Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Southwest Airlines Rocks!

Hi!  I'm Jake!

This year, I decided I will not drive all over the country just for the sake of doing road gigs. I decided I need to value my time better. I have spent too many hours behind the wheel, instead of in the club performing or at my desk writing jokes.  So, I decided to only take gigs that are either within an 8-hour drive or worth buying a flight.

A big motivator for me to quit driving and start flying more is the frequent flyer miles.  Honda doesn't give me frequent driver miles.  I don't get free gas from the gas stations either.  Every mile on the ground is a mile I pay for immediately at the pump and then again when my car needs work.  It's expensive. So I am flying more.

Part of this process has been finding convenient, inexpensive flights. This past year, I have flown with pretty much every major carrier at least once.  Most airlines have been great- except American Airlines. They can eat my cheese!

American Airlines prit'near screwed me when I missed a flight in February.  Their customer service lady misinformed me.  She told me because I missed my flight, I'd just have to buy a new one. She didn't tell me American had already re-booked me on a flight for the next day. She let me believe I was stranded in Boise without the means to get home.  So, no, they will not get the bulk of my service.  Click here to hear the story on The Battery Podcast.

Delta is cool, but it doesn't really go most of the places I travel.

United has great customer service and great prices.  When I was stranded in Boise, Gretchen Hess, a United Airlines agent, helped me figure out a solution.  She is great.  So is United. I will fly with them as often as possible.

However, I am choosing Southwest to be my main airline.  Here are 3 Things I Am Thankful For because Southwest Airlines Rocks!

1. Southwest allows 2 checked bags for FREE!
Most of the airlines charge between $25 and $35 per checked bag.  Southwest lets you check two bags for free.  This is crucial.

To afford my travel, I usually bring t-shirts to sell at the shows.  On one gig this year, American charged me $50 to bring my shirts round trip.  I was working a brand new comedy club, and the other comedian I was working with advertised FOUR different t-shirts from the stage!  It took like 10 minutes to hear all about his shirts! Holy crap!  It was a shirt show!  So, after the show, people quickly walked past us. I only sold $30 worth of shirts that week.  The point is, because of that dude and American Airlines' baggage fees, I lost money because I brought shirts! American Airlines took what I made- and then some!

With Southwest, I can bring two bags for free. If I don't sell shirts, I'll still have to carry around that heavy shirt bag, but I won't have to pay American Airlines to do so. I'm thankful for that!

2. No fee to change flights either.
I am pretty flighty. Get it?  Sometimes, though, after I book a flight, I have to change my flight. Most airlines charge a change fee.  Southwest does not.  This came in handy yesterday.

I have a Northwest trip coming up this week.  Check out my dates at jakeisfantastic.com/schedule.html. I'm flying into SEA-TAC, doing two-and-a-half weeks at various venues, then I fly home from Portland.

I originally booked an evening flight home.  However, I fly back the day of the the Funniest Person In Austin contest finals. Just in case I made the finals, I switched my flight to an earlier flight. I figured I better do it while the prices were still low. When I changed my flight, Southwest only charged me for the difference in ticket price.  Nice!  American Airlines would have charged me $150 PLUS the change in fare.

By the way, I believe that is pretty consistent with most other airlines, too. As far as I know, Southwest is the only airline that doesn't charge you to change your flight.

Then, this week, when I got knocked out of the contest, I changed my flight again! I changed my flight to a later flight that cost $77 less than the previous ticket I purchased. American Airlines would have charged me $150 for each of these flight changes (a total of $450). Southwest Airlines gave me a $77 credit to use the next time I fly.  I am super-thankful for that!  Also, American Airlines, you suck!

3. My future father-in-law likes Southwest Airlines.
When I was in North Carolina a few weeks ago, My future father-in-law and I sat there talking about Southwest Airlines for about 20 minutes.  He regaled me with stories about the attractive stewardesses and free drinks of yesteryear.  We talked about the practicality of the free baggage, great routing, and great frequent flyer program they have now.

I'm new to this whole in-law thing.  I don't want to talk much politics or anything too racy just yet.  It was cool that we bonded over something as simple as which airline is the coolest.  I'm thankful for that. Thanks, Southwest!  Without you, I might have brought up which cheeses are my favorite.  That would have been titillating!  "Well, I used to like zweibel, but now I am more of a brie guy."  Even though that's a true statement, and I really feel like cheese right now, I'm glad I didn't show him how much of a cheese nerd I am- yet. Cheese?  Good topic, nerd!

Well, I didn't get as silly in this blog entry.  I am just super-psyched to fly Southwest. They are a smart company. They are laid-back.  I imagine I will travel with them over and over this year.

Well, I'm thankful for Southwest.  I am more thankful you read this entry. Feel free to leave a comment- especially if it's about how bad American Airlines sucks cheese.

Bye!  I'm Jake

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