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Thread: Air Travel

  1. #1
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    Default Air Travel

    Hi all.
    I am looking into flying from Indy to Denver and back in late March (21,23). I have never flown before and I would like to ask opinions on a few things.

    I found a great deal on Southwest for a round trip ticket (with connecting flight in Kansas City) for $98 in their "Wanna Get Away" category. First, is Southwest a good airline? Would you recommend them? Also, does anyone know what the catch is for this really low price?

    Also, what are some things I should know about flying? I am not planning on taking a bag, just a carry on backpack (If I can) with my bare essentials, like laptop and phone stuff, a pair of extra clothes and small shower/bathroom stuff.

    Thank you in advance!
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    The New Gold Swagger travmil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Air Travel

    Southwest is a fine airline. They are more bare bones than some of the other airlines but for what you pay and what you get, they are pretty good. The "wanna get away" fares are just cheaper fares offered for a limited time, usually far in advance of the flight. If you know you're locked in to a certain date that you're flying, you'll be fine with that fare. If you need to change it, you'll pay a fee plus whatever the current rate of the ticket is to do that. Also, if you care about where you sit, get there EARLY! Or even better, check in online up to 24 hours before departure. The reason for this is that Southwest doesn't have assigned seating and they pack all of their flights. If you're in the C boarding group, you'll end up sitting in the middle seat by the bathroom. You want to be in the A boarding group if possible. Do you know if you'll be changing planes in KC? If you are, make sure you know the layout of the KC airport and how to get to the gate for your next flight to Denver. Usually it's not a problem, but some airports the gates are VERY far from each other and you only get so much time to get there. I've never flown into KC so I don't know the layout there. If you'll be flying the same plane to Denver, you don't even have to worry about it since you'll most likely stay on the plane, AND you'll get the added benefit of grabbing a prime seat when the folks going to KC get off. You should be fine with your carry on backpack. Just make sure you brush up on the rules for liquid containers. You can't even take a Pepsi through security with you.
    Last edited by travmil; 01-20-2013 at 06:21 PM.

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    Default Re: Air Travel

    I would read the TSA guidelines for updated security checkpoint info. It can be kind of tricky and is always changing and sometimes depends on the actual security officer. Basic guidelines though are:

    NOTHING over 3 oz. can be brought through security which includes even bottled water. However you can buy water soda or whatever once you get through security at the terminal restaurants and bring that on the plane no problem.

    If you are taking your laptop be sure to take it out of your backpack and put it through the security scanner. You also have to take your belt coat and shoes off. Sometimes if you're wearing a hoodie they'll even make you take that off but enforcement of this rule is not always consistent.

    Make sure you have everything out of your pockets, yes that includes even receipts gum wrappers everything. These new body scanners they use can detect everything. I got the dreaded pat down once because I had piece of plastic from a candy wrapper in my jeans pocket. So if you don't like getting your junk touched by another dude make sure your pockets are bare.

    Try to get in one of the earlier boarding zone groups if you need to use overhead compartment space because people are dicks and will take up the space over your seat before you board otherwise.

    Southwest is a fine airline, all US airlines are basically the same in terms of safety (which is good) and the same in terms of customer service: customer service at all airlines is absolutely abysmal.

    The most important thing though is to check in early to make sure you get a seat. I have flown Southwest like once in my life but I think they have some sort of first come first serve seating thing. So make sure you get there early so you actually get a seat and look into the Southwest procedures. All airlines overbook their flights and exclude passengers that paid for the flight all the time. This has never happened to me because I always make sure to get my ticket early but I have seen a lot of pissed off people because of this happening to them in my time.

    I fly every couple of months, domestic and international so if there is anything you are unsure of I am happy to help.

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    Default Re: Air Travel

    Thank you both, I appreciate it
    "What you do is so loud, I can't hear what you say" -Andrew Luck
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  7. #5
    Well lubricated Skaut_Ech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Air Travel

    I fly Southwest a couple a times a year. One thing that stands out to me about them is they tend to be friendlier than the other airlines (Flight crews). I don't know if it's because they cater to so many vacation destinations or what, but I have always noticed a difference.

    I digress. Southwest has a thing now where you can check in 24 hours from when your flight leaves. Say you are scheduled to leave at 1:15 on 2/ 3. On 2/2, get yourself in front of a computer sometime around 1:15. Bring up a window with the atomic clock, so you have exact time. Bring up another window with Southwest. Go to the check-in page and enter your reservation number. Click to bring up your info. It'll then ask you if you want to check in. WAIT. Watch your atomic clock. When it hits the time of your flight, click the button to check in. It'll bring up a page with your info. Click the checkbox by your name, then click the box to get your pass. Try to do this quickly. It'll then give your your boarding group (A, B or C) and number in line. The lower the number the better. The closer to A, the better. Say you get in A group. They will call for the A passengers to line up by number. They'll have an area with numbers on it. Just stand by your number and wait to board. I personally like that Southwest doesn't have assigned seats. Allows me to move around if I'm seated next to someone coughing and sneezing their nose, or the ever-present screaming child.

    You can print your boarding pass when you check in 24 hours in advance, or wait and prinit out the pass when you get to the airport, using a Southwest Kiosk (Translation-company computer), or have an agent print it for you, if you want to stand in line. You boarding group and number was reserved the moment you checked in early, so don't sweat in if you don't have access to a printer when you pre-check in. Your spot is reserved.
    Hey! What're you kicking me for? You want me to ask? All right, I'll ask! Ma'am, where do the high school girls hang out in this town?

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    Default Re: Air Travel

    Some great advice here.

    Biggest thing I can stress is be "security ready"

    When I get ready to go through security I have my shoes ready to come off (I wear slippers or shoes I can easily slide off), I try not to wear a sweatshirt (I always laugh when the young ladies have to get patted down because they are wearing a sweatshirt and nothing underneath, luckily that doesn't hold up the line much, if even), have everything out of your pockets (including your wallet) and have your laptop out and ready to go into a separate bin.

    I used to get yelled at by some TSA agents for not having my boarding pass and license with me when I went through the metal detectors, but the last 9-12 months I just leave everything in my suitcase and literally go through with nothing at all

    I only flew SW once and was not a huge fan of them, but I also fly a lot of other airlines and for whatever reason we just got bad customer service that day. That and I hate the no assigned seating. Though to be honest I did not know a lot of the tricks I learned from reading this thread.

    Lastly, and IDK if you are interested, but I see a lot of airlines are offering the "1 day lounge" passes for like $50-100USD. I guess hoping to get people to buy the year long ones. I have never tried it, but I got two from last year and I think it says we can get access to free wi-fi, alcohol, snacks and maybe even some basic food (though I would have to check).

    Ditto to anyone and everyone who says get on earlier if for nothing else then overhead space. People are straight up ******** about that, and I will never understand why. Esp. when its young kids bringing on a skateboard and taking up half off the overhead bin space. Or the person who refuses to put their suitcase in normally and instead takes up triple the amount of space.
    Last edited by vapacersfan; 01-23-2013 at 10:14 PM.

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    Default Re: Air Travel

    By "free lounge" I assume they mean like a business class or first class lounge. My job lets me to fly business class and while the lounge is cool, I wouldn't spend my own money to get access to it. One time I flew through Germany and went through the business class lounge and they had tons of great German free beer, yeah I took three or four and stashed them in my carry on

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    Default Re: Air Travel

    This is what was advertised to me. We were supposed to use ours on our honeymoon, but we are going to use it when we fly to Florida for our cruise for our 1 year anniversary

    http://www.united.com/web/en-US/cont...amenities.aspx

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    Default Re: Air Travel

    As idioteque all ready pointed out dress for the TSA checkpoint.

    Do not bother wearing a belt, wear shoes you can slip off and on quickly, take your computer out of your bag and put it through the scanner, and move quickly.

    I cannot reiterate try to get in first few zones for boarding if you are traveling DAL, or UAL. If you are flying SWA or other airlines that do not do zones make sure you are close to the front of the line. Air travelers are douches when it comes to overhead bins. Most of them take bags on that are way to big for a carry on or they will put their bag in the first bin they see even though their seat is in back of plane.

    Overhead bins are my biggest pet peeve when flying because people are just a real pain in the butt and most airlines really do not enforce the size limits unless you are just completely blatant with what you bring on.

    Check in early so you do not have to waste time standing line at the counter.

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    Default Re: Air Travel

    Chances are your flight will be full. But if it is not (and you can ask at the counter) if you are on Southwest and have no assigned seat and no great need to get off the plane ASAP, go near the back.

    At least that's my preference. reasoning: I have been on 75% full Southwest planes where the front half of the plane is solidly full, even middle seats, and I am chillin' near the back with an empty seat next to me because nobody wanted to wander back there and have to de-plane 5 minutes later than the first people, after flying for 4 hours. The reality is that if you have checked a bag, the first people off and the last people off the plane are waiting, together, at baggage claim for their bags to show up!
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    Default Re: Air Travel

    Quote Originally Posted by Slick Pinkham View Post
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    Chances are your flight will be full. But if it is not (and you can ask at the counter) if you are on Southwest and have no assigned seat and no great need to get off the plane ASAP, go near the back.

    At least that's my preference. reasoning: I have been on 75% full Southwest planes where the front half of the plane is solidly full, even middle seats, and I am chillin' near the back with an empty seat next to me because nobody wanted to wander back there and have to de-plane 5 minutes later than the first people, after flying for 4 hours. The reality is that if you have checked a bag, the first people off and the last people off the plane are waiting, together, at baggage claim for their bags to show up!
    I have literally flown since the day I was born, and this is one of the things that cracks me up the most. I find it HYSTERICAL.

    People will hop up when the captain turns off the seatbelt sign, and knowing damn well no one is going to deplane for 5-10 minutes everyone goes crazy and all the aisles are taken up. From about the age 10 up I sat still and just watched this happen. It is hilarious how nasty people will get, even cutting each other off, in a rush to go no where.

    It is even funnier when people are nasty and in a rush and end up waiting at baggage claims.

    Sometimes its the little things in life you just have to smile about....

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    Default Re: Air Travel

    Ok, so I found a way cheaper round-trip ticket without any layovers through Frontier. Would you guys recommend them?
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    Can see thru wooden doors dal9's Avatar
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    Default Re: Air Travel

    Quote Originally Posted by vapacersfan View Post
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    Some great advice here.

    Biggest thing I can stress is be "security ready"

    When I get ready to go through security I have my hoes ready to come off (I wear slippers or shoes I can easily slide off), I try not to wear a sweatshirt (I always laugh when the young ladies have to get patted down because they are wearing a sweatshirt and nothing underneath, luckily that doesn't hold up the line much, if even), have everything out of your pockets (including your wallet) and have your laptop out and ready to go into a separate bin.
    How many hoes to you usually take on your flights? Does it get expensive buying them all tickets?

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    Default Re: Air Travel

    Quote Originally Posted by Steagles View Post
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    Ok, so I found a way cheaper round-trip ticket without any layovers through Frontier. Would you guys recommend them?
    Take the cheapest. Airlines are basically all the same. The last time I flew Frontier they had DirecTV at all the seats. That was nice.
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  23. #15
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    Default Re: Air Travel

    Get to the Indianapolis Airport about 2 hours before your flight. This is way more time than you need at most major airports around the country. But for the past several years the Indianapolis Airport has been incredibly slow to get from parking to the gates. I've flown several times over the past 2 years and every time I've almost missed my flight by thinking I can arrive at the parking with only an hour or so before my flight like every other major airport. The Indy airport is just slow due to being understaffed....long wait for the parking buses, long wait to check your bags, long wait in security. They just do not staff for traveler efficiency there. It wasn't always that way, when it was first built it took me less than an hour. Just my experience though. I think they have seen a drop in passengers every year its been open.

    I also agree about the early check in on Southwest. Get to your computer and check in as soon as you are allowed. Waiting even 30 minutes will knock you out of group A in many cases, and yes go to the back of the plane, you will stand a better chance of avoiding the stragglers taking that middle seat next to you.

    Do not bother rushing through the security check point. You will feel this sense of urgency to get your shoes and stuff off at lightening speed. Just take your time and do it right. Grab atleast 3 bins to hold your belongings. One bin for your shoes and belt, and misc. pocket items, one bin for your shoulder bag, one bin for your lap top. Everyone is just really nasty in security and its just best to ignore others and take your time. If you do it wrong you risk being pulled aside for further screening. Its happened to me just based on having a bottle of water in one of the bins that I forgot to throw away.
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  24. #16
    I'm on a MAC! graphic-er's Avatar
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    Default Re: Air Travel

    On a side note, has any one noticed the total lack of security at Indianapolis Airport when you exit the terminals? You walk down the long hall way past TSA and then right into the food court on your way down to baggage claim. Last time I flew back in December there was not a soul standing at the terminal exit in the food court. You could literally just walk right in and bypass TSA. Maybe they have eye's in the sky over this area though. Just seemed really strange.
    You can't get champagne from a garden hose.

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    Default Re: Air Travel

    I frequently fly Southwest. You can check in online 24 hours prior to the departure time. This will allow you to save your place in line when you board the airplane. Southwest doesn't have assigned seating....but you do get a place in line when you check in. So, if you are A30...you are the 30th person in line....so you will can pick whatever seat you want when you board the place.
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