Southwest Airlines to Minneapolis, MN, Sunday, May 31, 2015
Arriving late Thursday May 28 into Columbus, and leaving early morning on the day after the show gave little time for touristing in Ohio. Too bad, because Columbus was great, the temperature was great, 33 C which is 91 F, and I wanted to stay in Columbus a few days more. But... for years it has been "standard procedure" for me to get into the next city during the morning after the show, getting out just before noon. This leaves little sleep, as I usually work with photos and reports until 3am or 4am during the night after the show, then leaving around 9am for the airport. Good news, I will have four days in Minneapolis!
For this tour I will have 20-25 flights, some direct, but usually two flights into every new city. So far San Diego via Phoenix into Columbus, then Columbus via Chicago into Minneapolis. It is hard to find direct flights, and if there are direct flights, they are expensive.
I did not book any flight at all until two weeks ago, except for my intercontinental flight into Los Angeles, returning from Quebec July 16. So I needed all those 14 flights show to show in America. After checking out the major airliners like American, United, Delta and so on, they were all very expensive, and not so flexible. Then I checked ot the low budget airliners I had been adviced about, like Spirit, Jet Blue and so on. Some of these were ok, others were a pain, their websites were bad, they wanted to sell me hotels, rental cars, snacks, upgrades, checked luggage, in short everything except for fight between cities. I was recommended Southwest. When checking out their hubs, prices, website and policies, I realized they were just the right airliner I needed in North America this summer. My first three travels were booked a couple of weeks ago, and yesteday I booked another five city connections, some via Chicago, some via St Louis.
I travel light. Ten kilo (22 lb/pounds) is all I have for this nearly three months travel, including my PC, which weight two kilo, one kilo cables and pocket camera, and the bacpack same 40 liter backpack I use for Kilimanjaro trips, also one kilo. I need the airliners to understand I need to carry this, I don't want to check it. If it gets lost I might not get it until I am off for the next city. I change city two times per week on tour. If they have an eight kilo max carry on policy, they are out of business vs me. Southwest allow two pieces, one large, one personal. I have a backpack that weights one kilo. Then I have 9 kilo to pack in it. For flying I have this miracle 68 gram (!!!) daypack backpack, that is 2 oz... really made for daytrip when climbing mountains. It is rock solid, weight nothink, takes no space (the size of a little finger when not in use), and it is my secret weapon in getting everything on board. Once off the plane, I have one backpack, 10 kilo still.
Ultraseal daypack Sea to Summit 68 gram:
Osprey Talon 44 backpack
These are my best friends, SAS, Lufthans, KLM, Quantas, Southwest, Singapore Airlines, Thai, they all accept these as carry on, which is exactly what I need.
I am not a loyal customer for airliners. If they mess with me, I dump them. For years I did not fly with Lufthansa, even if I am a Star Alliance Gold (Diamond actually) member, because they treated me badly regarding an extra small bag with my PC. One piece only, they said. I said, they weight only 2-3 kg each. Nothing. One piece only, said Lufthansa. So I used SAS, KLM, BA, Air France and anyone exceept LH for years. Then they got more friendly after 5-6 years, probably change of policy/management, and I started using Lufthans once more. These days Lufthansa are great.
Southwest have beeen working great so far. Always on time. Always friendly. Cheap, easy to book, excellent easy to use web site, all flights in one place, no papers, everything online, every person has got a boarding queue number. I will probably stay with Southwest during the whole tour.
Some pictures from the Southwest flight from Chicago to Minneapolis:
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2015-06-01 06:45 by bv.