Flying on Southwest during the pandemic; low-cost airline - Business Insider

I flew on Southwest Airlines during the pandemic and came away impressed by how well the largest low-cost US airline handed social distancing

8/2/2020 3:29:00 PM

I flew on Southwest Airlines during the pandemic and came away impressed by how well the largest low-cost US airline handed social distancing

Business Insider is a fast-growing business site with deep financial, media, tech, and other industry verticals. Launched in 2007, the site is now the largest business news site on the web.

TomSouthwest Airlines is primed to recover quicker than its competitors since the airline focuses on domestic service with a passenger-friendly low-cost business model.Despite being a low-cost airline, Southwest is limiting capacity by around a third which means only two people maximum can sit in a row, leaving the middle seat unoccupied. 

Jerry Falwell Jr., a prominent evangelical supporter of Trump, on indefinite leave of absence from Liberty U. Lipstick-Covered Water Bottle Clearly Got Some Action Last Night Protests live updates: Colorado district attorney to investigate officers who handcuffed Black girls

I flew on the airline to see how its seemingly-generous policies translated into a real-world experience and was impressed with how the airline is handling this crisis. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.As the coronavirus pandemic continues to keep international borders closed to Americans, domestic airlines in the US are slated to recover quicker than international airlines that rely on sales of premium seats on long-haul flights.

Southwest Airlines is the largest low-cost airline in the US primarily focused on domestic leisure travel with a sterling reputation among passengers, making it prime for a speedy recovery. Despite its low-cost status, the airline still offers plenty of full-service amenities including free checked bags, complimentary drinks and snacks, and free flight changes. 

Implementing what it calls the "Southwest Promise," the airline is limiting bookings on every flight by around one-third in order to have a maximum of two people per row. Southwest follows a policy of open seating so seats aren't selected in advance.

I flew on Southwest last week to see how the airline's generous social distancing policies played out in the real world. Flying from New York to Orlando via Nashville, I experienced two flights on the low-cost airline and its fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft.

Here's what I found. My journey to Orlando started on Southwest Airlines from the new LaGuardia Airport Terminal B, from where I'd first fly to Nashville.Flying on Southwest Airlines from New York to Orlando via Nashville.Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Southwest and LaGuardia Airport both require face coverings so I was masked up from the moment I got to the terminal.Flying on Southwest Airlines from New York to Orlando via Nashville.Thomas Pallini/Business InsiderBefore I even arrived at the airport, I had to acknowledge this health declaration. A longer version on the website tells passengers "do not travel if you have a fever."

Cash-strapped U.S. hospitals say Kuwait owes them at least $677 million From Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion to Juice WRLD & The Weeknd & More, Which New Music Release is Your Favorite? Vote! Jerry Falwell Jr. On 'Indefinite Leave' From Liberty University After Racy Photo

Flying on Southwest Airlines from New York to Orlando via Nashville.Thomas Pallini/Business InsiderHere's the new Southwest check-in counter at LaGuardia Airport with no shortage of self-serve check-in kiosks.Flying on Southwest Airlines from New York to Orlando via Nashville.

Thomas Pallini/Business InsiderThe terminal had just opened less than two weeks prior to this trip and safety features such as plexiglass partitions at check-in and the gates had come standard. Every airline, including United and Southwest, had these partitions.

Flying on Southwest Airlines from New York to Orlando via Nashville.Thomas Pallini/Business InsiderRead More: I quickly scanned my mobile boarding pass to get a paper copy. The airport had positioned wipe stations right next to the kiosks.Flying on Southwest Airlines from New York to Orlando via Nashville.

Thomas Pallini/Business InsiderMy journey was a simple one-stop flight to Orlando, making for an easy morning of flying.Flying on Southwest Airlines from New York to Orlando via Nashville.Thomas Pallini/Business InsiderEverything before the gate was up to LaGuardia, not Southwest. So let's go straight to the gate.

Flying on Southwest Airlines from New York to Orlando via Nashville.Thomas Pallini/Business InsiderAll gates in the terminal also had the standard partitions installed by the airport.Flying on Southwest Airlines from New York to Orlando via Nashville.

Thomas Pallini/Business InsiderSouthwest's website says that all of its check-in and gate counters have partitions but I'd have to wait until I landed in Nashville to find out for sure.Flying on Southwest Airlines from New York to Orlando via Nashville.

Robert Pattinson’s 10 Best Movie Performances Katie Ledecky tells us how she swam with a glass of milk on her head Daniel Dae Kim Launches Fundraiser to Nominate James Hong for Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Thomas Pallini/Business InsiderGate agents made an announcement before boarding about Southwest's social distancing policies but there was no reinforcement from any signage, unlike what I've seen from other airlines. Agents also gave face masks to those who needed it.

Flying on Southwest Airlines from New York to Orlando via Nashville.Thomas Pallini/Business InsiderSouthwest boards its aircraft by boarding group - A, B, and C - with each person given a number from 1-59 in that group. This requires people in each boarding group to line up, with 30 on each side.

Flying on Southwest Airlines from New York to Orlando via Nashville.Thomas Pallini/Business InsiderThe procedure, however, was modified to only have groups of 10 line up and board at a time, with the rest remaining seated until their group was called.

Flying on Southwest Airlines from New York to Orlando via Nashville.Thomas Pallini/Business InsiderOur gate didn't have that set-up and instead, we boarded by groups of 30.Flying on Southwest Airlines from New York to Orlando via Nashville.Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

The trick on Southwest is to check-in online at exactly 24 hours prior to the flight to get the best boarding group. I was 13 min late to check in the day before and still got an A assignment, which nearly guarantees and aisle or window seat.Flying on Southwest Airlines from New York to Orlando via Nashville.

Thomas Pallini/Business InsiderMost gates had these passenger-facing ticket scanners but our flight was boarded with the gate agent manually scanning each ticket with a handheld device.Flying on Southwest Airlines from New York to Orlando via Nashville.

Thomas Pallini/Business InsiderThere were also no social distancing reminders in the jetway.Flying on Southwest Airlines from New York to Orlando via Nashville.Thomas Pallini/Business InsiderOur aircraft for the 2-hour hop to Nashville would be the Boeing 737-800, the largest in Southwest's fleet.

Flying on Southwest Airlines from New York to Orlando via Nashville.Thomas Pallini/Business InsiderAll passengers and flight attendants are also required to wear masks on Southwest.Flying on Southwest Airlines from New York to Orlando via Nashville.Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

Southwest still boards passengers with their assigned number and, naturally, the front half typically fills up first.Flying on Southwest Airlines from New York to Orlando via Nashville.Thomas Pallini/Business InsiderThose boarding last have to walk past those who boarded and head to the back.

Flying on Southwest Airlines from New York to Orlando via Nashville.Thomas Pallini/Business InsiderThis was the 6 a.m. flight so it was understandably empty but less than half the plane's capacity was filled.Flying on Southwest Airlines from New York to Orlando via Nashville.

Thomas Pallini/Business InsiderThere were maybe 60 passengers with entire rows left open.Flying on Southwest Airlines from New York to Orlando via Nashville.Thomas Pallini/Business InsiderWith so few passengers, we didn't have to worry about social distancing but Southwest is limiting bookings by around a third. Only two people can sit in any row with an exception for families.

Flying on Southwest Airlines from New York to Orlando via Nashville.Thomas Pallini/Business InsiderI headed to the back to get the best seat on the 737-800 series, 16A.Flying on Southwest Airlines from New York to Orlando via Nashville.Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

It's an exit row window seat with no seat in front of it, offering near-unlimited legroom.Flying on Southwest Airlines from New York to Orlando via Nashville.Thomas Pallini/Business InsiderThe Southwest Promise boasts at least six hours of overnight cleaning and it showed on this flight.

Flying on Southwest Airlines from New York to Orlando via Nashville. Read more: Business Insider »

Racism and the body: Why racism is a 'death sentence' for Black Americans

COVID-19 has made it impossible to ignore the ways that discrimination drives health disparities among Black Americans. It’s an issue that Former First Lady Michelle Obama even acknowledged publicly. In the final episode of “Positive Spin,” host Liz Plank speaks to an epidemiologist, protestors and writer Jamil Smith on this current breaking point.

Judging from the photo it would be difficult not to 😅 (Yes i know hes speaking about his journey as a whole).

Job ended during pandemic, so I left New York and moved to a farm - Business InsiderBusiness Insider is a fast-growing business site with deep financial, media, tech, and other industry verticals. Launched in 2007, the site is now the largest business news site on the web.

Why Facebook's ad business is doing better than Google's during the pandemic so farAnalysts said factors like the amount of revenue coming from direct-response versus brand advertising, exposure to areas like travel and sheer size gave Facebook's ad business a leg up over Google's in the second quarter. no one gives a shit if one 1 percenter making 3 billion while the other is making 2.5 billion Google's CEO is non-white. It's racism, of course! 🖕Facebook 🖕

Air travel’s sudden collapse will reshape a trillion-dollar industryBold airlines with enough funds may use the coronavirus crisis to make their fleets greener Lol...419bn 😁 Are all the elites happy now ? Richard Branson owes Delta $200 Million & not showing any signs of paying his debts. Kinda seems like he had pre knowledge of an imminent, engineered, premeditated, pandemic. Costs are just too high to fly....

The Ethics of Dining Out Right Now“Government regulations especially in New York and NYC seem to favor, in my opinion, protecting diners more than staffers... to have those regulations that protect diners over staffers is horrific.” — qualityrye gguarente Asinine tripe

US map of states with most employment, pandemic insurance recipients - Business InsiderBusiness Insider is a fast-growing business site with deep financial, media, tech, and other industry verticals. Launched in 2007, the site is now the largest business news site on the web.

The 20 best countries for Americans to move to after the pandemic - Business InsiderBusiness Insider is a fast-growing business site with deep financial, media, tech, and other industry verticals. Launched in 2007, the site is now the largest business news site on the web. If you can afford to move you probably are not suffering too much during the pandemic. chanders74 - Uruguay is 2!! I’m going to assume this list is for white cishet males alone.