Flying Southwest

November 11, 2023 0 Comments

Everyone knows that Hawaiian Airlines is the king of the skies in Hawaii. They have their own terminals at Daniel K. Inouye airport. Here’s a comparison flying interisland with Southwest – the “newcomer”.

First off, Southwest is located in the International terminal – go past the “interisland” terminal which is pretty much all Hawaiian and go to the International terminal #7. Checking in is just like any other plane except they have confusing baggage tag instructions and the terminal defaults are not what you might expect. It asks if you have luggage and then you might miss the checkmark to print your boarding pass. I think it’s because they assume you will use your phone for baggage or to check-in. In any case, the baggage tags bring out but on the back there’s too much wording. There are places you have to remove but it’s confusing. I ended up taking off too much and the small sticker that you are supposed to keep – watch out! I stuck a label to my iPhone case and it took off the coating!

Once you get everything sorted out and you have your ticket, you have to go through TSA. Nothing new, except remember you are in the international terminal and the TSA line is for everyone – including international. So the wait is much longer than with Hawaiian. Figure around 20 mins or more depending on the number of people. There IS a line with a “big machine” that allows you to leave your computer in the bag – unfortunately there’s only one line with this machine – it’s the middle one.

Once in the terminal, here’s a plus. You can enjoy all the amenities of the international terminal which is a whole lot more than what is in the inter island terminal. Walking to the Southwest gates are farther too.

Once at the gate, you have either A or B and a number. They load by letters and A can go from 1 to over 100. But the day I went, A went to 60 and B was right after that starting from 1. Now the plane can handle a lot of people so 60 is nothing…. there are lots of seats, but Southwest has no assigned seating.

Once on the plane, you will notice how much more modern the plane looks. The seats are more comfortable and the tray tables are full sized. None of this super small trays like Hawaiian.

When the plane takes off the drink service starts. Hawaiian serves complimentary juice and water. I counted 16 items that Southwest serves for free! In addition, there are lots of paid drinks as well. The flight attendants seem happy and relaxed. Their attire seems relaxed as well. It makes you feel relaxed.

If you scan a card, you get free WIFI for texting and free TV through the WIFI. This is an awesome addition! The freedom of texting while flying is fun and being able to keep in touch with your family is wonderful!

Before you know it, you are landing and both times they were ahead of schedule. These were the two smoothest landings that I remember.

So there are plusses and minuses flying on Southwest, but the service, the drinks, the WIFI and the landings are perfect.

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