4. The Points Guy Hangs Out with Southwest Flight Attendants
5. Niagara Falls, Elvis and Amish. Oh My!
I’ve mentioned before how much I dislike flying with small kids. I’ve said that car seat is the curse of flying, and that things are guaranteed to go wrong when traveling with children in general. But I really wanted to take my parents to Niagara Falls while they were here, and driving there for 2 straight days one-way was not an option.
Rapid Rewards points to the rescue! I’ve booked my family’s tickets before March 31st devaluation, getting close to 1.9 cents in value. I checked in for my flight the day before and everything was going smoothly.
Well, my 3-year old son started getting sick. He wasn’t running a fever, but I was concerned about possible development of an ear infection. Out trip was 4 days long, and I feared he would not be able to fly back. So, I called my pediatrician and asked for an antibiotic prescription. The pharmacy gave it to me in powder form that I could mix myself if needed.
Well, thankfully, my son didn’t get an ear infection.. but instead, bad infection in both eyes. For some reason, I took his antibiotic drops with me and we got it under control. Always think of the worst case scenario and pack all prescriptions, just in case.
Back to out flight. Unlike other major airlines, Southwest doesn’t assign seats. You are put in a group according to the time you checked in. The later you do it, the later you get on a plane. However, families with kids under 5 are allowed to board right after group A, so you can usually find plenty of seats available. Read a post on the whole boarding strategy for families HERE
The legroom is quite good, that even my husband (who is 6.4 feet tall) was comfortable. The plane was very clean and all the flight attendants were super friendly. The passengers get free soft drinks, tea and coffee, plus some crackers and pretzels. I happened to have some old Southwest alcohol drink vouchers (without expiration date) in my purse. I’ve heard that Southwest was no longer accepting those, but checked with a flight attendant just in case. He confirmed my suspicion, but said he would give me several free drinks anyway.
I wanted to give him a tip, but didn’t have anything less than a $20 bill in my purse. So, my mom suggested giving him some Belarus currency as a souvenir, and so we did. He thought it was neat, and we got into a conversation. I mentioned that we were flying on points, and he said he was an enthusiastic miles collector himself. I told him about my blog, and he asked me if I knew Brian Kelly from The Points Guy. Pfft, do I? He is only my arch nemesis!
To that he said that apparently, he met Brian at a museum in Miami, and they had lunch together. He thought he was a really nice guy. His pet Miles, on the other hand, is evil incarnate. Who would have thought? 🙂
When we were checking in for our flight back, I mentioned to the agent how all Southwest employees seem super nice. He jokingly told me that they get special training for that. I asked how I could get it myself, my husband would pay good money for it!
An easy way to get Rapid Rewards Points
If you are hoping to get a Companion Pass, you’ll be better off waiting till October to apply for a personal and business versions of Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards card. That way your points will post in 2015, and you will have 2 full years to use the pass. If you don’t care about it, there is a public link available for Chase Southwest card offer that comes with 50,000 points and $99 annual fee, not waived. You can find it in my list of bonuses. Alternatively, you can email Dan from Pointswithacrew, and he would get 5,000 points for referring you, as long as you apply by September 30th. Help the brother out, he’s got 6 (yes, 6!) kids.
Southwest is a great choice for family. You get to take 2 bags per person free of charge. You can also cancel your flights and get your money or points back. The planes are clean, legroom is decent, and they have a good coverage, which now includes Caribbean. And some flight attendants even hang out with The Points Guy.
P. S. I have 4 Southwest drink vouchers that will expire December 31st, 2014. Comment on this post by Thursday 9 pm Eastern, if you want me to mail them to you. If I get more than one request, I’ll randomly pick a winner.
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Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.