I’m out at LAX airport today on a crazy routing to Europe. This morning, I flew in from JFK on an American A321T in Business Class, and I have several hours to kill before departing for my afternoon flight to London.
Considering I’ve been sitting on a plane for 6 hours this morning, I decided to walk around the airport. Towards the end of my walk, I came upon the Southwest ticketing counters and it was an absolute mad-house.
The line was a mile long, and it was full of leisure travelers trying to check bags and print boarding passes. As I heard from one agent I passed by, the wait to see the counter was over an hour long. That’s ridiculous.
Take, for example, my British Airways ticketing counter.
Sure, there’s a bit of a line, but it’s nothing like the Southwest line. Further, elite members of oneworld have access to First and Business class check-in counters, reducing wait times even more.
So, that brings me to one of the reasons I don’t fly Southwest – the lines. Sure, one could say you can’t compare British Airways with Southwest, and in most aspects, I’d agree. But in walking around LAX, you could replicate the BA counters with any other domestic airline – American, US Airways, United, Delta, etc. Certainly, the elite lines in all of these compared nothing to the mass chaos of the Southwest counters.
So, maybe perhaps the Southwest fare is cheaper, and yes, there are no bag fees…but I value my time, and it would frustrate me to no end to arrive at the airport, only to have to wait in a line to check my bag. This is why I value elite status, and why I believe the legacy carriers will always have the upper hand.
If I can avoid flying Southwest, I will.
What do you think?
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