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Tag Results: Southwest Airlines
Like most planes, trains, and automobiles, news in the travel world moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss a great deal, or the newest airline perk. We’ve scoured all corners of the internet to round up the most notable travel news this week, from a low-cost French rail service to speedier TSA screenings.
Maybe your Valentine’s Day wasn’t as spectacular as you hoped it would be (then again, when does it ever live up to expectations?), but just before you throw out your mostly-dead roses, an email pops into your mailbox. It’s a message from Delta Airlines, confirming your flight to Aruba for next week. You don’t recall booking a trip, when it occurs to you – it must be a belated gift from your sweetheart! How romantic! Well, maybe not.
Getting hoodwinked by a travel scam is easier than you think. An email that alleges it’s from Delta Airlines has been making the rounds, containing specific flight information and asking readers to download a PDF file of their tickets. The PDF is a Trojan horse used to get you to install destructive software onto your computer, or access your personal or financial information. A similar scheme went around Facebook last month, when an offer claimed users could win two free tickets from Southwest Airlines simply for entering your email address. While veteran travelers won’t bat an eye at such tomfoolery, less experienced passengers may not know any better. So, we’ve put together a few tips to help novice fliers recognize when they’re being swindled. Read more
Most of the time, airlines tacking on new fees means bad news for fliers. Paying extra to check a bag or change a flight can be frustrating, and Southwest Airlines has earned a customer-friendly reputation for nixing many fees other carriers employ. However, Southwest’s latest perk comes from doling out a little extra cash.
For $40, Southwest customers can snag a spot in its “A” boarding group, allowing them access to the aircraft ahead of their fellow passengers. Southwest boards its planes by diving travelers into three boarding groups, with the “A” group taking precedence, followed by “B” and “C.” Customers will be able to purchase the upgrade at the gate 45 minutes prior to departure. Southwest has open seats on all of its flights, and the fee can only be utilized if there are enough seats available.
About a week into the New Year, it’s typical for resolutions to wane. You’re dragging yourself to the gym less and less, your brand new bass guitar is already gathering dust, and you couldn’t even make it through a day without lighting up one more “last” cigarette. But Southwest Airlines is bent on keeping a fairly common resolution – to save more money – by instituting a new fee on fliers who forget to cancel their flights.
Beginning sometime this year, Southwest will impose a “no-show” fee on customers who fail to cancel their seats before missing their flights. The airline is well known for implementing fewer customer fees than its competitors, remaining the only major U.S. carrier to not charge fliers for changing flight plans or checking bags. Under the current policy, no-show customers are able to apply the full value of their ticket toward the purchase of another, and that policy will remain.
As temperatures drop and skies darken earlier each night, it’s easy to fantasize of warm nights on a secluded beach with a Technicolor sunset on the horizon, a fruity drink beading condensation close by. But an aspect that doesn’t typically make it into the reverie is the joy of flying to your destination in one shot, without layovers or transfers. For fliers of Southwest Airlines, the trip from fantasy to reality has become a bit more streamlined.
The airline has begun offering nonstop flights to Key West, Fla., the southernmost stop on the continental U.S. route. The news is welcome for passengers who prefer spending the entirety of their expedition in one seat. Fliers to the Keys typically touch down in South Florida to switch to a smaller plane for the journey’s final push. These “puddle jumper” flights are provided by most major airlines, with only a handful giving direct flights.
Desperate for profits, the airline industry is known for charging customers for services that used to come standard. Remember free meals, checked baggage, and headphones? Over time, the industry has gradually reduced the legroom offered to customers. Originally at 32 inches a decade ago, The Boston Globe observed that averages have since dropped to 31 inches. Southwest Airlines is now packing six more rows of seats into their Boeing 737-700 fleet, thereby reducing legroom space by an inch for economy customers. If you want that inch back, the airline created premium rows at an added cost.
Southwest Airlines has launched a new program called InAirtainment to kick off the new Wi-Fi offered on some of its flights (to be featured fleet-wide by the end of 2012). InAirtainment is essentially free access to iTunes in the sky, featuring the same top songs, music videos, games, television shows, and movies available while on land.
InAirtainment allows flyers to download and listen to their favorite music and watch popular entertainment shows without paying the standard in-flight Wi-Fi fee, which right now is a flat rate of $5. Songs on iTunes cost $0.99 to$1.29, most television shows are $1.99, and films typically range from $9.99 to $14.99, while rental films are as little as $0.99. Through the end of March, a play list of 20 songs by new and upcoming artists “about to fly,” such as Chris Bathgate and Laura Jansen, will be offered for free. Read more
In a program called Holiday Photos on the Fly, Southwest Airlines and Microsoft are bringing a little extra holiday cheer to your busy travel schedule: Santa Claus will be set up at 26 U.S. airports to pose for free holiday photos with passengers, young and old. Santa’s helpers from Microsoft will not only provide travelers with a free photo print, but also show customers how to edit and share their pictures. The program will run for the three weekends preceding Christmas in December (Dec. 2-5, Dec. 9-12, and Dec. 17-20) from 8am to 7:30pm. You can seek out Santa at the following Southwest airports: Albuquerque, Austin, Baltimore/Washington, Boston Logan, Chicago Midway, Dallas Love Field, Denver, El Paso, Fort Lauderdale, Houston Hobby, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Nashville, New Orleans, Oakland, Ontario, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, San Antonio, St. Louis, Seattle Tacoma, and Tampa Bay.
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