What’s this? Is this really the second Southwest Airlines review from SANspotter in less than a month? What the heck happened to the steady stream of international business class and premium economy reviews that I used to post? Well, as we all know, 2020 happened.
The crazy thing is that all-new reviews of Southwest Airlines (that nobody wants to read) won’t end after this post. I’ve still got one more to put together after this one, and…my apologies in advance. I can’t promise anything, but my hope is that 2021 brings a wider variety of airline reviews and trip reports back to the SANspotter blog.
Phoenix, AZ (PHX) – San Francisco, CA (SFO)
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Duration: 1 hour 57 minutes
Seat: 18A (Business Select)
Table of Contents
My finest Southwest Airlines review video ever (as if that really means anything)
As much belly-aching as I just did in the intro about posting yet another lame Southwest Airlines review, I have a confession to make: the video that I made to document this flight 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. Putting all the footage together was easier than I thought it was going to be and I was quite pleased with the results. Why doesn’t happen for all my videos?
Anyway, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you should already know where I got the music for this video. Yep, it’s Epidemic Sound (as usual). They’ve got music for pretty much any type of video! Including boring Southwest Airlines trip reports.
Full transcript of the video: complete with loads and loads of pics (and bonus content too!)
As a reminder, this Southwest Airlines review picks up immediately where my other one (the SAN to PHX segment) left off. 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 that flight:
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.
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.
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.
My first impressions of the Southwest Airlines 737-700 interior
Again, this wasn’t my first time on one of these old Southwest Airlines 737s. More than anything, I was mostly looking forward to seeing if they had upgraded the old “baby shit brown” interiors to something more…uh…clean looking. And not so shitty.
**several seconds go by**
The departure sequence
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.
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. Be sure to read that particular Southwest Airlines Business Select review to get a better sense of all the perks you get with it.
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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!
Pros and cons of the Southwest Airlines 737-700 experience
Anyway, 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.
In terms of cabin service, it was typical Southwest Airlines (although slightly abbreviated due to the pandemic). 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).