Five reasons American low cost airlines* are better than ours…

Apparently the garish colours are universal
Apparently the garish colours are universal

1 – They don’t charge you for having the audacity to take a change of clothes. In fact, each passenger can check two pieces of luggage for free.

2. The boarding is civilised, unlike the cross between a rugby scrum and the Boxing Day sales we get in the UK. When you check in (online, up to 24 hours before the flight time) you’re allocated a number. Everyone then lines up and boards the plane in that order. Most importantly, this is actually enforced. (I’d love to see those rude people who charge forward at the first call regardless of their loyalty card status / row number etc get sent back.)

Bonus reason - their logo is a heart
Bonus reason – their logo is a heart

3. The drinks (non-alcoholic) are free.

4. The crew smile, are kind to children and have a sense of humour: “Sit back and relax….or lean forward and be tense. Either way we’re about to take off. “

5. They land at the place you want to visit, rather some previously deserted airport that’s  a 50 mile bus journey away from anywhere.

However, one thing is no better – luggage reclaim is still marred by the idiots who insist on standing (and parking their trolley) right next to the carousel, because that will somehow ensure their bag comes out first. Perhaps there should be very basic written instructions for those who find it too difficult:

Stand BEHIND THE YELLOW LINE so that everyone can see the bags.

When you see your bag, walk forward, lift it off the carousel then carry it back to your trolley / spouse / family.

Wait BEHIND THE YELLOW LINE for the next bag.

When you have all your bags, leave the luggage reclaim area.

If anyone still insists on standing immediately adjacent to the carousel, there could be some kind of cattle-prod enforcement device…. (I admit that my irritation with these people is disproportionate to their offence, but after twelve hours – or one hour – in a metal box with them I just can’t help it.)

* I’ve only flown with Southwest, but I’m told our experience was typical.

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