We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Air travel in USA

Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
23 posts
30 reviews
Air travel in USA

I am from the UK and looking to book 2 one way flights.

SFO to LAX

LAX to LAS

We are looking to check in some luggage as well.

Would anyone recommend using Southwest airlines since they allow 2 checked in bags for free? This seems too good to be true to me. Why is it so much cheaper than other airlines?

Or do I pay extra for say United, Delta etc? Also do you pay for your checked in bags at the airport or is there and option online once you have purchased your flights?

Thank you for any help.

17 replies to this topic
Dublin, California
Level Contributor
24,148 posts
49 reviews
1. Re: Air travel in USA

Definitely recommend Southwest.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
3,270 posts
49 reviews
2. Re: Air travel in USA

No reason not to book Southwest. Make sure you book directly from their website and not through any third party.

Nottingham
Level Contributor
286 posts
143 reviews
3. Re: Air travel in USA

I'm with jrcDublin: the other carriers backload the ticket price with baggage fees on an economy ticket. If you travel with a legacy carrier always check the difference between economy fares with checked baggage fees as an extra and First class with no checked bag fees: the difference can be minimal.

Liverpool, UK
Level Contributor
23,043 posts
36 reviews
4. Re: Air travel in USA

I've flown with Southwest with baggage fees included in the ticket cost and other carriers like UA, AA and Delta where it was extra - either works, all you need to do is compare the overall cost.

For internal flights in the USA I base my choice on schedule as well as cost.

If you opt for Southwest then ensure you understand their open seating policy.

tucson, az
Level Contributor
4,441 posts
12 reviews
5. Re: Air travel in USA

To answer a question, the two bags fly free is a huge selling point for them. They've built ad campaigns around them.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
18,035 posts
118 reviews
6. Re: Air travel in USA

Sometimes southwest is cheaper than others. Sometimes not. They do give you two free Che led bags so if you have a lot of luggage they can be a good deal. They have a unique boarding policy with no reserved seats. You take any open seat upon boarding. So if you care where you sit you should read up on their boarding procedure. But mist if their flights are short so it might not matter to you.

You will pay for checked bags in United, delta, or American. You pay at the airport or at check in.

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
68,365 posts
72 reviews
7. Re: Air travel in USA

Southwest is best for the sort of short flights you are considering. Their open seating policy is very well organized. It is not a scrum to run to get your seat. You are given a letter group(A,Bor C) on your boarding pass and a number. People actually line up in number order before boarding the plane.

IF you buy a "business class " seat(just means you get to sit in the front) you are guaranteed to go in the first group. You can also pay a little extra to have them check you in early to get an earlier boarding time. Otherwise you have to check in on line 24hrs before the flight.

Southwest is not always the least expensive on a route so I definitely check out other airlines . I also want a schedule that fits my plans well.

You can only buy Southwest tix on their own web site.

Edinburgh, Scotland
Level Contributor
4,487 posts
8. Re: Air travel in USA

Southwest are fine, they have a good rep on here and it's about comparing the TOTAL cost and times.

There is a private bus service in a sprinter from LA to Vegas for $40 inc luggage https://www.luxxpress.com/schedule/ which, depending on where you are staying in LA, saves the time & hassle of getting to the LAX airport, clearing security, collect bags at LAS & transfer to Vegas. It's not for everyone, but it looks a lot less hassle to me.

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
59,774 posts
149 reviews
9. Re: Air travel in USA

Depending on fares look at OAK to BUR or LAX or BUR to LAS as well as alternatives to sfo and lax on Southwest

Seattle, Washington
Destination Expert
for Seattle
Level Contributor
7,721 posts
10. Re: Air travel in USA

Because Southwest doesn't participate in any online travel services like Expedia, and doesn't put its fares on "global distribution systems" (GDSs) like Sabre or Amadeus (accessible to travel agents) it's very hard to do comparisons. This is by design - straight-up comparisons would show that Southwest's prices can frequently be higher than other airlines', even taking their bag policy into account.

For example, for an afternoon departure on a Friday in mid-December, the cheapest Southwest fare for SFO-LAX is $113. An Alaska Airlines flight departing ten minutes earlier is $75. With two bags ($25 each) Southwest is cheaper. With one or none, Alaska is.

I'd also mention that every time I've gone past the Southwest terminal at LAX (Terminal 1) the lines have extended out to the street, while things at the other terminals served by the legacy carriers don't.

Reply to: Air travel in USA
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted