtrip I am pretty happy.
There are the reasons I love Southwest. Maybe I am lucky, but I have not had any issues. I enjoy the redemption value they provide for me cash or points wise.
Fun Facts: As of January 2019, Southwest carries the most domestic passengers of any United States airline. The airline has scheduled services to 99 destinations in the United States and ten additional countries. Service to four destinations in Hawaii was coming in 2018, now 2019, subject to FAA approval, with routes to be decided on and announced in the near future
Check out the rest on wiki CLICK HERE
Want to read more about Southwest? Check out the book, The southwest way