How Southwest Lost Business from BHM to US Airways

I Luv to fly Southwest, but there are some things that they do that I just can’t explain and in this post I’m going to cover one of them.

Last week my last grandparent died. Grandma Claxton lived to 90 years and two days. The funeral was this past Wednesday and my brother Richard, a hard-working man, needed to get from Montgomery, AL to Northern Indiana without losing a lot of time from work.

On Sunday we thought it might be a good idea for him to just drive to Birmingham and fly to Midway in Chicago on Southwest. Well, it was going to be about $330 each way, meaning $660 plus taxes for a direct flight. I understand so close to a travel date the price being that high.  However.

With that being the price on Southwest, we checked on Expedia and sure enough, US Airways also flies out of BHM. Yes, they had to go to Charlotte before going to O’Hare, but the price was $360. Roundtrip.

Now how can it be cheaper to fly from Birmingham, Alabama to Charlotte, North Carolina, land, change planes and then fly from Charlotte to O’Hare in Chicago? Screen Shot 2014-08-23 at 6.35.35 AM

In this case, the “low fare airline” was anything but that. And there have been multiple times I’ve tried/wanted to fly SWA and found the fares to be much higher than what was being offered on Expedia Now maybe it’s a volume thing, I just don’t know, but it’s frustrating because I’d much rather fly SWA than see my brother, who doesn’t like flying as it is, on US Airways.  Some might jokingly say I don’t love my little brother very much to let him fly US Airways, but in the end, it worked out well for him.

There were even weather problems at ORD on Thursesday. My brother got a text at 8:06 a.m. and he immediately called me in a semi-panic.  “My flight has been cancelled.”  I called the 800 number for US Airways and by 8:13 a.m he was slated to fly out at 1:55 p.m. instead of 12:05 p.m.  You really can’t beat that.

And that’s how Southwest lost out on some business this week.

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