View Full Version : Southwest vs. JetBlue
08-29-2011, 03:27 PM
I live in Central Va, and we are thinking of flying to WDW in January. Our local flights are too expensive since we are down to one airline. We have a lot of choices, but I am down to two for our winter trip. Drive to Dulles for JetBlue or drive to RDU for Southwest. Both have pros and cons so I am wondering if anyone has strong feelings about one airline over the other.
Pros: Two checked bags per person, slightly shorter drive (30 miles), cheaper parking
Cons: Tickets are more expensive (about $500), no assigned seats
Pros: Better inflight services, cheaper tickets, assigned seats
Cons: Have to spend the night before ($125), more expensive parking
08-29-2011, 03:41 PM
I don't know how long your drive to Dulles is, but if were 2 hrs or less it would be a no brainer to me. I think you get 1 checked back free on JetBlue, negating one of the Southwest Pros. The money you save on tickets would probably cover your parking. If you really have to stay over, the hotel would probably also be covered by the ticket savings.
How far away is Dulles?
08-29-2011, 03:46 PM
What's the net price difference when adding in all optional fees you'd choose, parking, hotel, dining for the extra night? For a $500 difference I wouldn't even bat an eye at it and I'd go with the cheaper option. If the net ends up around $200 or less then I would look at itineraries and choose whichever itinerary I'd prefer.
In the Pros for JB, add more leg room and TVs.
In the Pros for SWA, add that once they release their schedule, they almost never make changes to their schedules, barring weather or airport issues.
I think a lot of people who haven't flown SWA get freaked out about the no assigned seating but really it works very well. With other airlines, yes you can choose your seats but if there are any changes to your flight then the seating assignments are lost and you have to go back and reselect your seats. Each and every time. With no guarantee that you will find seats together even if you did book eons ago. Boarding and choosing seats by boarding positions does work very well and boarding goes pretty quickly.
We typically fly SWA and are very fond of them. JB is the only other airline I'd consider and I am considering them for an upcoming trip. I have no bias against one or the other but tend to fly SWA just because they fly out of a small wonderful airport 20 minutes from my front door while JB drags me into a major metropolitan and huge airport which is an hour away. I'm considering JB because the price difference even with paying for a shuttle service into the city is still significantly cheaper than SWA out of my preferred airport. Convenience really is something I'll pay extra for but there are limits to how much extra I'll pay.
08-29-2011, 04:13 PM
It takes us about three hours to get to IAD and about 2 1/2 to get to RDU. Southwest is coming out as $335 more. We would get home a little later from Dulles on the night before a school day, but my kids are older and could sleep in the car. The itinerary differences are minor.
08-29-2011, 06:03 PM
Sandy-One of the big things I look at is arrival/departure time...if there is no clear winner there, then I would go with the lowest net price-seems like that will be Jet Blue. BTW a friend drove from ALbany and went out of BWI, she stayed in a hotel the night before, they shuttled her both ways to the airport-so no parking expense.
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