Southwest flies -200, -300, -500, and -700 series 737s. The -700 and -300 make up the bulk of the fleet. The -200s date back to the early days of the airline, and are being retired within the next year or two ... they are confined to the DAL and HOU domiciles and are almost exclusively doing what the SWA guys call the "Texas Two-Step" ... DAL-HOU-DAL-HOU etc (SWA operates 35 flights a day in each direction in that market). There are 25 -500s floating around out there as well.
Hey, last night at Dallas I saw a -700 with winglets. I thought Southwest had decided the winglets were not worth the expense. Does anyone know if they changed there mind and if the rest of the -700 are going to get them also?
Yes, Southwest will be putting Aviation Partners Boeing Advanced Technology Winglets (say THAT ten times fast) on all their 737-700s over the next few years. The fuel savings are pretty substantial. There are a couple of press releases at southwest.com talking about it.
Were you at Bachman Lake Park when you saw the thing? I used to love the walking trail there when I lived in the Big D ... get some exercise and watch the planes pass over! I have GOT to get out of Carolina and back to Texas somehow ...
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Does anyone know if they changed there mind and if the rest of the -700 are going to get them also?
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Yep and yep. My boyfriend works for SWA and there have been several -700s with the winglets into MCI already. He took some pictures, I'll have to remember to scan one and post it. At first they had funky little advertisements on the insides of the winglets but I guess they've since come off (?)
Anyways, very cool lookin'! He told me the fuel savings, it is pretty substantial though I cannot remember the figure right now.
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In order to compete more agressively with SONG,Jetblue and TED
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I think you've got it backwards. Song and Ted are a joke and will probably never even approach the success that LUV and jBLU have enjoyed. jBLU operates the A320 which has a few more seats than LUVs 733/5/7. But the 2 companies haven't yet taken each other head-on.
Actually, here's an alternative viewpoint on the whole Song/Jetblue/SWA/Ted thingy.
I pretty much blame the passengers. They assume that SWA has the lowest price, head to the SWA website and book a ticket under the assumption that Delta, American, United, etc have unreasonable prices.
So the industry is doing dumb stuff like Song/Ted/etc as a marketing tool to drive some traffic back to the carrier.
Now the real threat to domestic aviation isn't SWA or JBLU, it's cabotage laws and foreign ownership rules. If we enable Sir Richard Branson and his bevvy of cutsey-euro LPCAAC's (low price carriers at all costs), you're probably going to be happier and better paid driving a school bus.
I live near an SWA city (RDU) which means that fares to most places are pretty low. However, I've got to say I don't fly SWA very often at all, as I can get the same (or usually better) prices on other airlines. I almost always fly Northwest, Continental, or Delta, and accrue miles from all three in NWA WorldPerks ... I'm one trip away from being Elite Status on NWA ... unlimited upgrades from any fare as long as there's an empty seat in first. Gotta love paying an SWA fare and getting a first-class seat on a "network" carrier. Nothing against Southwest though ... they do a great job and I've enjoyed flying them ... and with two Texas domiciles I'd love to wind up working for them!!
I've never had "fun" riding on a Delta, Continental or United aircraft. Period. It's a means to an end. But Southwest....it's a traveling experience
. And that's not limited to times when the FAs aren't striking, and the pilots complaining about pay.
I REALLY WANT SOUTHWEST TO DO WELL. I purposely fly them, even if it costs $20 more!!! They're the only airline trying to make it fun!!! Don't get me wrong...I'll fly for anybody that'll give me a job ; I'm not limiting myself to only Southwest. But they are a fun company!!
First class seats? Don't interest me - I can't afford them. Non-stop flights from coast to coast? Well, Southwest is getting more and more long-range flights all the time. Granted, if you're flying from Jackson Hole, WY to Greenville, NC, you're not going to fly Southwest. They can't fill every travel need.
But Southwest is doing something right..... I'm a supporter!!
So, here's the deal, RTF : Whoever gets a job there first talks the other of us up enough to the chief pilot that either he interviews, or gets tired of hearing our names....