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The World’s Largest Airline Is Now….. Southwest?!

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With much of the world closed off to international arrivals, running an airline isn’t what it used to be. For many internationally focused airlines, demand is so low and border restrictions so cumbersome, there’s no point in flying at all, at least for the time being. But while many airlines experience unprecedented lows, one unlikely airline has jumped the ranks, becoming the world’s largest airline by capacity. Southwest Airlines is now the largest airline in the world by seating capacity as… ( المزيد...

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Scott Campbell 2
Too bad a nice triple seven or six seven beats it across the country for comfort front and back, 4 fights in the last 2 weeks nothing beats a wide body, especially with 75 mph headwinds the last two times west bound
Spencer Hoefer 0
It is getting harder and harder to find that unfortunately. If they could make a 737 fly long haul they would. "Southwest is now introducing nonstop service between BWI and Hong Kong!" lol.
Muhammed Sobhan 3
To me Southwest is most passenger friendly airline .
planeguy53 4
Ahh NO! They just advertise they are.
Scott Campbell 2
Surly aggressive flight attendants are everywhere, SWA or any airline has its Share, I used to say if a robot could do a better job, then I'll complain, but its everyday now from some FA s too gate agents doing the best (worse) to make flying as miserable as possible. And once they check the manifest and see your one of their best customers, well the smile and BS continues the rest of the flight
Donde Smith 0
I agree! They have the worst routes, though. But the crews are great--at least better than any other domestic airline.
Leander Williams 1
On January 20, if I am reading the chart correctly, Southwest wasn't doing too badly even then. It appears they were locked in at #3.
John Manley 1
mary susan watkins 1
you must read the entire article to understand the terminology..largest by "seating capacity",merely means wn did not cut as many flights as other carriers since the pandemic became front and center..they have been growing for several years because of their "folksy" approach to people and their route far as fares go, they used to be cheaper,but that was a long time they are at the same rate as others,only without a first class cabin..
Supercool Marmol 2
So, if I read this correctly, SW is "largest" because they have over 2 millions "seats" available in a particular week. I.E one of their 737s has a capacity of 175 passengers (seats). If that plane makes 4 flights, (say LAX to Phoenix to Houston to DC to New York) that's a total of 700 seats that could be sold?

another way to looks is that SW is just operating more flights during this time, compared to Delta/AA/United/JB?
Pete Kolb 3
“Same rate” is EXTREMELY debatable when you factor in other things like two free checked bags, no change fees, etc.
Patrick Keohane 5
Pete - so many only look at the fare price and not the total cost. When comparing fares of ultra-low cost carriers and all of the add-on fees for seat selection, carry-on baggage fee, checked baggage fee, entertainment options, service items, etc. the costs mount rapidly.

Even if the pax doesn't have checked bags, why does it matter if there is no 1st class if you're not going to use it?
Supercool Marmol 2
But you could use D1C. I've had flights with the "big" 3 where a domestic first class ticket was less expensive than a standard southwest flight. Had to do some digging and such, but I was able to find them.
Plus, frequent travelers have the perk of being "upgraded" for free. the first 3 months of travel, spend building miles, then start getting those upgrades based on status for the rest of the year.
Robert Cowling -2
In that regard, Southwest is very defeatist. 'You will never sit in first class, so we don't have first class'. Wow, what a message. I guess it's too bad the name 'Airbus' is taken. My sister only flies Southwest, and often has to drive to/from airports that they operate from. So me where that is saving money. :-D

But Southwest is like transporting livestock. They line up, obediently stampeding into the cattle car, and obediently trample out at the end.

I like first class. The seats are bigger, more legroom, better flight attendants. If there's a crash, we are the first into the crater.
Robert Cowling -2
You need to know how to play their game. Delta here. I have their card. It works, and adds up to benefits. I don't spend more money, but if I am going to spend money, why not have it add up to an upgrade. And hotel groups also have tie-ins and members get benefits. I stayed in a hotel In London, a block from the Tube, for free. All of it was covered by travel I've done. It was an AMAZING hotel. On the way to the Tube stop, or more like back from the city, there was a major 'provisions' store. I could pick up brekkies and a pint on the way back to the hotel.

Playing the game is what they want you to do. But the benefits really add up.

What does Southwest give you? No assigned seating? No upper class? Do they have lounges? Hmm...

I'll keep 'playing their game'. And winning...
ADXbear 1
Craxy days we live in..
william baker 1
Yes it is. Isnt this like the third time in the last month another airline became the largest??
Pat Lollis 0
One aircraft type. No hub & spoke. Most financially stable. Best & happiest employees. I'm sure the naysayers will have something to say about this. They only wished they were working for LUV.
Robert Cowling -3
They did have a 'good idea' for marginalizing their customers.

I wasn't kidding about it's too bad the term 'Airbus' is already taken. Southwest sought to change planes into buses. People pile on, and pile off. All the buses are the same, and no one gets an assigned seat on a bus (unless they pay a lot of money). Buses are 'utilitarian' and exist to get the largest amount of people from point 'A' to point 'B'.

They also have been cutting some maintenance, and treating their employees poorly. I thought it was farcical too that they had to make their own reality TV show/marketing infomercial. The whole thing was laughable. They wanted to create their own mojo and get people to 'love' the image. I thought Walmart could do that too. Portray the lives of their cashiers, yet that could backfire if they show the backstory of the denied healthcare, and people trying to live on their wages of the stingiest company, and America's largest employer.

But back to Southwest. It would be common sense. Start a company that works like a bus company. Get the planes to fly to and from 'off brand' airports. Make all the buses the same so people know what they look like, make it so people don't get assigned seating, and board in waves. Add some benefits like free luggage, and yet beat down on fat people for taking up more than one seat. Ironic? Cut 'frills'. Everyone is treated the same. But you can't market 'average' to people, hawking cheap seats, no frills, and make any money without cutting things that more people expect from an airline.

And flying more planes? The bus schedule has to be maintained. Ask Ralph Kramden...
John D 2
I have no objection to the orderly line up to board. You don't see gate lice at SW gates like you do at other airline gates.
I used to object to no assigned seats, but found it worked for me in case someone sits next to you that hasn't bathed in a while you could just move to a more suitable location.
If SW's model didn't work, they'd have empty planes. I have rarely seen a more than a few empty seats on SW jets.
Robert Cowling -4
ICK! This is almost like finding out that America's largest employer was Walmart. From underpaid and cheated employees at Walmart to underpaid and cheated crews at Southwest.

Both have been cited numerous times for playing fast and loose with regulations. America is a shell of what it once was.
Silent Bob 2
Did you eat a lot of paint chips when you were a kid?
John D 1
I was kind of wondering who pee'd in his Cheerios this morning

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