PHX to SFO on a well-used (uh, “mature”) Southwest 737-700

PHX to SFO on a well-used (uh, “mature”) Southwest 737-700

Don’t tell anyone, but I’m actually feeling really excited to sit down and write this Southwest 737-700 review. It’s a airline / aircraft combo that I’ve flown many times before, but never got around to documenting.

Trust me when I tell you that it is worth documenting. Sure, the seats aren’t all that great. The snacks and drinks are extremely limited. And I hate to say it, but the interiors are even a bit smelly.

That said, it’s bare bones flying at it’s finest, and a nice change of pace form all the international business class I’ve been doing recently. Change is good sometimes!

Phoenix, AZ (PHX) – San Francisco, CA (SFO)
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Aircraft: 737-705
Registration: N762SW
Duration: 1 hour 57 minutes
Seat: 18A (Business Select)

Southwest Airlines 737-700 side profile
Southwest Airlines 737-700 side view illustration by
WN1807 flight track
Our route from Phoenix to San Francisco today as WN1807. Kinda neat that we got to buzz LA on the way up!

My finest Southwest Airlines review video ever (as if that really means anything)

I have a confession to make: the video that I made to document this flight from PHX to SFO was actually one of my best ever IMHO. Everything just seemed to flow really nicely, and I didn’t struggle at all when putting it all together.

As you’ll see below, this was actually a fairly decent flight. Yeah, it was short and boring, but it forced me to get creative (and it turned out halfway decent). Why doesn’t happen for all my videos?

The full review of my Southwest 737-700 experience from Phoenix to San Francisco

I’m just going to get straight to the point. I’ve got a short layover in Phoenix today, so let’s pick things up here in terminal 4 at PHX immediately after deplaning from another flight:

Southwest Airlines terminal C PHX
Apparently the news of the Coronavirus pandemic hasn’t yet reached Phoenix. What do you think? Should I tell them?
SANspotter selfie PHX
I know. I DO realize that I’m part of the problem by being here. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all?

Those of you who have been following me for the past few years know that me and good ideas mix together like oil and water. This is typical, to say the least.

PHX airport hand sanitizer
No matter though. There is plenty of hand sanitizer available, and I’m not afraid to use it.
Southwest Airlines 737 PHX
If you read my last review, you’ll know that I’m headed up to San Francisco today on Southwest Airlines. Which wouldn’t seem so odd if I hadn’t started the day in San Diego.
SANspotter selfie phoenix sky harbor airport
And before anyone tells me that Phoenix is not the shortest way to get to San Francisco from San Diego…I don’t care.
SANspotter Southwest Airlines review
It had been 8 months since my last trip, and voluntarily going hundreds of miles in the wrong direction seemed like a perfectly fine idea.

A few words about Terminal 4 at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport

This is the first time that I have ever been inside of this particular terminal, and I’ve got to say that it was exactly what I was expecting. It was crowded, noisy, and it looked like it hadn’t been updated since 1995 or so.

PHX airport food
Spoiler alert: not only does the Coronavirus not exist in the Phoenix airport, neither do Camden Food Co Healthwhiches.
PHX airport southwest airlines terminal
Why did I chose to connect through Phoenix again?
SANspotter selfie terminal 4 PHX
Because I’m a gigantic nerd with a YouTube channel that needs content, that’s why. By the way, how about a round of applause for successfully finding a place to social distance here in terminal 4?

The boarding process for flight number 1807 to San Francisco

Due to the fact that the Coronavirus pandemic was in full swing at the time of this flight, I was a bit uneasy with the massive crowds. There were people everywhere. Some not even wearing masks. I like Phoenix and all, but I couldn’t wait to get out of there.

Gate C7 PHX airport
My sincerest apologies to any germaphobes out there who may be feeling a panic attack coming on by watching this. I’m totally with you, and I wasted no time in being “that guy” in order to avoid it.
Southwest Airlines mobile boarding pass
You know. The guy who was waving his boarding pass at the scanner just as the gate agent was reaching for the microphone to make the general boarding announcement.
PHX airport jet bridge inside
I couldn’t tell if she was rolling her eyes because I seemed impatient…or because I connected through Phoenix on the way to San Francisco.

My first impressions of the Southwest Airlines 737-700 interior

Again, this wasn’t my first time on a Southwest 737-700. More than anything, I was mostly looking forward to seeing if they had upgraded the old “baby s**** brown” interiors to something more…uh…clean looking. And not so s****y.

And for those of you who have absolutely bo idea what I’m talking about, be sure to read my review of the old Southwest 737-700 experience. It’s s****y.

Southwest Airlines 737-700 boarding door
It’s been a while since I was last on a Southwest 737-700, and even from here at the boarding door, I can already tell that not much has changed.
Southwest Airlines 737-700 updated interior
“404 Baby **** Brown seat color not found” (Woo hoo!) – and hey, it’s worth noting that this is a lot more color than you saw in my Spirit A320neo basic economy review. That’s a good thing. I guess.
Southwest Airlines crew member
The moment that the cabin crew identifies you as a gigantic airplane nerd.
Southwest Airlines 737-700 leg room
The leg room in row 18. It’s probably just as good in every other row.
SANspotter selfie 737-700
I’m just happy that this nearly as nice as what you saw in my Southwest 737 MAX 8 review. This isn’t bad!
SANspotter selfie 737-700 interior
It’s also not entirely modern either. I had forgotten what 2010 was like, so this was a nice blast from the past I guess.
Southwest Airlines 737-700 overhead bins
Yup, the interiors of these Southwest Airlines 737-700s are getting a little old and worn out.
Southwest Airlines 737-700 review
I’ll admit it. Watching people trying to decide where to sit (from all the remaining options) is kind of fun.
Southwest Airlines 737-700 seats
Window seat just behind the wing secured, and…I’m ready.
Southwest Airlines Review PHX-SFO
I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to make a review about a generic Southwest Airlines flight from Phoenix to San Francisco interesting, but I’m ready for some action!

**several seconds go by**

Southwest Airlines 737-700 seat back
Why isn’t anything happening?
SANspotter Southwest Airlines
Unfortunately, there was no action located in the seat back pocket in front of me.
Southwest Airlines 737-700 safety card
Unless you like Southwest Airlines 737-700 safety cards, that is.
Southwest Airlines 737-700 safety card inside
Sorry. This is as about as exciting as it gets for a Southwest Airlines review.

The departure out of Phoenix

I’ve got to hand it to Southwest Airlines. For as crowded as it was in the main terminal, they did a fantastic job of getting everyone on the plane and out of there on schedule. I may complain a lot about this airline, but I do have to give them credit for running a really smooth operation.

PHX terminal 4
Here’s a nice view of Terminal 4 after pushback.
737-700 engine startup
Oh. And the engine is on fire.
Southwest Airlines blocked middle seat
Flying time up to San Francisco is going to be a short 1 hour and 30 minutes, and thanks to the generous Southwest Airlines seat blocking policy currently in place due to the pandemic, I’ve got an entire row to myself This may not be an exciting flight, but it sure will be comfortable.

By the way, did you know I have a second YouTube channel with unedited takeoff footage? I know that some of you enjoy that stuff more than the actual review itself, so here is the full takeoff out of PHX on runway 7L today:

What was the cabin service like?

If I haven’t already mentioned it, I was technically flying Business Select for this segment, since it was a tag-on from the previous segment from San Diego to Phoenix. There are many pros and cons of Southwest Airlines Business Select – and as you’re about to see, it wasn’t all that beneficial of an upgrade for me today.

SANspotter and AirPods Pro
Alright. Here we go. I’ve got my window seat, my AirPods (FYI, AirPods Pro work great on an airplane!), some good music, and of course…
dropped my GoPro camera
…a bad habit of sacrificing my GoPro camera in order to get the shot.
What I Use On Every Flight
Apple AirPods Pro Wireless Earbuds
  • Active noise cancellation for immersive sound - works great on airplanes!
  • Transparency mode for hearing cabin announcements
  • Three sizes of soft, tapered silicone tips for a customizable fit
  • Sweat and water resistant
  • Easy setup for all your Apple devices
  • Quick access to Siri by saying “Hey Siri”
  • The Wireless Charging Case delivers more than 24 hours of battery life (perfect for long haul flights)

Check Price on Amazon
Note: I may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
SANspotter reviews Southwest Airlines
How exactly do you say that the Southwest 737-700 interior sucks without coming right out and saying it? I swear to god it’s a miracle that I haven’t been banned by any airlines yet.
Southwest airlines snack mix bag
So yeah. It’s snack time. It should be no surprise that this is identical to the snack that I got on the flight over from San Diego.
limited snack Southwest Airlines
Cabin service has been extremely limited due to the pandemic, and I guess we need to be thankful that they’re dolling out any food at all.
Southwest Airlines drinks
And considering that I usually drink water in international business class anyway, I’m feeling right at home.
Southwest Airlines yellow snack mix bag
You know, as I sit here thinking of something to say about this pic, I’m SO disappointed in myself for not counting how many individual pieces were in this bag of snack mix.
Southwest Airlines PHX-SFO review
I KNEW that it was going to be a challenge to make this a Southwest Airlines review to remember, and I blew it. I’m sorry.
Southwest Airlines 737-700 lavatory
In an effort to redeem myself, I decided to go big for the loo review. There’s lots to see here, so hang on and prepare yourself for what I’m about to show you.
Southwest Airlines 737-700 bathroom
And yes, I literally mean “hang on” because I can’t promise that you won’t feel an overwhelming urge to puke from all the spinning and twirling I had to do in the video to capture it all.
Southwest Airlines 737-700 loo review
I blew it. I’m sorry.
Southwest Airlines snack service
30 minutes to go now and I’m still working on my snack. I’m also thinking about something redeeming to say about this interior.
Southwest Airlines interior
Honestly, it’s not that bad. The problem is that I got to experience the all new Southwest Airlines interior on the flight over from San Diego earlier today, and that was so much nicer than this. So much for a redeeming comment I guess. I blew it. I’m sorry.
Southwest Airlines under seat space
Here’s an angle that most people don’t see very often on airplanes. I attempted it thinking that it might help me find something good to say about this old interior, but – I can’t decide if this is extremely disgusting or…one of my most creative clips ever.

The arrival into San Francisco

According to my flight log, SFO is one of my most frequently-visited airports in the entire world. I know this place like the back of my hand. As just as how I don’t like to go very long without looking at my hands, it was nice to see this airport again. Damn you Coronavirus!

view when flying into San Francisco
You might think that after 8 months of being grounded, I wouldn’t be able to get enough of incredible views like this. That wasn’t entirely the case.
SANspotter mobile phone
Does anyone have a phone number to a good therapist who can ween me of my mobile phone addiction? Thanks.
Arrival into 28R SFO
I love this approach (as weird as it always looks).
SFO approach view
Seriously. I really like it!
Terminal 1 SFO
Oh heck yes. Looks like we’re pulling up to the brand newTerminal 1 here at SFO – which is something I’ve very much been looking forward to seeing.
sanspotter southwest 737-700 interior
Welcome to San Francisco! That pretty much wraps up this review.
sanspotter carry on bag
Hope you enjoyed it! By the way, have you ever wondered what’s in my carry on bag (besides the dirty underwear of course)?
Southwest Airlines 737-300 deplaning
Apparently these people wanted nothing at all to do with me or my dirty underwear (and I don’t blame them).
SFO jet bridge
And for the record, no, I was not chasing them up the jet bridge while waiving said dirty skivvies in the air or anything…
Arriving flight from PHX
…It’s just that I ran out of things to say 3 pics ago and I couldn’t let go of the dirty underwear thing. I blew it. I’m sorry.

Pros and cons of flying on the Southwest Airlines 737-700 

The purpose of this section is to tell you all about the Southwest Airlines 737-700. More specifically, all the good points and bad points. And to get even more specific than that, I really mean the pros and the cons. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could just get to the point?


  • For as old as some of these Southwest Airlines 737-700 are getting, they’ve been very well maintained.
  • The seats on the particular aircraft that I was on were brand new, although they weren’t as nice as the seats I had just experienced on one of their 737-800s from San Diego to Phoenix several hours earlier.
  • The cabin crew was helpful and attentive, as usual, but we didn’t get much in terms of snacks. They did what they could with what they had, so I guess I really can’t complain about that.
  • The nice thing about the 737-700 is that it’s a smaller aircraft compared to the -800. This means less people on board, and a slightly more intimate experience.
  • It also means a faster boarding times in deplaning times. Unless you’re a truly hard-core aviation geek, what fun is it to have to wait for everybody else to stow and retrieve their oversized carryon luggage?


  • The -700s are some of the oldest aircraft in the Southwest Airlines fleet. Although the seats were fairly new on this particular aircraft, the walls and lavatories were showing their age.
  • Remember what I was saying a moment ago about how “intimate” the smaller -700 is? Well, the downside of that is a more densely packed airplane (with less room to spread out).

Give a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.