I was taking Southwest for a skiing trip in Deer Valley, Utah. I was connecting in Denver from New Orleans to Salt Lake City but I decided to not write a report on the latter flight because it was so short. On the way back, I flew on a direct flight on Delta but I slept for most of the flight and did not write anything about it. I hope you enjoy this report!
I live about 2 hours away from MSY so I initially planned to depart my house at 5 A.M. and be at the airport at 7 A.M. but I didn't leave until 5:30 A.M. and arrived at the airport at 7:30 A.M. that morning. I decided to check my bag curbside rather than inside which seemed to be a mistake as once I got inside the airport. I noticed that the Southwest lines were completely empty.
Security was a very efficient at this time and had no line; most likely do to the fact that the early morning rush was over and there were few flights departing at this time, especially at Terminal B where I would be departing from. I was randomly selected to be searched even more and may bag had to be looked at but I was still out in under 10 minutes. For those who are unfamiliar about the New Orleans airport, the current facilities are quite awful, especially in Terminal B. The newest terminal, terminal D, could maybe be considered mediocre. The restaurant and retail options for an airport that size are extremely lacking and the gate areas are not kept up well. Fortunately however, the airport has been working on a new terminal for several years which now has a delayed opening date at November 2019 but this will probably be pushed back even further. The new terminal will be the newest and nicest airport in the country. Since the airport is expecting the new facility, it seems like the current condition of the existing facility is being neglected.
I booked a Wanna Get Away fare for this flight which means I would end up in one of the last boarding positions. I checked in fairly early but I received boarding position B56. For those of you unaware of Southwest or how they do things, the airline has open seating and passengers board in order of their position. The airline has 3 boarding groups: A, B, and C. I wasn't the last person to board like those in the C group but I was still one of the last onboard. I was desperate for a window seat so I ended up taking my seat in the last row of the aircraft, in seat 24 F. The seat was old and cramped and didn't recline due to its position. I know that many people enjoy Southwest's open seating but I particularly despise it. I would much rather have an assigned seat that I chose.
As you can tell in that picture, I was very cramped. I am rather tall at 6'4 which played a role in my discomfort but I still think that the legroom could have been better. This was one of the airline's older 737-700's so it had not received any new interior updates and probably wouldn't considering it was still painted in the old livery.
The captain announced that there were strong headwinds and a severe system over Texas so flight time would be a little longer, clocking out at about 3 hours and 14 minutes. We would also circle around the New Mexico area due to strong winds in Southern Colorado. We ended up taking off about 10 minutes early
As with most Southwest flights, the crew were very friendly and courteous. The flight attendant assigned to the back of the aircraft was Marty. Marty chatted with many of the passengers and you could tell that he enjoyed his job. I saw the flight attendant assigned to the center of the aircraft a few times and she did not seem very happy. My only complain with the crew is that Marty took my drink order fairly early in the flight and I noticed that the other passengers in front of me and in the other sections had received their drinks soon after I ordered but I waited at least 45 minutes for mine which was very annoying, especially considering I had barely had anything to drink before the flight.
Flying over the warned storms in Texas and Southern Colorado created lots of turbulence, most of which was never announced by the crew which I am aware that there is often unexpected turbulence, but the turbulence was rather moderate with drinks spilling over. I would have liked if the crew gave us a head's up or even turned on the seat belt sign before this event.
All Southwest aircraft lack IFE's and outlets, but the airline does offer a free live TV option on its app. I enjoyed this feature but I still prefer to have a screen on the seat in front of me, rather than on my phone. Our descent was very rough with lots of turbulence with yet again, no warning from the crew. Despite an early departure, we arrived in Denver 40 minutes late. Luckily, I had a 3 hour connection so I still had plenty of time to eat, do some plane spotting, and make my connection.
I have never been a fan of Southwest, but I was still very disappointed in this flight. My next flight to Salt Lake City was good but it was also very short. I wouldn't recommend flying Southwest on a longer flight unless it is absolutely necessary.