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Monday, December 20, 2010

Best of 2010 - Airline

Do a job well and do it consistently.  Two ways to easy success.  Why is it so rare to find somebody that can do it?  Well, someone can and for the second year in a row, Southwest Airlines wins our airline of the year cudos.

Consistency, on-time performance, no hidden fees, friendly and helpful staff, comfort, good prices, and good equipment handling are longtime hallmarks of this year's Airline of the Year - Southwest Airlines.

Long known as a no-frills, budget carrier Southwest, by being consistent, has evened it up with the legacy carriers. This year's flight to Cincinnati, on another "big" carrier (who ended up merged with another) we were subjected to wheelchair loading rules made up on the fly...one time we were boarded first, another time last...told no seat changes were available only to have our seating assignments changed without our permission; and big fees for checked luggage. 

It's bad enough that you have to endure the indignities of TSA when you get to the airport, it's another when your airline continues proving that the worst part of traveling is the actual traveling.

On the other hand, Southwest had clean planes, friendly cabin staff, the best baggage handlers when it came to loading our chair, free checked luggage, free snacks - on the longer flights even approaching a light meal, free use of pillows and blankets, no delays, and low prices.

The only knock I can think of is that there is no assigned seating on Southwest and it can be a free-for-all to find a seat. Get there early if you don't qualify for pre-boarding to get one of the first boarding passed - Southwest has three tiers, A, B, and C, and are handed out first-come, first-served. A boards first, B second, and C last.

Congratulations to Southwest for being consistently (there's that word again) the best airline we've flown.


While you're here, you may want to see our Year In Review.

-Darryl

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